In Part Two of a series the cast of The Foreigner at the Sandy Spring Theatre Group, performing at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn, meet Paul Noga.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages.
Paul: Hi all! My name is Paul Noga, and I’ve been performing with local community theatre for the last 30+ years. My last two performances were in Montgomery Playhouse’s One Act Festival in Musings, and I played Dr. Watson in their December 2014 production of Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Goose. I’ve also been lucky enough to appear in two shows with the British Players, but this is my first time using a working class British accent.
Why did you want to become a member of the cast of The Foreigner?
I had almost gotten the part of Ellard in Silver Spring Stage’s production almost 30 years ago. It came down to me and another actor. He got the part, but had to leave the cast right before production. I was asked to step in, but had already gotten a role in another show. I’ve always loved the show, and had to wait 30 years to appear in it.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to this character?
I’m playing Froggy LeSueur, Charlie’s army buddy. Froggy always tries to keep an optimistic outlook on life, has a somewhat sarcastic edge to him, and is a good friend. I hope I hit all three.
What were some of the challenges you faced while learning your role and how did Director Bruce Hirsch help you with these challenges?
I find having long monologues with a lot of action to be more difficult than dialogue. I have one section in the show like this, and Bruce helped me to break it down and build up the frustration I have with Charley as we open the show.
What does The Foreigner have to say to today’s audiences?
Don’t vote for the Donald! (are you going to include that???) Seriously, we think we have come a long ways with racism and race relations. In some ways we have, but in many we have not. While the show’s story may seem a bit simplistic at times, it is quite an accurate reflection of how far we have to go.
Which character is most like you and why and how?
I am more of a Charlie; I can be very extroverted, but often like to be alone and not bothered with other people.
What are your favorite lines that you recite and your favorite lines that other characters recite in The Foreigner?
“I was given that by one of the aborigines of Canada.” You’ll just have to wait to see what that refers to!
Where are you appearing next on the stage after The Foreigner ends its run?
I don’t have any plans right now; I used to do a lot more theatre in my younger days. It’s difficult with job responsibilities, and the roles for more “mature” men are not as available. Plus, I get very greedy with my time, and so long travel is out. Fortunately, with the Arts Barn hosting multiple theatre groups, it’s an ideal place for me to perform.
What do you want audience members to take away with them after seeing you perform in The Foreigner?
Than an old dog can learn new lines!!! (That assumes I don’t go up during a performance, we’ll just have to see about that too!)
The Foreigner plays from May 13-29, 2016 at Sandy Spring Theatre Group performing at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn – 311 Kent Square Road, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 258-6394, or purchase them online.
Meet The Cast of Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘The Foreigner’ Part 1: Rob Milanich.
Meet the Cast of Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘The Foreigner’ Part 2: Paul Noga.