In Part 4 of interviews with the cast of Hard Bargain Players’ Radio Golf, meet Mack Leamon.
Joel: Please tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on our local stages and the roles you have played.
Mack: I appeared at Port City Play House in: Coming Home (Alfred Witbooi) 2016, Stick Fly (Kent) 2015, Blues for an Alabama Sky (Leland Cunningham) 2014; and at Castaways Repertory Theater in A Raisin in the Sun (Walter Lee) 2016.
Why did you want to appear in Radio Golf?
August Wilson plays are one of those bucket list items that I couldn’t turn down. I feel very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to participate in Radio Golf. In addition, I truly enjoyed working with such a talented cast and crew.
Have you ever appeared in a Radio Golf production or any other August Wilson plays? Who did you play?
This is my first August Wilson play. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.
How would you describe an August Wilson play?
I once saw an interview with August Wilson. In it, he was describing an encounter he observed while eating lunch at a café. He saw two different groups of people enjoying lunch in very different ways, but both groups were enjoying it just the same. He described it in such great detail that you could see the scene playing out very clearly.
This is what an August Wilson play is like. Part of his genius is his ability to write characters all having clear, authentic and legitimate perspectives. The way he described those people in that café clearly with each one having their own motivation and personality in such an ordinary activity as having lunch, is the way he develops each of his characters. It’s beautiful!
Who are you playing and how do you relate to your character? Have you brought any personal experiences to your performance?
My character is Sterling Johnson. Sterling has been described as the conscience of the play. He’s a simple, no nonsense, tell it like it is kind of guy. I’ve definitely brought some of my own experiences to the performance, but mostly I molded the character after a great friend, who will remain nameless.
How has Director Terry Spann helped you to mold your performance? What challenges have you had preparing for your role and how did your director help you with these challenges?
This was my first time working with Terry. Terry did a wonderful job of letting the actors find their own character, giving each of us the freedom to explore different options within the given parameters of his vision and direction. It was very much a collaborative effort. A lot of the character discussions we had, weren’t so much about acting but about the character and the show in a historical context. For me, this helped to sharpen the character’s motivation. Every Director has their own style and I can honestly say I have really enjoyed Terry’s process.
What does Radio Golf have to say to today’s audiences?
The show is set in 1997, but there are a lot parallels to current events. What is the price of success and what are you willing to pay? This is a question that the characters in the play have to answer and the answers may be different for each individual. There is no “right” or “wrong”; however, there are always consequences. These are questions that transcend time.
What has your Hard Bargain experience been like and what do you admire most about your fellow cast members’ performances?
My Experience can be described in one word, incredible.
DeJeanette Horne (Harmond): I’ve worked with DeJeanette in the past, and it was a fantastic experience for me. In Radio Golf, he has a tremendous responsibility. He’s the driving force for the entire play, and he’s in every scene. To see the character that he’s developed over the rehearsal process has been awesome. He wears the character like a custom suit, and it looks great on him.
Baakari Wilder (Roosevelt): This is my first experience working with Baakari. I’ve been blown away by his work. He is such an interesting guy on stage. Every rehearsal, he brings something different and new. I predict that it will be difficult for the audiences to take their eyes off of him while he’s on stage.
John Askew (Old Joe): John’s performance is absolutely charming and hysterical. He is fearless and completely open every moment he’s on stage.
Lolita Marie (Mame): I’ve also worked with Lolita in the past. I always say that she is one of my favorite actors to watch. Her performances are always compelling and truthful, and this is no different.
It has truly been a privilege to share the stage with these wonderful performers.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Radio Golf?
I hope the audiences are entertained, because it has been a joy working on this show. I hope the show causes the audiences to think and hopefully they see themselves in some of the characters.
Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, with a 10-minute intermission.
Meet the Cast of Hard Bargain’s ‘Radio Golf’: Part 1: Lolita Marie by Joel Markowitz.
Meet the Cast of Hard Bargain’s ‘Radio Golf’: Part 2: Baakari Wilder.
Meet the Cast of Hard Bargain’s ‘Radio Golf’: Part 3: DeJeanette Horne.
Meet the Cast of Hard Bargain’s ‘Radio Golf’: Part 4: Mack Leoman.
Review of ‘Radio Golf’ at Hard Bargain Players by William Powell.
A Preview of ‘Radio Golf’ Which Opens This Friday, August 12th at 8 PM at Hard Bargain Players by Terry Spann.