La MaMa Blogs: 6 QUESTIONS: Sorab Wadia

Monday, September 29, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Sorab Wadia

Actor Sorab Wadia plays Sebastian in the Karin Coonrod/Elizabeth Swadow production of TEMPEST opening this week at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.  Sorab took a break from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.

1. What about TEMPEST speaks to an audience today?
What speaks to me about The Tempest in general, and our production in particular, is Prospero's humanness, his struggle with acceptance and forgiveness. This man has been deeply wronged and spends twelve years of his life honing his craft, plotting and orchestrating his revenge, and yet when all is said and done [spoiler alert!] he accepts the flawed world in which he lives and chooses to forgive even those who have wronged him most terribly.

2. What other roles in Shakespeare’s canon would you like to play? 
 I would love to sink my teeth into Iago (Othello), Lady M (Macbeth) and Malvolio (Twelfth Night) to name only three of many. I'm also in love with the sonnets and have committed over 30 to, only about 120 to go!

3. How is doing a play by Shakespeare different than a contemporary role? 
The deliciousness of the language, both how it feels in the mouth and how it resonates in the heart and mind.

4. Tell us about the last great book you read? 
Going to pass on telling you what the last great book I read was and deflect to plugging one of my favorite novels of all time: Vikram Seth's A Golden Gate. It is a novel set in California in the 1980s written entirely in sonnets, 590 of them...more if you factor in that the index, vote of thanks and the like are all in sonnet form as well . Seth uses iambic tetrameter rather than pentameter and sticks to this rhyme scheme throughout: ABAB CCDD EFFE GG. "While the idea of a novel in verse may be initially off-putting, readers of this tour de force are in for a treat," said a review in Publishers Weekly and I couldn't agree more heartily. The man is a genius.

5. Who or what has influenced your work as an actor? 
Certainly my work as a musician (pianist and singer) play a big role in how I approach text, form, structure and sonority, especially with a writer like Shakespeare. The teacher to whom I am indebted most is Maggie Flanigan. I am also very grateful to have friends and coaches like Charles Tuthill and Alberto Bonilla in my life who keep me truthful. And a shout-out to Andrew Wade whose workshop in Bombay way back in 1996 ignited my passion for Shakespeare and his language.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
It means having a safe haven to experiment and create alongside some amazingly talented and wonderful artists. Thank you!

La MaMa presents


directed by Karin Coonrod
music composed by Elizabeth Swados 

October 2nd - November 2nd, 2014

The Ellen Stewart Theater
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $40 Adults; $30 Students/Seniors; 10@$10 Tickets are sold out!

See all three Tempest productions this fall for only $75  
Click Here for TEMPEST 3 Packages.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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