The cast for Amy Freed’s The Monster Builder is built from new and returning SCR actors. Freed’s play—started out as a 2010 Pacific Playwrights Festival reading called Right to the Top—is the story of a ‘starchitect’ named Gregor who maneuvers his way into an historic restoration project, which is nearly locked up by young architects Rita and Dieter. While the young couple idolizes Gregor, they are shocked to find out his secret. The cast have their own favorite architects, iconic buildings and more.
NAME: Annie Abrams
About Tamsin: “She is a strong-willed, street-smart, ex-escort who has social-climbed her way into the arms of starchitect Gregor. She's a fighter.”
Previous SCR: Debut.
Theatre: Includes The Sunshine Boys (opposite Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch); Venus in Fur; Noises Off; Tickled Pink; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Private Lives; Lysistrata.
Film & Television: Includes “True Blood;” “Major Crimes;” “How I Met Your Mother.”
First play I saw: I was six years old and attending the Mirman School in Los Angeles. I saw the eighth-grade production of You Can't Take It With You. I was in awe of the "big kids" When they did this play, they became gods in my eyes because they were making people laugh. Especially the girl who played Essie, the terrible ballet dancer.
Knew I wanted to be an actor when: A combination of moments while obsessively watching “I Love Lucy” every day after school when I was little.
My favorite building: Notre-Dame de Paris
My favorite architecture firm: Greene & Greene
Elevator or stairs? Elevator.
NAME: Aubrey Deeker
Previous SCR: Debut.
Theatre: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Liar (Classic Stage Company); Stacy Keach’s King Lear; The Liar; Hamlet; The Glass Meangerie; Angels in America; Boom; The Walwroth Farce; A Fox on the Fairway; The Grapes of Wrath; Crime and Punishment.
Film & Television: “The Man in the High Castle;” “True Blood;” "Castle," “The Wire;” “The Mentalist;” “NCIS;” “NCIS: New Orleans;” Peter’s Plan; Distance; The Seer.”
NAME: Colette Kilroy
About Pamela: “She is a woman juggling her contradictions. She wants to have a positive impact on the world and seeks expression in designing her homes.”
Previous SCR: Absurd Person Singular; Silent Sky; The Homecoming; Safe in Hell; Tom Walker; Dimly Perceived Threats to the System; The Triumph of Love and Night and Her Stars;
Other Theatre: Lend Me a Tenor; Nighthawks; Quills; Life is a Dream; Julius Caesar; The Cherry Orchard; Measure for Measure; The Miser.
Film & Television: Finding Amanda; Me and You and Everyone We Knew; David and Fatima; The Ice Storm; “Numb3rs;” “Married;” “Without a Trace.
First play I saw: I saw the teleplay of “Cinderella.” When she sang “In My Own Little Corner,” where dreams and imagination can have full reign, I was hooked.
Knew I wanted to be an actor when: Many moments kept drawing me in.
My favorite building: The Musée Rodin had a powerful impact on me.
Elevator or stairs? I take the stairs.
NAME: Danny Scheie
About Gregor: “He is a visionary genius. And he knows it. Which can sometimes be a burden. He speaks German, Portuguese, and all of the Yugoslavics. He uses a defibrillator.
Previous SCR: One Man, Two Guvnors; The Wind in the Willows; You, Nero.
Theatre: Restoration Comedy; Tartuffe; California Shakespeare Theatre; Santa Cruz Shakespeare; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; The Old Globe; A Noise Within; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Pasadena Playhouse; Folger Theatre; Yale Repertory Theatre.
First play I saw: It actually was Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. All I can remember is Cherubino, a boy played by a college girl.
Knew I wanted to be an actor when: I saw Julie Andrews' entrance into Mary Poppins. And her exit. And when she sings to the snow globe about feeding the birds. And the chimneys. And the chimney sweeps. And those lucky British brats who stole my life!
My favorite building: Julia Morgan's Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland.
My favorite architect: Mies van der Rohe
Elevator or stairs? Stairs.
NAME: Susannah Schulman Rogers
About Rita: “She is a kind person, a well-meaning person, who happens to have a yet-untapped well of ambition, steel and grit.”
Previous SCR: Three Days of Rain, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Man from Nebraska; The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler; On the Mountain; Cyrano de Bergerac; The Dazzle; Nostalgia; The Taming of the Shrew; Six Degrees of Separation; A Christmas Carol.
Theatre: All the Way (Broadway); You Will Remember Me; Picasso at the Lapin Agile (national tour).
Film & Television: “Younger;” “Mr. Robot;” The Dairy of a Teenage Girl; Trouble.
First play I saw: I vividly remember [John Patrick Shanley’s] Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. It blew my young teenage mind. I had never witnessed visceral emotion like that before.
Knew I wanted to be an actor when: I saw Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.
My favorite architectural work: I'm going to have go nice and classic: The Pyramids. I'm crazy about them!
My favorite architect: Julia Morgan. I grew up in Berkeley, where she is huge. I love the wood and stone—her buildings are beautiful. I was in one of her buildings during the ‘89 earthquake; since the building was on rollers, it was like being on a roller board. Scary, but also strangely fun.
Elevator or stairs? If I'm alone and it's under 10 floors, I'll take the stairs. Unless I'm carrying groceries.
NAME: Gareth Williams
About Andy: “He is a self-made millionaire who came from extremely humble beginnings. He made his made his fortune designing and building replicas of ‘old European’ models for modern living. He got the idea while spending idle time at a community parks building with a lake, completely alone in his thoughts. He is insanely in love with the greatest gal in the world—Rita!”
Previous SCR: Hurrah at Last.
Theatre: Little Mary Sunshine; Signature; The Last Vig; The Stand In.
Film & Television: Love After Love; 20th Century Women; “This Is Us;” Masters of Sex; “The Mentalist;” “Deadwood.”
First play I saw: A college production of Spring Awakening and it was, I believe, the first production that I was in. My only function was to dispense fog, via a dry ice machine, onto the stage and it felt like the most significant thing in the world. In my 36 years in this business, very few things have ever felt as magical.
Knew I wanted to be an actor when: I watched from the pinrail when David Holliday performed Don Quixote in Man Of La Mancha at The Burt Reynolds Theatre in South Florida. I realized that he could put the audience wherever he wanted them, at will, each and every night. I watched his performance over the course of six weeks and thought; "I might not be able to do that, but perhaps I could learn!"
My favorite architectural work: The Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Spain). Although it looks strikingly similar to his Disney Hall in Los Angeles, it's in... well... you know... Bilbao, Spain!
My favorite architect: I shudder to say this, for fear of being fired from this production, but... Frank Lloyd Wright. I say this because, although not a connoisseur of architectural design by any stretch, I find much of modern architecture sterile, austere, aesthetically pleasing but completely unpleasing to exist in. Mr. Wright's designs are, to me, not only stunning to look at, but inviting to be a part of—Fallingwater the greater of examples. Having seen it, it would be a place I would love to live in.
Elevator or stairs? It would depend entirely on just how many floors I would have to ascend. But, typically, the stairs.
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