Seth Numrich - Broadway: War Horse (Lincoln Center, Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence, Drama League Award Nom, Outer Critics Circle Award Nom), The Merchant of Venice (The Public Theater). Off-Broadway: Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature), Blind (Rattlestick), Too Much Memory, Slipping (Rising Phoenix Rep/Piece by Piece Productions), Gates of Gold (59E59), Dutch Masters (LAByrinth). Regional: The History Boys (Ahmanson Theatre), The Cure at Troy (Seattle Rep), Measure for Measure (Chautauqua Theatre Co.). International: The Judgment of Paris (NYC and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Television: Gravity (Starz, Series Regular). Film: Private Romeo. Teaching artist: Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEPonline.org), 2005-2012. Training: the Juilliard School.
How did you get started in theatre? Did you always know that you wanted to be an actor?
My dad (Charles Numrich) is also an actor, he works all the time back in Minnesota where I grew up. When I was a kid he didn't do a lot of acting, but he was a storyteller and would go in to schools and tell stories and give workshops for kids. My brother and I would come along most of the time and help out, or act out the stories that my dad was telling. I guess I got the inspiration to tell stories from him. When I was around 11 I started doing theatre, and one of my first experiences was in a production at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. At some point I realized all of the adults in the play actually made their livings and support their families by doing theatre. Once I knew that was possible, I was pretty much hooked.
Tell me about Yosemite. What was the rehearsal process like? What do you love most about the play?
Yosemite is Daniel Talbott's new play that deals with a very dark moment in the life of a family who live in a trailer park near in the foothills of the Sierra mountains in northern California. I am in love with this play and am so happy to be involved in it. I think it is a bold and daring piece of theatre and I'm very excited about sharing it with audiences at Rattlestick. The rehearsal process has been pretty short and very intense. We've found that since the subject of the matter is very heavy we all need to keep the rehearsal room light while we're working. There is a lot of silliness. But when it comes to the work everyone has been extremely committed and I am so proud of what we are creating together.
You worked with Daniel Talbott before. What do you love most about his writing?
Daniel and I worked together on his play Slipping in 2009 as well as other readings and workshops. I am inspired by Daniel in so many was that it would be hard to list them all here. I consider him one of my closest friends, a mentor, and an enormous force for good in the theatre. Specifically in regards to his writing I am always inspired by the challenge of his work. His words never let the actors off the hook, and the play itself is always asking us go deeper and face our fears in order to give the work everything we can. I also admire Daniel's sense of collaboration as a writer. His plays demand that the actors bring all of themselves into the process, and he allows for growth and change to happen within the text. He is never precious with his work, but rather extremely generous with it and I feel that's a rare and wonderful thing to encounter.
What kind of writing inspires you?
I am inspired by so many different kinds of writing and different styles so it's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I think when it comes down to it I am inspired by stories that are told truthfully. I appreciate when a piece of writing dares to be unapologetic, and when it attempts to honestly explore an aspect of the human condition. I'm in to that kind of art, whatever shape or form it might come in.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work as a actor thus far?
As hard as it is to think of one thing or person that has influenced my work as an actor, it is almost as hard to think of something or someone in my life who hasn't influenced me. I feel so blessed to have come in contact with incredible artists and incredible people throughout my life who inspire me. I always try to stay open to inspiration, wherever it might come from. For example I just saw The Artist and I'm feeling pretty inspired.
What else are you working on right now?
Well speaking of inspiration, I have never really had the notion of doing anything artistically outside of acting, but recently I've had some random inspirations that I might try to write down. One I think is a short play and the other I'm not sure yet, but I'm going to take a stab at it. I also will be running a 12 mile race in the spring, so I'm working on training for that. Pray for me.