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MEET THE CAST: Erik Olson

Q: Position/Role with the show?
A: Caius Marcius

Q: Brief background about yourself?
A: Proud to have been born and raised in Boulder, CO. After catching the theater bug amidst a childhood of skiing and ice hockey, I moved to NYC to train at NYU's Tisch. After school I joined the resident acting company at The Flea Theater and am now an Ensemble Member of Pipeline Theatre Company. I've also co-founded two theater production companies, Turkey in the Straw Productions in Boulder and The Bower Group in NYC. Go Broncos!

Q: Any previous experience with NYSX?
A: This is the third beautiful and bountious Kevin Brewer play that I've had the pleasure of acting in. I was in the production of Island, or, To Be or Not to Be at The Connelly Theater in 2012. And I was in the staged reading of The Wall at The Access Theater in 2014.

Q: Favorite thing to do outside of theatre?
A: Skiing. Brunching. Biking. Rockaway beaching.

Q: Favorite Shakespeare play and why?
A: Hamlet. Because I want to play Hamlet. I know the play backwards and forwards. Playing Hal is a strong second. Not too original here, what can I say? They're incredible characters.

Q: Three words to describe the play?
A: Incendiary, visceral, relevant.

Q: Why is Shakespeare (and adaptations of Shakespeare) still relevant and important?
A: It's the best presentation of the English language. In a very real way Shakespeare actually completed the English language. His characters and plots and poetry hold up in any era and with any contemporary twist or take. When performed well there is no one that can resist the magic in his pages. It inspires and teaches new generations about the power of language and theater.

Q: What about this production excites you?
A: It is exciting that Kevin is challenging us to bring the audience to extremes of hilarity and extremes of despair, all in the course of one evening. Really, laughing and crying are two sides of the same coin - emotional release. On one hand, I'm excited to get to play the clown, and connect with the audience through physical comedy. On the other hand, the play grapples with an issue that is as timely today as it has ever been, sexual violence towards women. There's a lot to unpack in these few short weeks of rehearsal.

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from watching Lucrece?
A: Some of the more insightful scenes in the play show Sextus' thought process leading up to the titular event. I hope that the audience leaves the show reflecting on how terrifyingly easy it can be for any person to rationalize committing atrocious acts when selfish desire overrides human compassion.

 

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