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Phil Seifert as Egeon, father to the Antipholus twins.

 

We, at OTE, are thrilled to introduce you to Phil Seifert, a returning SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS’ player. This year, Phil plays “Egeon” in The Comedy of Errors.

What is the role you are playing in The Comedy of Errors?

I am playing the role of Egeon – the father of the twins, separated in infancy, who are the primary protagonists of this comedy of mistaken identity.

Why did you want to be involved in SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS?

My great respect for Aurora’s directorial talent and the opportunity to “come out and play” with a very talented troupe of younger performers.  I am seeking to stay young at heart, by keeping the young at hand. They are all so very gracious about waking me up from my frequent naps to ensure I make my entrances and remember my lines.  Besides, I think Aurora wants some “eye candy” on stage to attract the single ladies from Laguna Woods.

How is this production bringing something new to this story?

By updating the setting to a more recent time and locale and introducing theatrical elements from a time not that “long, long ago,” and a galaxy not that “far, far away.”

What’s going to surprise people about this show?

The creativity of Aurora’s staging in taking a somewhat familiar tale and telling it in a new way, whilst remaining true to the story.

Call someone out by name: who must come see this production?

I would really like to have my son – Daniel – and my granddaughter – Julianne be able to see the show.  Daniel is a much better actor and stage presence (including singing) than I will ever be, and Julianne has a great love for Shakespeare – having mentored a home-school curriculum in Colorado in a year-long Shakespeare project that included being the Assistant Director of a staging of “The Twelfth Night.”

How is this character like you? Different?

Both of us are fairly well advanced in age and, like Egeon, I have made many ocean voyages.  I am well aware of the ways of the sea.

We differ in that I have never “lost” my two children and had to go seeking them amongst the ports of Asia Minor.

What do you love about this character?

His willingness to let his one son go seek his lost brother and his own willingness to leave the comforts of Syracusa to go after him.  His stoic resignation to the “fate” that landed him in Ephesus, and now awaits him because of the “trade war” that embroils the two communities.

What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

For me, it is the challenge of memorizing the lines, the blocking and the emoting.  Also, learning the art of creative gesticulation.

Beside yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

I would love to see Michael Kitchen (of “Foyle’s War” renown) do this role, seeing how masterfully he handled being both Antipholus’ in the 1983 BBC production, with Cyril Cusack as Egeon and Roger Daltry as the Dromeo’s.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?

“A heavier task could not have been imposed, than I to speak my grief’s unspeakable.”

If you could play any other Shakespeare character, who would it be?

It would be interesting to play Romeo in a “leisure world” setting of “Romeo and Juliet”, although the balcony scene could be a challenge and the sword fighting might have to be with walkers and canes.  The feuding families could be the respective children and grandchildren of the love-struck pair.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Having gotten well past the “biblical allotment” of three-score years and ten, it may be too late to ponder “growing up” and just be determined to enjoy every day for what it brings and what new things to learn or observe.  My prayer would be that I stay fully alive until I die.

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

If it were to be someone close to me in resemblance, it would probably be a toss-up between Richard Dreyfus and the Roaming Gnome.  If it were to be someone who knows me best (and still loves me) it would be my son Daniel.

When did you first perform?

I have come late to the world of community theatre.  I did some acting in high school (in the middle decade of the last century) but did not take it up again until the “tractor beam” of Musical Theatre Village in Irvine locked onto me and I became part of that wonderful multi-generational troupe.

Besides this one, what’s your favorite stage show?

That is like asking someone to pick his or her favorite grandchild (for those of us with grandchildren).  There are many great stage shows and each one offers a unique look at a slice of the world’s experience.  Any show with well-written characters and meaningful interactions among the characters can qualify to be a favorite and one to revisit often, much like a good book.

Who do you look up to (as an actor/director/etc.)?

In the theatre world, I greatly appreciate the skill and talents that Aurora, and her mother Dawn bring to their directorial tasks.  Their vision for telling the story before them and for getting the cast to buy into that vision and even amplifying it in production.

In the non-theatrical world, I look up to my Pastor – Philip De Courcy – for his ability to preach and teach God’s Word and for his ability to craft meaningful and memorable phrases that plant truth into the listener’s heart and mind.

What Does your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?

Relaxing after a full Sunday morning at church, being well-fed with God’s Word while serving others there, and then watching whatever good English or Australian TV productions are airing on the PBS channels.  Above all, avoiding the dreck of the political news and talk shows or sit-coms and action-laden “dramas” of American TV.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

Catching my breath, getting hydrated, and then looking around to see what I can do (or should be doing) to help my fellow cast members achieve the success they are seeking..

Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?

That would have to be Kaitlyn Smith.  Having had the great fun of working with her for the past two seasons, I am constantly amazed and amused by her talent and her spirit.

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

When I am not “doing theatre” or attending to the sustenance, sanitation, and security needs of the rescue cat who condescendingly adopted me two years ago, I am involved in a variety of serving opportunities at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, and as part of the volunteer staff for Philip De Courcy’s radio ministry – Know The Truth.

·What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage/the curtain goes up?

Remind myself of Spencer Tracy’s two “commandments” of being a good actor:

Know your lines and cues

Don’t run into the furniture.

ACTOR’S BIO: Phil Seifert – “Egeon”

This is Phil’s third season with SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS having been the shipwrecked Captain in Twelfth Night, and Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet. Phil has come late to the community theatre scene, and has worked primarily with the Musical Theatre Village, Irvine, where his roles have included Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma, Avram in Fiddler on The Roof,  General Ghengis Khan Schmitz in Seussical, and Patrick Martin in Little Shop of Horrors. Phil thanks Aurora and the company of SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS for helping him to stay young at heart, by keeping the young at hand.

Soli Deo Gloria.

SHOW INFORMATION:

This summer, join SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS for Shakespeare’s zany comedy of adventure, mayhem, and mistaken identity! The Comedy of Errors tells the tale of two sets of twins split apart by a tragic shipwreck at a young age. Years later, unbeknownst to them, they have all ended up in the same town, unaware that they are being mistaken for each other.

With vaudeville performance, slapstick humor, immersive staging, and Shakespeare’s comedic writing, this production for all ages is not to be missed!

Bring a blanket or your lawn chair, bring your meal and make it a picnic event for SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS‘ outdoor performance presented by On The Edge Theatre Productions. All performances are held at the Laguna Hills Community Center & Sports Complex’s Gazebo and Town Green.

Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase at this family event. All participants of age 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are sold (cash only) on the day of the show. You may also purchase your ticket early online (class registration). No refunds or transfers for this event. Call (949) 707-2680 for more information.

Performances @ 7 pm, August 3rd & 4th, 10th & 11th, 17th & 18th. Tickets $10
Age 12 and under free. All participants of age 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are sold (cash only) on the day of the show. You may also purchase your ticket early online (class registration). No refunds or transfers for this event. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase at this family event.  Call 949-707-2680 for more information.

facebook event for Comedy of Errors

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