Acting in Ponds

​Adam Danoff is a multi-talented performer.  He has participated in many Montgomery Theater, Too productions, and has been teaching Stage Combat to our Young Actors' Workshop participants for the last several seasons.  Here he talks about what it's like to be a key player in our upcoming production of ​Aladdin, Jr. ​playing on the Main Stage from May 18 - May 27.  Check on Facebook for some photos of Adam as Jafar and Iago.

 

I wouldn't consider myself a big fish in the world of theater.  Even within the pond that is Philadelphia theater.  I've been working professionally as an actor on the stage and screen for about 10 years now: from tiny community center productions to national tours, from children's puppet shows to horror films drenched in blood.  And after all that, I know there are still many bigger ponds out there.

Performing as part of Montgomery Theater Too, you wouldn't know it.  It would be easy to dismiss the shows on the Project Stage as just "kids stuff;" to ignore them as filler and wait for the next "upstairs" production to be ready.  But to do so would be a great disservice both to the cast and yourself.  I am constantly amazed by and find my love of theater renewed by the young people on stage around me.

One of the things we've discussed in rehearsal is how important it is to "commit to the bit."  I can't tell you how many "professional" actors I've worked with who couldn't get the hang of that.  Holding back that last bit of energy, only partially engaged in the scene, expertly portraying the role of themselves wearing a costume.  Not so in Aladdin, Jr!  The focus and energy of my fellow cast-mates as they get into character is a joy to witness and makes doing my part easier and more fun as well.

My favorite thing about working "downstairs" at Montgomery Theater is completely forgetting how old the members of the cast are.  Across the stage I don't see 10 year olds and 18 year olds.   There are only fellow actors: bringing the scene to life, singing their hearts out, and engaging each other in the magic of Theatre.

And that's a pond I would swim in any day.

-Adam Danoff (Jafar/Iago)

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