Lance Carter is a bit of an acting renaissance man. He has performed on stage, in commercials, television and film. Currently he can be found treading the boards as Charles Strickland in the Different Stages production of “Race”, through October 4th.
“Race”, by multiple award wining playwright David Mamet explores race, guilt, and the lies people tell when talking about this sensitive subject.
David Mamet has a very distinctive style of writing, which is crafted with a cynical, street-smart edge. He writes his characters with over lapping dialogue and uses italics or punctuation to draw attention to certain words or phrases as character insights. So what is it like to work on a show with dialogue that is distinct?
“David Mamet. Writes. With. A lot. Of. Periods.
I’d never done a full-length play of his before (I did some scenes in college) and wrapping my mind and mouth around the words and sentences was a bit challenging at first. Eventually though, things do fall into place and it seems sort of natural. I’ve always to try my hand at Mamet so I’m really happy I’m getting the chance.”
In the show, Lance plays Charles Strickland, who is a wealthy man who has never had the word “No” said to him, and is accused of rape, which is the catalyst for the play. What is the process for tackling this character? “Well, I’m really spoiled so I actually don’t know what it’s like to be told, ‘No.’ I’m joking unfortunately. You know, I actually thought of him like a male version of Paris Hilton. Once I started to think of him like that, things just started falling into place. I just wish I could have found a tiny dog to carry around with me during my scenes.
He’s very entitled and thinks he can get his way. He’s probably never been in this much trouble in his life and up until a certain point, thinks things will be ok.”
This play broaches some very socially sensitive subjects – what types of conversations do you hope people are walking out and having after seeing the show? “You know, even though the subject matter is heavy, it’s actually a really funny show. We have a couple really funny lines right in the first couple minutes of the show and it feels like people are a bit hesitant to laugh. I think once people get warmed up, they’re able to see the humor. And I think with the humor, people will, hopefully, be able to look at the subject of race from a different angle.
There are some lines of dialogue that would make my mom blush – who am I kidding, no she wouldn’t. I’m sure it would make someone’s mom blush though – and there are definitely some dramatic moments that only Mamet can bring about but ultimately I just want people to have a good time at the theater.”
So, when working with subject matter like this, how does the cast keep themselves upbeat and energetic”
“Backstage, me, Jonathan [Sachs] and Anthony [Hamm] usually end up talking about old movies and tv shows we used to watch as kids, while Brittany [Caldwell] looks at us like we’re crazy. The cast is really terrific and I’m loving working with them.”
To see Lance and the rest of the cast of “Race”, the show is running at Swedenborg Hall through October 3rd. For more information on show times and tickets go to http://www.differentstages.biz
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