*Editor’s note: Below is the second in a series of interviews with the cast of Kellogg Community College Theatre’s “Sampled Shakespeare.” The show, which opened last weekend and shows at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday, includes scenes from the original “Star Wars” movies and “The Big Lebowski” set in Elizabethan English.
Veteran Battle Creek actor Gregg Morris returns to the KCC stage this month as Obi-Wan Kenobi in KCC Theatre’s current run of “Sampled Shakespeare.”
We caught up with Morris to ask him about his role in the production.
THE KCC DAILY: Tell us about your role. What drew you to your character/this production in general?
MORRIS: I’m old. I have a gray beard. I saw the original 10 times after my school bus driver told me about the flick. “Greenfield Theater.” (Suburb of Detroit.) I’d drag an anonymous chum to go watch it with me again. (Hey, I paid for their ticket! Don’t judge me!)
THE KCC DAILY: Were you familiar with “Star Wars”/“The Big Lebowski”/Shakespeare before you chose to act in this play? What are your impressions of the original works, and how do those impressions influence you in the current KCC production?
MORRIS: Are you serious? All three of those have an ingrained section of my soul! With regards to Billy the Shake, I’ve done Puck, Tristan and Falstaff. “Star Wars” (the first and ONLY three) captured the whole Joseph Campbell mythology. The rest of the Lucas Embarrassment, while pretty … not so much. “Big Lebowski” just plain frakkin rocked. Loves me some Coen bros!
THE KCC DAILY: What are some of the roles you played in the past and how is your current role different or similar? Are there aspects of this role or the production in general that are particularly challenging as compared to your previous roles?
MORRIS: Sorry. Too many to mention as the paper only has so many pages…
THE KCC DAILY: What about this performing in this role/the production in general are you particularly excited or nervous about?
MORRIS: The “inner voice” inside Obi-Wan’s head that is used for “asides” that only the audience is privy to, a la Billy the Shake.
THE KCC DAILY: Who or what influences or motivates you in this role? In your acting in general?
MORRIS: Watching and listening to fellow humans … in a totally non-creepy way.
THE KCC DAILY: What should people know before seeing this show? What can people do before seeing the show that you feel might enhance their experience?
MORRIS: A) It’s Free. B) Cultural icons. C) Let’s celebrate the New and Improved Binda! Huzzah!
For more information about theatre studies at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/theatre.