One of the things Ghostlight can boast is a group of devoted participants. From actors to production crew members, many come back year-to-year to work with us again on each production. Today’s interviewee, Nathan Bradley, is one particularly special example and also our actor with the longest commute. Currently living with his family in Alaska, Nathan makes every effort to continue his involvement in Ghostlight’s Shakespeare in the Park every summer, and is our first actor to have auditioned via Skype. Playing Flavius Murellus in the upcoming Julius Caesar, Nathan takes a moment to describe what it’s like being involved from so far away.
How many productions have you done with Ghostlight?
This is my fifth production of Shakespeare in the Park and my sixth production with Ghostlight Productions. I have played Maria/Antonio/Valerio in Twelfth Night, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Poet/Dupin in Midnight Dreary, Dogberry/Vergas/Watch in Much Ado About Nothing, and Prince/Paris in Romeo and Juliet.
You’ve spent the past several years living some distance from Scranton: talk about where you live and what you do!
After Romeo and Juliet, I married my wife, Elizabeth, and moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia. After juggling several jobs for a few years, I was hired as a high school language arts teacher in Napaskiak, AK. Napskiak is a small village in bush Alaska comprised almost entirely of Yup'ik Eskimos. There are no roads leading in or out (or around) the village; the only way in or out is by plane or boat unless the river is frozen, then you can drive to some of the neighboring towns on the frozen river.
What’s it like learning a part this far from the production site and remainder of the cast? Describe your process and any roadblocks or perks.
Under different conditions, this would be a lot more difficult. Since I only really interact with the audience, it is not very difficult to learn the part. Nonetheless, I still feel removed from the production as I have not yet integrated myself into the ensemble. It feels more like preparing for an audition than an actual performance.
What keeps you coming back to Ghostlight?
The people keep me coming back. Some people come and go, but at the core you have the Strayers and the Kemmerers and several other awesome people that I love to work with. Even when I couldn't perform, I would drive up to see the productions of Shakespeare in the Park. Also, I LOVE Shakespeare. The language is addicting and the stories are wonderful. I can't resist the opportunity to work on a Shakespeare play with some of my favorite people.
Are you involved in theater where you live?
I am currently finishing writing a drama curriculum for my school district so we can offer theatre arts as an elective. The current students just finished a production of "The Hungry Giant of the Tundra" which is an adaptation of a picture book that is an adaptation of a Yup'ik tale. It is a fable about a giant who eats children who stay out playing after dark. I have had requests from a couple community members to direct a community play, but that is a goal for the future.
What character are you playing? Describe who he is.
I am playing Flavius Murellus. He is actually a combination of two characters from the original script (Flavius and Murellus). He is an arrogant blogger who thinks he has more political clout than he really does. Nonetheless, he isn't afraid to actively participate in protests and he openly dislikes Caesar and anyone who supports her.
Brutus or Antony: who’s side do you choose?
As Flavius, I'm with Brutus. I wasn't originally a fan because of his closeness with Caesar, but someone had to put a stop to her and I am glad he had the gall to do something about it.
As Nathan, I'm still with Brutus because he is the more honorable. True, he committed murder, but he truly believed his cause was just. Antony is a shady, opportunistic politician whose rhetoric is too good to be sincere.