A chat with Thomas Raniszewski

I had a chat with Thomas Raniszweski, one of the stars of the Philadelphia premiere of Tom Jacobson’s award-winning play THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WAY  the other day.

Thomas Raniszweski

Q: How did this production start?

A: Our director Karen Case Cook contacted Tom Jacobson to stage THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WAY. Tom thought it was a great idea since it hasn’t played in Philadelphia.

Q: It won an award at last years NY Fringe Festival. Does it add pressure to the team? I’m sure some theatergoers who have seen it in New York will go and see your play.

A: Yes of course. Our whole team is working so hard to give justice to the play.

Q: Have you seen the New York production?

A: I have not. But I have spoken to Robert Mammana (who starred in the New york production) and he was very helpful to me.  He gave me strong feedback which I will use to bring my own interpretation to the role.

Q: In the original production, the two stars bared everything at the end. Should we expect the same thing in this production?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you done nudity on stage before? What about your co-star Pete Andrew Danzig?

A: This will be my first time. Even Peter. He only did partial nudity before in the play JUST SAY LOVE.

Q: Are you prepared to be ogled by some theatergoers?

A: I haven’t really thought about it. We are focusing on the script. It is so well-written that in the end, it is the story that the theatergoers will remember. Nudity could help bring people to see the show but when they see that the nudity is an important part of the story….

Q: I know. When I saw it in New York, I felt that there was a long foreplay and I just can’t wait for the two characters to do it!

A: That’s the genius of Tom Jacobson.

Q: Are you nervous on your upcoming nudity? How are you preparing for your first onstage nudity?

A: I am more concerned with shaping the character at this point. I don’t do anything extraordinary to prepare for the nudity since I always try to have a healthy lifestyle. I’m a vegetarian and I regularly work out to keep myself fit. Hopefully, it will show onstage.

The award-winning play The Twentieth-Century Way will make its Philadelphia premier on August 10, 2011 at The Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Avenue.

Directed by Karen Case Cook, The Twentieth-Century Way includes scenes with strong sexual situations and nudity and is intended for mature audiences.

Show times are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8p.m. with added Saturday matinees at 2p.m.

The Twentieth-Century Way will run from August 10 through 20.

Tickets are $18.00 and are available through www.walkingfishtheatre.com  or by phoning  215-427-WALK. Tickets also available at Giovanni’s Room, 345 South 12th Street.

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