We are pleased to give you another actor spotlight, this time on core company member Jason Leupold. This summer, Jason plays Trinculo (Tempest), Alan-a-Dale (Robin Hood), and Witch 2 (Macbeth). Jason is also the music director for our Greenshow.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Oh man, how much do you REALLY want to know?
I'm a born-and-raised Ohioan who's been performing for just about as long as I can remember. This will be my fourth summer with OSF overall and my third as its Greenshow Music Director, which is one of the best gigs around as far as I'm concerned. I also consider myself OSF's resident Hipster (at least when Kevin Glass isn't around), so if you need a good recommendation for some moustache wax, I'm your guy.
WHY SPEND YOUR SUMMERS WITH US AT OSF?
Almost too many reasons to count! From a performer's standpoint, it's always nice to know that you're working with a company and a creative team that really knows what they're talking about. But I think my wife Sarah said it best when she called it "Summer Camp for Grown Ups." There's nothing more refreshing than coming together every summer to laugh, play, and create art that we get to share with our friends and family.
HOW DOES LAGOON WATER TASTE?
You know how sometimes people describe their food or drink as "earthy?" I'm drafting some legislation that states if they haven't taken a nice big gulp of lagoon water, they aren't allowed to use that descriptor..
BEST ADVICE FOR THOSE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND?
The only surefire way to avoid being shipwrecked is to NEVER GET ON A SHIP. EVER. Water is trying to kill us all; when will people realize this?
But if you must travel by sea, follow these tips: 1) Always have a buddy; never let yourself be alone. 2) If things go south, get to a lifeboat! Don't worry, I'm sure there are enough for everyone. And 3) DON'T GET ON THE SHIP IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU MANIAC.
BEST ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO STUMBLE UPON WITCHES IN THE WOODS?
USE DISCRETION. They're gonna say a lot of interesting things, but take a while to really think about what they've said before you act on anything. Also, only drink the potion they offer you if it smells BAD. You'd think you'd want the good-smelling stuff, but you know what they say about flies and honey.
BEST THING YOU'LL GET TO SAY?
"Monster, I do smell all horse-piss."
We like to hold Shakespeare up as the pinnacle of language, but he was (not so) secretly a dirty, dirty bird.
WORST THING YOU'LL HAVE TO SAY?
If rehearsals so far have been any indication, apparently the line "Prince Johnny will have no more luck finding Robin than did good King Harry before him!" is incapable of exiting my mouth without some sort of flub.
Other than that, the classic "See you next summer!" is always the worst.
IT'S NOT USUAL CASTING--A MALE WITCH. THOUGHTS?
What I think is interesting is that the witches as they're described in the script are actually kind of genderless. They refer to one another as "sister," but then we have Banquo saying "you should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so," which puts them into a very ambiguous space. So we have these strange, magical beings that we view as these haggard, ugly women because that's how we have come to interpret witches as a society. But when you strip away that veneer, you have this collection of these very powerful, enticing, magical, and influential beings who shape the course of this man's life, and THAT'S where my focus lies when I'm working on that role.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE?
The depth. Hamlet is probably my favorite play of all time and every time I read it I find something new and understand it in a way I hadn't before. There's just so much to sink your teeth into. And then, of course, you can go from deep, poetic pages full of the heights of emotion to lines like the one above that are just crass and hilarious, which makes both segments just that much more effective. The man was a genius; there's a reason we're still doing his plays almost half a century later.
FAVORITE OSF ROLE TO DATE?
Up to this point, definitely Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night two seasons back. He's just such a fun role to play! He tries so hard to get people to like him throughout the course of the show and everyone just ends up making fun of him, but his level of intelligence is such that he never fully realizes it. That kind of friendly naïveté is a blast in that context..
SHARE AN OSF ANECDOTE WITH US?
How do I choose?! There are just so many...alright, going back to Twelfth Night for this one. There's a scene where Andrew, Toby, and Feste all come home after being out drinking and proceed to cause a ruckus and wake up Maria and Malvolio. It's a very funny scene and we all had a blast dong it, so while waiting for our cue to go on we were all already kind of wound up and ready to laugh.
One particular night, though, one of my cast mates (who, I won't name, even though I doubt he'd mind) looks over at us with a twinkle in his eye, takes a step back, says "Uh oh!" then proceeds to let loose flatulence that the Bard himself would have applauded. To this day, I cannot believe the audience didn't hear it! And of course, as though it were all scripted, our cue came right at that moment and we had to head through the curtain doing our best to hold back screams of laughter and say our lines as well as we could. If any of you dear patrons were at the show that night and thought we seemed particularly merry, you now know why.