Artist O’ the Week: David Matranga!

27 Jan
David Matranga in 'Mistakes Were Made'

David Matranga plays theatre producer Felix Artifex in 'Mistakes Were Made'

Actor David Matranga is opening a show tonight, and having a show on a Friday night is pretty standard for this fellow. Houston audiences are fans of David, of course, and between commercial work, television, voiceovers, David has had a busy schedule of rehearsal and performances on the Houston Stage. It seems perfect character study for his current role in Mistakes Were Made, Craig Wright’s one-man comedy about a high-octane theatre producer who has to juggle a lot of balls at once (David can really juggle, by the way, like real balls and things).

Craig’s work might be best known to the lay-person as a television writer on shows like Six Feet Under, Lost, Brothers & Sisters, and Dirty Sexy Money. Stages has a history with the playwright’s work, and MISTAKES WERE MADE is the perfect culmination of one man’s career, having a toe in all waters, keeping all people on-the-line, and the ultimate struggle of maintaining authentic, lasting relationships at the end of the 80+ hour work week.

That’s definitely something everyone of us can relate to (theatre biz aside!). We celebrate the opening of this 90 minute power-house comedy with David as AotW! (Artist o’ the Week, for those “in-the-know”)

David Matranga, born and raised in Houston, TX, has worked and studied his craft all around the country, including a stop at a little place called Yale School of Drama. If he’s not in Japan working on voiceovers or sipping caffeine in a rehearsal hall, you might catch him hanging out at a Houston-hangout (graciously avoiding eyes after last month’s handsome spread in Houston magazine).

Stages: You’ve had a busy season, what roles have you played? 
David: I have been really blessed this season to have such regular work. Very grateful for that. I went from A Christmas Carol (Alley Theatre), to Dr Astrov in Uncle Vanya (Classical Theatre Company), to Felix Artifex in Mistakes Were Made and on to play Dr. Givings in In the Next Room or the vibrator play (both at Stages Repertory Theatre). Before it’s over, I will have played 2 doctors and a theatre producer! ha! I have wanted to play Astrov in Uncle Vanya ever since grad school when I fell in love with that play and its characters! So, when Classical Theatre Company offered me a chance to play Astrov, I jumped at it! And I absolutely adore Craig Wright and Sarah Ruhl!

S: For those who aren’t in the “biz” can you explain how you keep all the roles straight?! 
D: The easiest way to explain it for me is that our bodies remember more than our minds and to bring a full, multi-dimensional person to life on stage is about behavior and physicality as much as it is about the verbal expression of that character. Our bodies tell much of our story. I say all of that to say that, the character is fully in my body and those behavioral differences, however slight, separate things immensely.

S: What do you love about this play? 
D: Well, so many things, but what comes to mind immediately is the idea that Felix wants this play to work so badly for many reasons, both deeply personal and superfluous and he is so blinded by that goal, that he can’t see that the way he is going about it all, trying to control everything, is directly contributing to the disaster. It reminds me that all we can really do is strive to do our best and that we really don’t have control over very much! And I love Mr. Wright’s dialogue. I love his plays and one of my favorite shows of all time is Six Feet Under, so to have the chance to speak his words (and so many of them) is truly a delight!

S: What has surprised you about this play? 
D: Wow, so many things. It can be a bit lonely out there on stage when it’s just you. I was surprised by that feeling. The lack of connection with another person out there. But that contributes directly to what Felix is going through. And it also directly informed me about how important Esther, Felix’s assistant is to him.

David can be seen in Mistakes Were Made at Stages Repertory Theatre opening tonight, January 25, through February 19th. Tickets at 713.527.0123 or www.stagestheatre.com
AotW
Suggestions or comments about the AotW? Email Eva at elaporte@stagestheatre.com.

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