The Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert's Historic District will open its new production of Larry Shue's much loved play, The Foreigner, this Friday night, September 3. The Foreigner will run through October 16.
Four time AriZoni Award winner Lori Towne, returns to Hale Theatre where she directed last season's very popular production of James Sherman's Beau Jest. The cast includes newcomer Eric Brekke as Charlie Baker (the foreigner of the title), Robert Holt as Sergeant Froggy LeSueur, Rob Stuart as the Rev. David Lee Marshall, Barbara McGrath as Betty Meeks, Scott McGee as Owen, Mallory Adams as Catherine Simms and Stetson Holliday as Ellard Simms.
The Examiner sat down for a nice chat with excited newcomer Eric Brekke who has the lead role in Hale's new production.
Q: You are the foreigner in Larry Shue's The Foreigner at Hale Theatre. How will you make Charlie fresh and new?
A: I think I am a little bit younger than the traditional casting for the role of Charlie. I am trying to make him more youthful. We have tried many different approaches to the character. We decided that what works best for him is to make him as likeable as possible even though he appears not to like himself very well. I believe the youth factor is really going to make it new. I think more people can identify with the younger, not so sure of his life, Charlie.
Q: Have you done any other shows with at Hale?
A: This is my first show with them. It has been an honor and a privilege to work at the Hale Theatre. I am so impressed with the talented group of people that have come together to put on this play, both seasoned professionals and newcomers as well, like me. I am very happy and proud that I got this opportunity.
Q: You took a hiatus from acting for personal reasons. What gave you the bug to return?
A: After I got married I decided that I had to provide for my family so I took a long break. My son was born almost eleven months ago. My wife and our families saw that I really wanted to try pursue acting and after our son was born that I became more motivated to return to the theater.
I am so grateful to have such a loving and supportive family. With their help and encouragement and the inspiration of my son, I have been able to start up again and pursue my dream of acting. I want to be able to tell my son with confidence that, when he is older, he can do anything he puts his mind to, that nothing should stand in the way of the pursuit his dreams.
Q: What other Valley theater companies have you worked with?
A: This is my first play in the Valley. I have worked with Arizona Play Makers in Flagstaff. Other than that, my experience has been solely with the college theater at NAU.
Q: Do you have any funny/odd stage mishaps that you have had to deal with over the years?
A: Yes, but mostly with missed cues. A couple of times fellow actors missed cues to come on stage and I was left alone to improvise impromptu monologues. It may have only lasted ten seconds but it felt like an eternity.
Q: Do you have a favorite role that you've played?
A: I played CC Showers in The Diviners. It's a play about the Great Depression, a very tragic story. CC is a fallen preacher and playing him has been the most challenging role for me to date, that is, until Charlie in The Foreigner, of course.
Q: Are there any roles that you would like to play?
A: In High School, I was in Of Mice and Men. I love that play and would love the opportunity to play Lennie in a full professional production.
Q: What's next for you?
A: My wife and son are in Las Cruces and I am going to join them there. We plan on making Las Cruces our hub for now. I am looking for an agent and will try for more acting opportunities in the Valley, auditioning for a lot of other companies, so I can have as much experience as possible.
For more information about The Foreigner, performance schedules and/or ticket prices and availability, please contact Hale Centre Theatre directly either ON LINE or the box office at (480)-497-1181.
Hale Centre Theatre 50 West Page Ave, Gilbert 85233