When Adam Brietzke left Shreveport, LA, and returned to Columbia last December, he was happy to dive back into the world of theatre—not only acting, but also stage combat and fight choreography. Both of his grandparents had been theatre teachers, his parents met in the theatre, and he has been performing since he was very young. Adam majored in acting at Missouri State University, and has found the theatre scene here in CoMo to be very, as he puts it, “full and vibrant.”
You may have seen Adam’s fight choreography in Talking Horse’s Truffles and Nougat earlier this year, and we’re happy to welcome him to his Talking Horse acting debut with Mothers and Sons. Here are some thoughts about the play from Adam, who will be playing the role of Cal.
1. What similarities & differences do you see between yourself and Cal?
Like Cal, I am very socially progressive and feel that everyone should put concern and effort into the words they choose to use to talk about others. When I first moved to Columbia I was a substitute teacher and I find a lot of the patience and caring required for that job has helped me get in touch with Cal's parenting.
The biggest difference between Cal and I is that I identify as heterosexual. Truthfully, that was a concern of mine in taking this role. I thought this difference would make it harder for me to get into character. In reality, I've found that this is a non-issue. Once I'm in character I find myself being honest in how I show concern, compassion, and desire. Love is love, regardless of who it's shared between.
2. What is your favorite thing about the rehearsal process for Mothers and Sons?
With a smaller cast we are really able to dig deep and discuss character process and development in a way that just doesn't work with a larger group. We've had multiple rehearsals where we've been able to talk about the deeper meanings in each section and what the overarching themes of the show are. This play is very cerebral and even though it's only 40-some pages, the pacing and social tension give a lot of room to give weight to each issue brought up.
3. What do you hope the audience comes away from this play thinking about, talking about, or asking themselves? (What will they talk about in the parking lot and on the ride home?)
The most important item to me is for people to realize how far we've come- and realize we still have a long way to go. As a straight white male, I know that I exercise privileges of acceptance that other groups don't he access to. At one point in the show Will says "I try to imagine what life was like... but I don't get very far." It's easy to assume because I don't see these injustices that they don't exist, but that attitude prevents progress. I hope watching this show the audience examines their own attitudes of acceptance and social justice. We are a culture of multiple races, preferences, religions, political alliances, and sexual orientations. Those differences should be celebrated!