If Adam Brietzke, who plays Monty in Violet, looks familiar on the Talking Horse stage, it’s because even though he’s only been acting in Columbia for about a year, he’s appeared in no fewer than four shows here. You may also have seen him as Macbeth at the Maplewood Barn, or as a fight choreographer throughout Columbia for shows like Corpse! and Heathers at Columbia Entertainment Company.
Adam calls himself a “classic Columbian,” who can be found participating in local festivals such as Roots and Blues, True/False, and Unbound Book Festival. Professionally, Adam is the Operations Manager at Inside Columbia Magazine where he does everything from subscriptions to event planning.
Want to know more about Adam? He was kind enough to give us some insight into his process, his views on Violet, and—the most important getting-to-know-you question—his favorite karaoke song.
What similarities & differences do you see between yourself and Monty?
It's funny- I almost always start each role thinking about the differences between myself and a character and by the end I find myself having more in common with the character. Monty is very forward with who he is and what he wants. On first read, Monty comes across as someone lacking emotional intelligence- but I found myself admiring his ability to be direct and confident. I'm much more selective with things I say but that often leads to over thinking and self doubt. I'm also older than Monty is in the play so I believe I'm looking relationships with people that are deeper and will last longer whereas Monty looks for what he wants more immediately.
How is the rehearsal process for a musical different from rehearsing for a straight play?
The biggest difference in the rehearsal process has been that we've done scene work out of sequence to make best use of all the cast members' time. We've also had some nights where we've split into groups to work multiple songs or scenes at the same time. A lot of time was also spent in vocal rehearsals so that everyone on stage would have a strong handle on the music which is deceptively challenging.
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?)
I hope the audience goes home thinking about the obstacles they have in their path and how best to conquer them. One theme that I think is very strong is this show is that some obstacles are more in our head than literal. I know personally, over the last year I've struggled with self-perception after getting divorced in late 2015. I questioned my abilities, my appearance, and my worth. Getting involved with the theater community has worked wonders for me because I've been able to express myself creatively, make lasting friendships, and develop the version of myself that I desire to be. Much like this show, I've learned that happiness isn't something you find or something that's given to you- instead it's something you make.
What is your #1 karaoke song?
Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)