Spotlight: Greg Hildreth

May 6, 2012

Thrilled to bring you a new interview with the fantastic Greg Hildreth! You know him from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and now he’s currently making magic in Peter & The Starcatcher. Check out what Greg has to say about the show, working with Alex Timbers and how he loves to spend his free time.

Can you give us a brief insight into your theater background?

I grew up in Boston and from a very early age belonged to a theatre company called Neighborhood Children’s Theatre which is still around today. I was involved with that company through high school. I attended Boston University’s Theatre program and while I was there I studied for a semester at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. I moved to NYC in the fall of 2006 and have been pounding the pavement since

What first attracted you to Peter & The Starcatcher?

A lot of the best aspects of this show are things that attracted me to being an actor in the first place: storytelling, using your imagination, working in a tight knit ensemble.

I saw the show a few times at NYTW and fell in love. That size house seemed perfect for a magical show such as this. Was there any hesitation making that jump to Broadway and keeping that audience involvement? Were you skeptical at all about how the show would be received?

Whenever you take something that is rare and a bit outside-of-the-box there is always a risk that the masses won’t appreciate it. The design team has done a really great job of making it seem just as intimate as it was downtown. Our genius set designer, Donyale Werle, has built a proscenium INSIDE the existing proscenium at the Brooks Atkinson to zero in on the onstage action. And a lot of our narration lines have become a bit more three dimensional in an effort to include people in all corners of the theatre. I think the Brooks Atkinson is a great fit for our show.

The show has some pretty memorable moments and lines. What stands out to you the most? What’s your favorite part of doing the show 8 times a week?

It is a workout! I like to feel like I’m actually DOING something when I come to work. Its a really fun show to do. It’s so much more engaging than a play where you come in and sit on the furniture and say some witty lines. I love creating the chaos of a storm at sea at the end of the first act and of course there is a very, very soft spot in my heart for the fart jokes.

The majority of the off-Broadway cast made the big Broadway leap – and for a lot of them, this is only their first or second show. What was opening night like for all of you?

We were beside ourselves! It was like a dream. And for those of us who have been with the show since La Jolla, it has been quite a journey. Its amazing to open a show on Broadway where you feel like you have some ownership of the material. I pinch myself every time I get to that theatre and my 6-year-old-self loses his mind.

This is your second Broadway show and your second time working with Alex Timbers. What’s it like doing a show with him?

This is actually my FOURTH show with Alex. We met at Williamstown and at the time I was still living in Boston. He asked me that summer if I would move to NYC to do a play that he was directing. It was Hell House at St. Ann’s Warehouse. He said, “If you hate NYC you can leave immediately after the show. If you love it, you should stay.” It ended up that I loved it and we’ve worked a lot together since. It’s amazing to have a working relationship with a person you really admire and respect. I like to think that we have a very similar sensibility — comedy-wise and theatre-wise. After years of working together, we have a great short-hand language/vocabulary that only makes working together easier. Often times I am called upon to translate from Timbers into English for people who are working with him for the first time.

What’s your favorite way to spend an off day?

I love me some Prospect Park! Its smaller than Central Park but less populated. You can truly wander and get lost and not see any buildings or people. I like to get lost there. Its also a great place to meet a friend of a bagel date/stroll.

Tell us a fun fact not many people know about you…

I have a cat named Pigeon who behaves like a dog. Also — some nights the farts in Peter and the Starcatcher are real.

Favorite twitters you follow? (theater and non-theater related)

@TheTweetOfGod, @meganamram, @amycao (for great foodie recommendations), @perlapell and of course @StarcatcherBway

Many thanks to Greg! Be sure to follow him on twitter @greg_hildreth and check out Peter & The Starcatcher at the Brooks Atkinson!


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