Playing Ron Swanson?


Last night, Ashley Bagwell was playing a magnificent (but extinct) sabertooth tiger. Tonight he’s playing “a straight board, right ring republican father meeting his princess daughter’s girlfriend.”

When he saw the word “whiskey drinking” and “big fan of free market capatalism” in his character description, his first thought  was of Parks and Rec’s Ron Swanson.

“I always play around with it for the first couple of reads,” he said, but then he picks something and goes for it. He said he did wonder if it would come off as a stereotype, but “if no one mentions anything, it’s either a. not a stereotype or b. not close to what I’m going for.”

In a stroke of (inconvenient) good luck, he strained his voice last night, so today he’s forced to take on a lower vocal register.

Despite the strained voice, he feels relatively calm, the most calm he’s ever been going into 14/48. Part of it is exhaustion, since “the shit I’d be anxious about the first day, I’m too tired to give a shit,” but some of it is also his casts.

He’s had at least one virgin in his cast for every night of the festival, and “sometimes you’ve got to keep your shit together so you don’t freak out the virgins.”

Part of it is also the people who are at 14/48. “They’ve invited very talented people,” so you can trust the people in your discipline to come through, even when you “don’t know hat the fuck I’m doing.”

Still, he’s hoping the kindness of statistics will stay with him in the years to come. He’s never had a two person play, but he hopes with all of his second day tiredness that “if I ever get a two hander, please let it be the first day.”

30 minutes until the all company meeting. An hour and a half until the all-company meeting. Some actors are scarfing down dinner to make sure they have time for last minute memorization, but Ashley’s channeling Ron Swanson calm.

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