PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot The Winter's Tales

By Harry Haun
25 Nov 2013

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Happily, they have each other to pull themselves out of life's little sinkholes. "It's a delight to work with Ian," he said. "He's truthful, witty, creative — and he shares the stage. That may be the best part of it. We are a team. We worked together as a team."

The B-team is not as felicitously cast, coming off best as ominous Cockney thugs in No Man's Land. Hensley liked the sinister stillness of his character. "Brigg is a man of action, not so many words," he explained, "and, when you're playing him, it feels like he's just observing, observing, observing — and then there's a big burst of action."

The way his Briggs fits together with Crudup's Foster depends on the performance you see. "Our backstory changes every time we do it, which is amazing about that play. There is so much depth to the relationship of Briggs and Foster — but what that is, can really change in the moment, and it's still relevant. We love that about it."

Pozzo has been startlingly Dixied-up by Hensley, a Georgia boy. "They said they didn't want any preconceived accents. But the more we read it, the more it made sense to me in terms of the rehearsal process to try to feel it like I would from where I'm from. It just worked out. The language fits beautifully, and it was unique.

"I just love the absurdity of that character, but, underneath that, there is real feeling. People have very specific feelings about this show. There's a humanity underneath it and even Pozzo — a character people hate — has something endearing going on."

As Lucky, Pozzo's luggage-toting whipping boy, Crudup has the longest stretch to make. "The creative aspect of — first, trying to understand a character like Lucky and finding a way to physicalize him and manifest that — has been pretty uphill," he understated. "The living experience that he has is not one that comes easily.

"I've never played that before — or Foster, either. I've never played a tough Cockney before. Foster experiences life in a really cynical way. He's obviously had the kind of life that never allowed him to have a lot of faith in many people. That's a very, very dark and uncomfortable place to go to, and I enjoyed going there quite a bit."