The Clifton Players present THE IRISH CURSE opening tonight at the Clifton Performance Theatre. This unique intimate space features actors so close you reach out and touch (please don’t!). This particular show is all about a support group for men with small . . well, you can read this interview with one of the actors, Carter Bratton, for more info!
Hi Carter! Thanks for taking time out to speak to us. So, how did you get started in acting?
I came to the theatre after having spent a few lifetimes trying to find where I fit, trying to find a home. The first play I did was a true ensemble piece. I fell in love. I started acting. A lot. Each play though never held the same ensemble magic as that first one–something was missing.
A couple of years ago I reached a point of decision. If I wanted to be a professional actor I would either have to: move to another city or stay in Cincinnati and try to build a professional company myself. I decided I wanted to be a part of building something. About a week later I got offered a part in a professional production of Superior Donuts with a cast of the best actors in town, in this cool tiny space that put the audience in the action. Throughout the process I kept my mouth shut and just tried to soak up as much as I could–these guys were GOOD! The way they played off one another, making each other better was a joy to watch and to be a part of. The audiences loved the show and as we took our final bows that last night I knew I had been a part of something very special. Magic.
We started talking about doing more shows. We started talking about building something. We have: The Clifton Players and Untethered Theater.
Both Clifton Players and Untethered Theatre company members do more than just act . . . for instance, you appear quite handy with carpentry and such. Did you have any other duties for this particular show?
I did a little bit of set work on this show but mostly I got to “just act”. We all have to double and sometimes triple-up on duties and tasks, primarily because of money but we all enjoy having a hand in varying aspects of a production. We’ve all learned a lot and I think in the end doing the tech work makes us stronger performers and more outwardly focused and grateful for the freedom our fellows provide us when it’s our turn to “just act”.
What’s it like to work with equity actors like Michael Bath, Buz Davis, and Kevin Crowley?
Short answer: see answer to the first question. It’s great, they’re great. I’ve learned more about acting and professionalism in the few shows I’ve gotten to be onstage with those guys than all the years prior when I was trying to figure it out on my own. It’s a joy to be onstage with them because you can completely trust that wherever you go they’re going to be right with you.
On the surface, this show’s theme would appear to need male insight . . . yet your director is a wonderful lady named Cathy Springfield. How do you think having a woman at the helm has impacted this play?
Ostensibly the play is about a male issue but at its heart it’s really about loneliness and isolation, which is universal . . . no penis required. Cathy has directed all of us guys a few times–so she knows how to lead us and how to navigate our bullshit. She’s a tough broad with a distinct storyteller’s voice.
Thank you for this opportunity. We’re very grateful for any and all help we can get to get the word out that we exist. When people find out about us and come see a show they fall in love and come back. We’ve realized that there is still a large portion of the city that doesn’t know we’re here. So any help with that is greatly appreciated.