When the audience is still talking about the play as they leave the theater, an actor knows he’s done a good job. For Casey Kringlen, that opportunity comes in the world premiere of Expecting to Fly at The Elephant Space Theater in Hollywood on Jan. 21.
Because this is a world premiere of an original work, Kringlen said it offers an actor a special opportunity to explore the characters in depth and discover new complexities to human relationships.
“Its fun to define the character just enough for the audience to stay engaged and not to answer every question explicitly,” he said. “It’s important for me to be involved in a role that asks questions…and challenges the audience to get engaged in the story in their own mind.”
Written by Michael Hyman, Expecting to Fly is a dark, sometimes humorous, journey through the young minds and memories of Jared (played by Justin Mortelliti) and his former lover, Sean (Kringlen). The two men look back on their time together trying to find what was lost and come to terms with their separation. It’s a play that speaks to all audiences and can mean many different things to people.
“Most gay plays focus on stereotypical issues of being gay, not on a relationship that just happens to include gay characters,” Kringlen said. “The theme of this play has absolutely nothing to do with being homosexual…I play a person not an archetype.”
Dealing with such intensely personal emotions requires a special relationship with a co-star, something Kringlen said was achieved from the first reading and callbacks.
“This is definitely the most inspiring theatrical production I’ve ever worked on, and Justin (Mortelliti) is the most inspiring actor I’ve ever worked with too…it’s like working with my best friend.”
That special on-stage chemistry is something Kringlen said director Kiff Scholl was quick to recognize and stimulate.
“Kiff is so wonderful because he lets us into his process and expects us to participate,” he said. “He’s a great lesson on directing for me.”
The role of Sean has taken Kringlen to new heights as an actor, especially as he discovered hidden abilities and emotions that he has never portrayed on stage before.
“I’m truly going places I’ve never gone before,” he said. “I love it.”
Expecting to Fly has preview performances beginning Jan 21. Opening night is Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. and will play through March 4. For tickets, visit www.plays411/fly or call (323) 960-5772.