Front Row Reviewers

“Merry Wives of Windsor” at the Alliance–an interview with Ken W. Hargis

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

Here’s an interview with Ken W. Hargis about the current production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, playing at Alliance Theater, Utah Arts by New World Shakespeare Company.

Front Row Reviewers (FRR): What is the craziest or most creative way you can think of to summarize the plot of this production?
Ken W. Hargis (KWH): Mix of an I Love Lucy taping and a Shakespeare comedy.

FRR: If you had to describe the process of putting on this show with one word, what would it be and why?
KWH: Blast. It has come together so quickly and with such a wide variety of talent. We have needed to replace a couple of cast members due to emergencies so it has been a challenge but with everyone using their talents to aim for a common goal, it has been a blast.

FRR: What is the most interesting, funny, wonderful thing you’ve learned while working on this production?
KWH: That it takes the entire team, actors, director, and producers to pull off a miracle like this show.

FRR: What do you do right before each performance to get ready?
KWH: I have all my lines on 3″x5″ cards and I run through them three or four times. I also get there a bit early and chat with all the kind folks that come to see the show. It is amazing the diverse backgrounds of those that see our shows. I get a real thrill talking to each one of them as I show them to their seats before I transform into my character.

FRR: What is your favorite inside-joke from the show?
KWH: Baked Beans. Enough said.

FRR: How are you involved in the show?
KWH: Actor

FRR: What is your current role in the play?
KWH: Robert Shallow, Esquire

FRR: What is it about this role that made you want to audition?
KWH: Our great director had worked with me last year on Measure for Measure and she contacted me and asked if I would be willing to play a specific role in this new production. I am quite certain that Mandi (Titcom) was keenly aware that I have no qualms whatsoever about making an ass of myself in front of an audience.

FRR: What experience do you have as an actor?
KWH: Many, many moons ago I acted in shows at my high school, Roy High, class of ’83. I played Robin Goodfellow (Puck) in A Midsummers Night Dream then I went into the military as an oxymoron and traveled the world. I came back to the area some time ago and a friend who is a wonderful actor/producer, Jeff Stinson told me about one of his acting companies. I finally had some time two years ago and auditioned for Twelfth Night and was selected to play Sir Tobias Belch. After a role like that, you get the acting bug and can’t quite get enough of it.

FRR: What is the craziest experience you’ve ever had onstage?
KWH: Two years ago during the second to last performance I had to fall onto a stool. I fell wrong and broke two ribs. Although in some discomfort, the show had to go on so I did not tell anyone about it. Two scenes later, one of the actresses was supposed to punch me on the same side as the broken ribs so I was trying to get her to hit me on the other side. But, being the professional that she is, she knew where she was supposed to punch me a few times and proceeded to do just that. Luckily, I was to go off stage right after that and I ran down the back steps to the outside and screamed in pain. The last performance was dulled by a lot of pain medication and her punching me on the other side.

FRR: What is your dream role?
KWH: Well, since I have a face for radio, any role I play is a dream role.

FRR: What have you found out about yourself as you’ve been performing this role?
KWH: It has helped me in my “real job”. I am able to maintain my audience much better by throwing in a bit of entertainment between PowerPoint slides.

FRR: If you had to get involved in any of the tech, costuming, set design, etc. for this production, what would you be interested in doing?
KWH: My other hobbies include woodworking and metalworking. It would dovetail (pun intended) right in on the set designing.

Jennifer Mustoe from Front Row Reviewers–This show sounds like a blast and hope you all get a chance to see it!

Alliance Theater,  Trolley Square–602 E 500 S Suite E101, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Access is on the west side of Trolley Square, on 600 East. Elevator and stairs bring you up to the plaza right next to the theater! Free underground parking is available. 
Facebook Event
May 9-12 Thurs thru Saturday 7:30 PM, May 13 Sunday 2:30 PM, Fri and Saturday May 17-18, 2024 7:30 PM
Tickets: $20

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers


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