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10 on Tuesday with Travis Turner

1) Show you first auditioned for (and did you get the part)? Oh gosh, who knows? The first show I was in was in elementary school. The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf I think. I'm pretty sure it was 6th grade, as sort of a big farewell to the graduating class as we headed to middle school. I played the judge who was constantly popping pills for some reason? I had a solo number, I remember that. But I can't recall if we auditioned, or if our music teacher assigned roles. I remember during the curtain call I remained in character, clutching my bag of medication as I bowed.

2) Where Are You From? Atlanta, though my family lived in Overland Park, Kansas for 6 years when I was growing up.

3) Currently Working On? Annie Baker's Pulitzer Prize winning THE FLICK at Steppenwolf

4) What's your dream role/production? Emmie Thibodeaux in Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's CAROLINE, OR CHANGE. It's a perfect little stirring chamber musical filled with stunning music, and Emmie gets some breathtaking solos. The arc of the character is just so beautiful and rich. I saw Anika Noni Rose in the original Broadway production, and my friend Melanie Brezill in Court's 2008 production. Beasts. Both of them. (That's a compliment.) I also wouldn't mind taking a stab at the Washing Machine, the Radio, or Caroline.

5) Favorite post-performance haunt? My sofa. With a big bowl of Kashi Go-Lean cereal and almond milk topped with fresh strawberries, a re-run of 'The Good Wife' or 'Scandal' on the TV.

6) Living or dead, who would you drop everything to see perform? Nora Fiffer, Whitney in her hey-day, Bey. But it's the 'drop everything' part that makes me anxious. Like, I'm just not that kind of guy. Fear of missing out is not a thing with me. Oprah? Oprah doing anything near me, I would try my damnedest to be a part of.

7) What's your biggest fear? The version of me who isn't doing something he enjoys or finds fulfilling in a place he loves surrounded by people he adores. That guy's life terrifies me.

8) Describe the Chicago Theater community in three words: Stacked. Unglamorous. Supportive.

9) Fill in the blank: "If I could change one thing about theatre in Chicago, it would be ..... " ...the lack of diversity among the people behind the table (in an audition room). Which is not to imply that there isn't any diversity. There is. We Must Do Better. It's a given that I want more diversity when it comes to casting. More shows should look like Goodman's A CHRISTMAS CAROL Year-round. Not just the holidays or Black History Month. But I would put more people from minority groups in our society in positions of power on the Boards, in the Artistic Offices, on Producer's Row, in the Director's chair. And I'm not simply referring to people of color. We must become radicals in our efforts. Theatre in Chicago should aggressively and doggedly reflect and challenge, lead and inspire, confront and provoke this City, this Region, this Nation, this World.

10) Fill in the blank: "The thing I'd never change about theatre in Chicago is ....... "...its embracing of the storefront troupes, its emphasis on ensemble acting, its various ties to the universities, and Ada Grey reviews (EDITOR NOTE: 11 year-old reviewer; adagray.blogspot.com).

THE FLICK is currently playing at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1650 N. Halsted St.) through May 8th, 2016. Tickets range from $20 - $89 (along with day-off and student discounts available) and can be purchased atwww.steppenwolf.org or by calling (312) 335-1650.


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From This Author Misha Davenport