BWW Interview: Rob Morrow Debuts On The L. A. Boards As SALESMAN's Willy Loman
Known to many television viewers as Numb3rs' Don Eppes or Northern Exposure's Dr. Joel Fleischman, Rob Morrow will be making his Los Angeles Theatre debut as Willy Loman in Ruskin Group Theatre's DEATH OF A SALESMAN opening June 21, 2019. Rob found some time to answer a few of my curious inquiries.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Rob!
DEATH OF A SALESMAN originally won a Pulitzer Prize in its initial outing in 1949, and has won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Revival. Have you seen any of the many, many productions of DEATH OF A SALESMAN?
Over the years, I've seen many productions, but trying to keep them out of my mind as we mount this one.
When did you first get the urge to inhabit the seminal role of Willy Loman?
In acting class in the early years of my career, I often did scene work rotating between Biff and Happy. It probably lodged in my brain at that time. Although, I never imagined I'd be old enough.
What qualities of Willy Loman would you describe as his strengths?
And as his flaws?
Idealism, anger, denial.
Do you find it more of a challenge to take on a frequently done role as opposed to a brand-new character in a premiere no one has seen before?
There's great comfort in doing a masterpiece that doesn't have to be questioned, but I always hope to bring something that may be unique to my work.
You've acted on the theatrical boards of New York and on the West End. Will DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Ruskin Group be the first Los Angeles theatre stage you've acted on?
This is the first full production of a full-length play I've done in L.A.
What do you remember of being a founding member of Naked Angels back in New York 1986? What an incredible list of founding members you were in!
I remember a great comfort in having an artistic home where risks are encouraged and taken. I also remember great joy, discoveries and partying.
You are on the Board of Directors of Project ALS. What impetus got you involved?
My friend Jenifer Estess who was managing director of Naked Angels got ALS, and dedicated her remaining days to raising awareness and money to fight the affiction. I'm one of many carrying the torch.
What accomplishments of Project ALS are you most proud of?
We've contributed significantly to making the cure for ALS and all motor neuron diseases (i.e., Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries ...) eminent.
Are you enjoying juggling Willy Loman with your television commitments? Are you on Billions hiatus right now?
Aside from some music commitments, my sole focus is DEATH OF A SALESMAN.
You've directed short films and numerous television episodics. Any plans to direct a theatrical production in the near future?
I directed a feature starring Laura Linney called Maze, and I'm always developing and looking for new work to direct in any medium.
What Rob Morrow projects coming up can you share with us?
Thank you again, Rob! I look forward to your Willy Loman ruling the Ruskin stage.
For ticket availability and show schedule through August 4, 2019; log onto www.ruskingrouptheatre.com