Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father

Mike Lew’s tiny father takes the mainstage of the Geffen Playhouse opening June 20th

By: Jun. 19, 2024
Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.




Existing user? Just click login.

Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father

Currently in previews, Mike Lew’s tiny father takes the mainstage of The Geffen Playhouse (with opening night June 20, 2024). Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs the cast of Tiffany Villarin and Maurice Williams.

Thank you both for taking the time for this interview!

Tiffany, was The Ma-Yi Theater Company production of Teenage Dick in 2018 the first time you worked with Mike and Moritz?

TV- My very first show in New York City was Mike’s one act play Mustache Guys with 2G Theatre over fifteen years ago! And Moritz and I first collaborated a few years after that on another one-act play First of the Month with Red Fern Theatre Company.  

Have you stayed in touched ever since?

Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father TV- Yes! There have been many new play readings and workshops between us through the years. And when Mike and his wife Rehana Mirza Lew became parents, I got to be part of their roster of caregivers. It’s a personal relationship I value even more now after becoming a mother myself.  

Maurice, this is not your first time acting at the Geffen. What memories can you share from the 2015 production of The Power of Duff?

MW: Man, I am so happy to be back at the Geffen. I moved to L.A. from New York fresh off doing an off-off-Broadway show… so I had absolutely no money. And getting cast in Power of Duff allowed me to stay in L.A., and it’s kind of just been a wild fun ride since then. As far as fond memories: In Power of Duff I played Casey, a seventeen-year-old inmate serving life for an accidental murder. That’s not the fond memory. The fond part is that I basically had three hero scenes in the play, so while the rest of the cast would be on stage, or getting ready to go out, I’d just be in the dressing room, in an orange jumpsuit, Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father doing push-ups and napping on the equity cot. And at first all my co-stars thought I was like in process, being method, but really I am just always sleepy and do push-ups when I’m nervous. So eventually I had to start getting dressed after everyone went down for start of show so that our dressing room didn’t feel like Rikers Island.

How did both of you land your respective roles as Caroline and Daniel?

TV- I am so very grateful that our years of collaboration laid the foundation for this role to be an offer that fell from the sky. 

MW: I really wanted to get back on stage. After spending so many hours on set and in writers’ rooms, I just really missed the community and physicality of doing a play. So I told my agents I wanna do a play… and after they laughed for twelve minutes straight, they said they’d get into it. At the top of the year the New York production of Fat Ham was coming to the Geffen, so I asked my agents to reach out to the Geffen and see if it was fully cast. They got back to me and said it was, but that when Phyllis [CD at the Geffen] heard I was one, Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father still alive, and two, interested in doing a play she told them she had the perfect role for me. They sent the script. I thought it was great. Taped for Moritz and Mike, and I was lucky enough to land the part.

If you both were to submit your characters on a dating site, what qualities of your character would you list?

TV- If Caroline were on a dating site, I believe her husband Jeffrey and two kids would have so many questions. 

What flaws would you definitely omit?

TV- I would omit that part about her husband Jeffrey and two kids. 

And your character of Daniel, Maurice?

Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father MW: Hmm, I would say Daniel is earnest, playful, vulnerable and a quick learner.

Flaws? That all those good characteristics come in a hard-to-open wrapper of selfishness. And that package comes in a gift bag of immaturity. And that gift bag is delivered on a truck of trouble with authority.

To both of you, what would your three-line pitch for tiny father be?

TV- After a good run with a “friends with benefits” situationship, Daniel finds himself in the very real and raw circumstances of a NICU baby. Luckily for him, experienced NICU Nurse Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father Caroline is on the night shift to catch him as he falls. This play follows their relationship as they both fight for the life of his tiny daughter and his unexpected role as her father. 

MW: Come see tiny father. You were once tiny. And whether you like ‘em or not, you too have or had a father. Bonus line: Tiffany is really really good in the show.

Do either of you have friends who were in a situation like Daniel?

TV- Yes, I have friends and family who have been through the NICU. And I suppose I could point directly to being present in Mike and Rehana’s lives during their own time in the NICU. Being part of this production is so deeply meaningful.

Interview: Tiffany Villarin & Maurice Williams Resonating With tiny father MW: Not exactly the specifics of Daniel, but I definitely have friends who were boys when they found out they were fathers to be and made the decision to become men to rise to their responsibilities.

Maurice, if you had to choose one career, would you choose acting or writing?

MW: Honestly, any time I choose one, I deeply miss the other. So I’m going to say I wouldn’t choose. Hopefully I’m fortunate enough to continue to do what I’ve been doing, which is follow my interests, somehow keep getting lucky, and bust my a** when the opportunity comes. So yeah, if there’s ever a choice, I’d choose that.

Thank you Both again! I look forward to meeting your Caroline and Daniel.

For tickets to tiny father through July 14, 2024: click on the button below:




Comments

To post a comment, you must register and login.







Videos