Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Beer Flight Theatre Night: Corey Parker

Hello All,

Threepenny Theatre's one weekend run of one act plays will feature the works of three of the greatest modern playwrights (Edward Albee, Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams). Today we will meet another of our actors. Today we are excited to be introducing a new face to our Threepenny company. Corey Parker has been an actor and acting teacher all over the country. He brings years of experience and artistic excellence to our stage, and we are excited to have him on the blog today.

Corey Parker - Peter

Welcome to the blog. What is your name and what show are you performing?

My name is Corey Parker.I am playing Peter in Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.

How did you start acting?

 I started acting at the age of three, after my father's death. We were living in New York, and we were going around town trying to make money. And then I started in the theatres at the age of thirteen in New York and ended up becoming a member of the Actor's Studio and the Ensemble Studio Theatre and working with Steppenwolf. I've always just loved theatre.

How did you end up finding your way to Memphis?

I met my wife in Los Angeles, and she was from Memphis. We decided to come back and raise our kid here.

How did you first encounter Threepenny?

I knew Matt. I had worked with him some. So when he created it. he told me about it. I'm also a teacher as well as an actor, so I went in and did some warm-ups and exercises with the company at some points.

How do you go about preparing for a role? 

I think it's always different, you know? I think there is always this desire to find this formula, so you can just check off the boxes and be done. You know, the most obvious thing is that you do need to learn your lines, but I think after that you can start to follow your intuition about who the character is and ask yourself "how I can find some sort of connection with him, and what is he really after, or what does he really need or want." And you start to get those connections. They can come from anywhere: from watching an animal, or a painting, or listening to a piece of music. You just follow your heart and you start to find and discover this person.

What are your thoughts on Edward Albee and The Zoo Story, particularly? 

Well, I think Albee is a pretty astounding, amazing writer. I have a high respect not only for his ability as a writer, which is mind-blowing, but also just his brain impresses me. I've watched interviews with him from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I've read interviews with him, and I just think he's an astounding writer. I also think he's a control freak. I think as he became older he just got so controlling over things. Like this play, the version we are getting to do... a professional production of this play cannot do it the way we get to do it. Albee wrote another play that goes in front of this play, and you can only do those two plays together now. So this play we're doing is from 1959, and it's an amazing creation, and I think it should be allowed to be done the way it was originally written. But, you know, it's his play, I guess he has the right to be controlling. It is an amazing play.

Editor's Note: Professional productions of The Zoo Story are also required to produce Albee's piece Homelife, which serves as a sort of Act I for The Zoo Story. Colleges and non-professional theatres (like Threepenny) are permitted to just put on the original one act.

Any thoughts about the upcoming night of one acts and what connections you see between the plays?

I actually got to see the other plays for the first time tonight, and I think the thing that is really in common here is Matt: Matt's vision, Matt's heart, Matt's creativity. And I really respect Matt a lot, and I love watching him put things together. He produces. He directs. He's a powerhouse and nothing seems to stop him, and he works very, very hard. So I think Matt is the real answer to that one

Where can we learn more about you Corey?

I have a website, http://www.coreyparkeractor.com. And I also have an actor blog, which is http://memphisactor.blogspot.com/, both of which you can check out to keep up with what I'm up to.

Thank you Corey. Check back later this week to meet another performer! And be sure to come check out Threepenny and Memphis Made Brewing Company's Beer Flight Theatre Night, opening August 26th at Evergreen Theatre. One Weekend Only!

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