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Shakespeare Theatre Company Affiliated Artist Gregory Wooddell is familiar to STC audiences for appearing in nearly 20 different productions as well as being a favorite teaching artist in our Education Department. This season, he’s taking on a new challenge: revisiting a role that he played 13 years ago. After appearing in The Comedy of Errors as Antipholus of Syracuse in 2005, he is getting ready to bring the character to life again in a brand new production directed by Alan Paul (Camelot).
STC: How does it feel to be returning to the role of Antipholus of Syracuse? How will you approach the role this time?
GW: To be honest, it’s odd to return to the same character I played at the same theater, I think thirteen years later. I certainly have distinct memories of the previous production, and it’ll be my job to let those go so that I can come to this production open and available to a new interpretation. I’ve grown as an actor and more specifically in how I approach Shakespeare, so I’m looking forward to applying that experience this time around.
STC: What do you like about The Comedy of Errors?
GW: I feel like it’s one of Shakespeare’s most underrated plays. People tend to think of it as an early play and not very sophisticated. But for the type of comedy it is, it’s brilliant. And I enjoy the character of Antipholus of Syracuse, in part, because he provides some depth in the midst of the comedic mayhem.
STC: What’s your fondest memory from the 2005 production?
GW: There was a moment when the actor playing Dromio of Syracuse, Daniel Breaker, pretended to be a hamster running on a wheel. It was a hilarious bit of physical comedy. I had the line that caused him to stop his “hamstering.” I would wait to deliver the line to watch him run and run and run on that hamster wheel, a little bit longer every show.
STC: Right now, you’re in rehearsals for our Free For All production of Romeo & Juliet (as Montague), which is also directed by Alan Paul! How do you feel about working with the same director on two shows in a row? Have you ever done that before?
GW: I don’t know if I have ever worked with the same director in back to back shows. I’m excited to be working with Alan so much because he’s so smart and insightful about the work, and yet he’s very collaborative and creates a loose, fun atmosphere in rehearsal.
STC: By our calculations, The Comedy of Errors will be your 19th play with STC. What do you like about returning to STC?
GW: STC has been a creative home for almost twenty years. I love working for this theater because of its professionalism, its high standards and its love for the classics. STC audiences are so intelligent and full of knowledge when it comes to the work. There’s really no need to find ways to dumb down or make the material more accessible. The audiences are ready, and hungry, for the complexities and challenges that the plays offer.
The Comedy of Errors runs from September 25-October 28. Tickets are available now at ShakespeareTheatre.org.
Gregory Wooddell, Daniel Breaker and Victoire Charles in 2005’s The Comedy of Errors directed by Douglas C. Wager. Photo by Richard Termine
Gregory Wooddell as Frank in David Ives’s The School for Lies directed by Michael Kahn. Photo by Tony Powell.
Gregory Wooddell as Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Keith Baxter. Photo by Scott Suchman.