Logan’s Latest Run
No stranger to meaty roles on stage and screen, Logan Marshall-Green is currently delivering one of New York’s most intense and brilliant performances in Adam Rapp’s The Hallway Trilogy, now playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. He recently spoke with TheaterMania about this experience, in which he appears in parts one (Rose) and three (Nursing).
THEATERMANIA: The Hallway Trilogy is such an exciting piece of theater. How did you get involved with it?
LOGAN MARSHALL-GREEN: I was playing poker three years ago with some people including Adam Rapp, and I remember Adam was talking about this piece that he was thinking about writing involving a hallway, that would take place in the past, present and future. Three years later, Trip Cullman [the director] called me up and asked me if I wanted to play these roles. I said I’d read it, because I’d been wanting to speak Adam’s words for a long time. When reading it my first thought was, “Absolutely not. I don’t want to play these roles.”
TM: Why did you initially want to pass on the project?
LM: I was scared. I reread it and every single reason for me not wanting to do it was based in fear. Of course, then I said, “Well, then I have to do it.” I’m certainly drawn towards the fear. I decided I had to face it, and I’m glad I did it.
TM: Without giving anything away to readers, how do you explain the need for the shocking nature of much of what happens in Nursing?
LM: As an audience member, you’re buying into the idea that you’re in a museum that’s showing you old diseases of antiquity of centuries ago. As an actor, you have to portray those diseases in a real way. Nobody said that they’re pretty. So many plays, stories, movies, and TV shows deal with diseases, but they deal with more of the mental effects on the person instead of the disease itself and the immediate ramifications of it. That’s what the play is about. It’s also called Nursing for a reason. You have to go fully into these diseases so that you can go fully into how one takes care of someone.
TM: That section takes theater to a whole new level with many shockingly vivid images, including a lot of nudity on your part. How did you get comfortable with performing such risqué fare in front of a live audience?
LM: It helps that I can’t see them most of the time, or at least I try not to. While it’s said in the play that it’s one-sided glass, it isn’t, but the way it’s lit and the focus that’s needed in the scene, it’s very easy to turn it into mirrored glass with my own reflection. That’s allowed me to act more naturally, to quote the play. I can’t say that I’m ever comfortable, but I think I use that uncomfortability and embrace it. I think allowing, allowing, allowing is my mantra.
TM: This is a very technical production. Have you experienced a lot of moments in which you’ve had to improvise on stage because of it?
LM:There are a lot of things happening that we don’t even realize are happening. There are some things that the audience is privy to that we are not. There have been plenty of experiences backstage. There was a blood explosion, which the audience certainly wasn’t privy too. In the Rattlestick green room, there was a tank that pumps blood and it held what was supposed to be the blood for the rest of the run, and it exploded! All six gallons sprayed everywhere! I think that only happens in an Adam Rapp show. We’ve now re-named the green room, the red room.
TM: In considering one of the themes of the trilogy, if some aspect of yourself were to remain behind in your own hallway many years after you have gone, what would you want it to be?
LM: I don’t want to leave anything behind, I want to take it all with me. Unfortunately, I’m very nomadic, I don’t have a big hallway. That’s my big journey in life, to find my hallway. If I were to leave any words of wisdom behind in a hallway, they would be to take your time, be honest with yourself, and walk slow.
TM: In Nursing, audiences get to explore the innermost recesses of Lloyd’s tormented psyche. What is something people would be surprised to learn about Logan?
LM: I would have said that I have a birthmark on my ass, but after seeing this show, I think everyone knows that!
For tickets and more information, click here.