Leading up to the opening of our fifth show of the season, Other Desert Cities, we’ll be introducing you to the cast. A story about the fictional Wyeth family – lead by a mother and father highly regarded in old Hollywood circles – and daughter Brooke Wyeth’s memoir that may bring to light a dark secret that no one wants revealed. The Guthrie Theater characterized the play as “a searing comedy with banter that dazzles and decimates, making it one of the most satisfying grown-up plays of the decade.” Filled with a unique family of characters, we’d love for you to meet the talented actors behind them.
First, let’s meet Brooke’s brother, Trip Wyeth, played by Rob Larson.
Playhouse: In what ways do you relate to your character?
Rob Larson: I also work in the field of media production for a living and quite enjoy the theatre and ‘show business’. The character is my exact age, and I relate to Trip in that I am not very open about expressing my political and personal views. I often hide behind the subterfuge of personality and sense of humor in social situations. Just because we work in the media does not mean we are extroverts. I think Trip is quite shy about his own struggle, and is often not in a position to face it as his family comes with its own great collection of idiosyncrasies.
PH: In what ways are you changed from this story?
Rob: I think often about my own family while working with the great actors on stage. Kevin and Sharon as my mother and father give me a great deal to consider in the ways I interact with my family. I feel very protective over my parents in both cases. I see them in a new light now that I am an adult, as a father now myself (my daughter in just now 7 months old!) – I recognize a new vulnerability and grace in aging.
PH: You’re a busy guy – working at CSS, new baby at home – why did you choose this production?
Rob: I met my wife through the theatre and we both recognize its important place. The standing deal is I can do a show a year, if the right one comes along. Ruthie will one day, if she desires, get involved. The people involved in theatre make it worth the commitment. I think very highly of Julie and Michelle. I have known Kevin through theatre for many years and revere him. Just to spend time with him again is more than worth it. I get to meet wonderful people in the process, and the script is captivating. I had the plot explained to me by a trusted colleague who had seen it at the Guthrie, and by the end of her summary I really wanted to be in it. I like a good character driven show with twists and turns. Well, here it is.
PH: Any special thanks or shout-outs?
Rob: I thank the many people in our town who make theatre so special and vibrant. For me, the work we do serves as the best conversation piece I have in beginning to relate to my community. Thank you, Sarah, for a wonderful partnership and home base. Thank you, Mom and Dad and Mike, for being my own rich family of characters. Whatever familial love gleams through my eyes onstage came from my own home. And thank you, sweet Ruth for making my real life so incredibly full of purpose.
Check back weekly to meet the rest of the cast until Other Desert Cities opens on May 29th. You can grab your tickets by calling 218-733-7555 or by purchasing online. See you at the show!