Rising star’s talent shines on stage

Rising stars talent shines on stage

by Brittney Pickei

“The Laramie Project” by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project and directed by C.J Keith, is coming to the brightly lit stages of San Diego State. From Nov. 15 to 24 students, family and friends can sit back and watch the talented cast perform at the SDSU Don Powell Theatre. The Aztec got the chance to sit down with Xavier Scott, one of the actors in “The Laramie Project,” and ask him about his acting career and role in the show.


The Aztec: How did you first begin your career as an actor?

Xavier Scott: I started in high school and didn’t try acting until the end of my junior year because I had no idea what I wanted to major in. So senior year I just figured I would give acting a shot, and it was then that I was able to act in two plays. The main show was “Alice in Wonderland.” After working on the fantasy adventure, I found out that I had a huge passion for it.

TA: What was it like auditioning for “The Laramie Project,” being that each actor in the production plays multiple characters? 

XS:  (Laughs) It was interesting, in the beginning of the semester we have general auditions and the directors decide from those general auditions whom to call back. So I was called back for “The Laramie Project” and then had to audition for specific roles. For this show everyone was assigned a track so everyone did just a cold read of different characters. In one of them I am just a teenage boy and then I have a completely different role as a president. Auditioning was definitely intense.

TA: Can you describe some of the characters you play?

XS:  I play a teenage boy, Aaron Kreifels, who discovers the body of Matthew Shepard, a young man who was killed for being gay. He is very religious and believes that God has a set path for him. So throughout the play my character is confused and wonders why God put Matthew in his path. Another character I play is the president of the University of Wyoming, Phillips Dubois, where Matthew went to school and playing him was different because as a president my character thinks to himself, “What could I have done as president to prevent this kind of thing from happening to a student?” He feels somewhat responsible for what happened to Matthew even though he really couldn’t do anything to stop his death.

TA: Did you face any challenges with your role in “The Laramie Project?”

XS: There were so many challenges (chuckles). In the play these are real people that we are depicting that are still alive today, and then trying to really understand what they went through without experiencing it can be hard. Aaron is probably the hardest role for me to play in the show because I have to visualize every moment step-by-step of how he got to where he is. Frequently actors will draw from their own experiences and because I have never faced anything similar to what my character has gone through, I want to make sure that the acting is as realistic as possible and that the audience doesn’t disconnect from the story.

TA: Why do you think people should come and see the show?

XS: There are so many reasons why people should come out and see the show. The cast is full of talented actors and I feel like this is a story that we can tell with great passion. There are a lot of aspects in “The Laramie Project” that deal with homosexuals, and people can relate to it especially living in California, it is a big thing right now with the whole same-sex laws getting passed. There are tons of people that don’t agree with that, and that’s what happens in the play with Matthew Shepard, it shows these people that go through extreme lengths to prove a point. The play demonstrates that people really need to understand that just because someone is different, people need to have respect for one another and the choices they make.

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Photo by Brittney Pickei, staff writer