Tim Ewing: From Law & Order to Comedic Disorder!
Tim Ewing will be new to Warehouse Theatre audiences when Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike opens on Friday night, but his face may be recognized any way! Having appeared in numerous television shows over the years including The Good Wife and Law & Order, Tim brings his well traveled talents to The Warehouse Main Stage as Vanya in this comedic romp. Teaming up with friend and colleague Mark Waldrop, audiences need to prepare themselves for another fun night in the black box. We caught up with Tim on Monday to talk about his experience in Greenville and his embodiment of this role.
WHT: Given that you are new to our audiences, could you share where you went to school and where you sharpened your skills?
Tim: I graduated from Indiana University School of Music (largest S.O.M. in the world) with an emphasis in voice. I have sung my whole life and still bounce back and forth between plays and musicals. I have studied and coached in NYC the entire time I’ve lived there (over 35 yrs) and continue to work with wonderful teachers and coaches.
WHT: Where are you from originally?
Tim: I am originally from Evansville, Indiana. I moved to New York directly following college and have resided there ever since.
WHT: How have you enjoyed Greenville thus far?
Tim: I’m loving Greenville. I’m just now starting to have a little time to explore a bit. The downtown Falls Park is the best designed and prettiest urban setting I’ve ever experienced! That BRIDGE!
WHT: What’s your favorite part about being a working actor?
Tim: My favorite part of being an actor is being able to get lost in a role. Getting older…and life experience…is a rich gift when acting. Even if the role doesn’t seem to align with my own experience, somewhere in the DNA, there is a vast cavern from which to draw!
WHT: Is there a person that greatly influenced you along the way?
Tim: My parents were great influences to me growing up. They both sang. My dad was in a semi-professional barbershop quartet and my mom was my music and theatre teacher in high school! And she still acts today. I was privileged to have worked with some of the theatre greats as well. Stephen Sondheim in Pacific Overtures, Charles Stouse (Annie) in a musical tribute, Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) in Two Lovers, and teacher/composer Craig Carnelia.
WHT: What’s your favorite thing about working on a script for the first time?
Tim: My favorite part of experiencing a new script is the discovery process. It’s a combination of going on a scavenger hunt and finding the clues in a treasure map! The process of the hunt never really finishes.
WHT: What’s been your favorite part about the rehearsal process for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike?
Tim: I’m extraordinarily impressed with this particular cast that has been assembled for this production of the show. Each actor is very skilled and has brought their A-game from day one. And we have laughed A LOT!
WHT: You’ve worked for director Mark Waldrop on previous shows, right? What’s it like to visit new scripts…new shows…with a director you’ve worked with before?
Tim: Even though I have worked with director Mark Waldrop before, this is our first play together! He has directed me in two original one-man cabaret shows in years past. But this is our first significant book-show together. He is a creative gem. He has fostered an atmosphere with this cast and play that is SO rewarding! I wish that experience on everyone.
WHT: Your character in the show, Vanya, eventually gets upset and lays out his feelings about the good ole days. Talk to us about your approach with that very long monologue and how it resonated with you.
Tim: For anyone who knows this show, Vanya’s second act breakdown and rant is one of great interest. Not only is it a 6-page tirade (a feat unto it self) and from a pure technical stance, I started working on it months ago. But, what can I say, it’s rich, profound, large, messy, moving, gratifying…a living breathing regurgitation of one’s life. Thank you Christopher Durang!
WHT: Often actors find that certain scenes in shows are just flat out fun to play every night. Is there a scene in this show that bubbles to the top for you? That you simply look forward to playing every single night?
Tim: It’s hard to pin point a favorite scene (besides the big monologue). Each scene is satisfying in some way, but I think the opening scene between Vanya and Sonia is particularly absurd and fascinating and sets the stage for what’s to come. Durang’s very definite nod to Chekhov!
WHT: You’ve done an extensive amount of both TV/film and stage work. Is there one area that is your favorite? Tell our audiences what it’s like to prepare for work on each one.
Tim: I have done a fair amount of television and camera work over the years, and of course stage. Each medium has its own challenges and rewards. I’m laughing at the moment, as I think about Nina’s question to Masha in their opening scene about that very thing! But the main difference between TV and stage, with regards to preparation, is time. TV Is fast and furious with little to no rehearsal time. So choices have to be made quickly. One’s inner-imagination needs to be in fast forward.
WHT: Next project is?
Tim: As soon as we close this show, I’ll be on a plane back to New York, and will very quickly jump into rehearsals for a big concert tour with the Tokyo Philharmonic. I performed with them six years ago and am thrilled to be going back to Japan. I will be soloing with them for the month of May. I also shot a guest-spot on a new HULU series called Difficult People, which will be airing soon. We all know the cliche of being an actor. It’s not an easy profession, never quite knowing when you’re going to work or not. But playing Vanya in this production is a gift. And a great reminder: you are where you are meant to be! Thank you!
Get your tickets now and catch funny man Tim Ewing at The Warehouse Theatre in the hilarious Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike!