David Morse on Theater: “It’s totally pretend, but we give ourselves over to it in such an emotional way”

david-morseDavid Morse is an actor who has had a long career in film, television, and theater for over thirty years and has never seemed to take a break.  He has returned to the stage in New York in The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin at the Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre.  He took some time to speak to The Wall Street Journal about returning to the New York stage for the first time since starring in Broadway’s The Seafarer five years ago.

Morse has nothing but the highest praise for his fellow actors, who are members of the famed Roundabout Theatre Company.  He says, “You never want to get too excited about something, but this is a great company. I love not only working with them but watching them work.”

One of the reasons why he doesn’t allow himself to get too excited about a production is because what seems wonderful in rehearsal could have a different impact once an audience is added to the mix.  He says, “It’s such a different thing, rehearsing, and finding our way with the material, from when you’re out there and you’ve found it and the audience gets to be there. It’s amazing how much work goes in to getting there.  A lot of it is using your imagination.  The big what if: What if this was me? What if this happened to me? It’s just amazing where that will take you if you go with it.”

Morse then uses that point to sum up his feelings about theater as a whole, concluding, “I think that’s what so amazing about theater.  It’s totally pretend, but we give ourselves over to it in such an emotional way. We’re so willing to go there when it’s good.”

The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin runs through August 25 at The Laura Pels Theatre (111 West 46th Street).

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