We’re talking with Alfredo Narciso who plays the protagonist Monty. The cast of Chad Beckim‘s AFTER. has been noted time and time again for their strong performances, individually and as an ensemble. Alfredo’s performance continues to draw audiences in and his reviews have been stellar, with such remarks as “[Alfredo's] muted, contained performance does suggest a man who is moving through life without being fully conscious, as if some part of his soul has been permanently put to sleep” (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times). We could go on…
PCP: AFTER. is the 2nd collaboration with playwright Chad Beckim, the first being ‘Nami in 2006. Tell us a little bit about your collaboration – what’s unique to you about Chad’s plays? What do you enjoy the most about them?
ALFREDO: Chad is so gifted at creating vastly different characters; every character in his plays has their own voice and cadence, which makes for beautiful music on the stage – hearing the color of his characters in symphony. Chad is also a great collaborator; I find, more than many playwrights I’ve worked with, a willingness to work with the actor, listen to the actor, to adjust what isn’t working and to re-write. That is a very generous and egoless attribute. He is a joy to work with.
PCP: Monty’s story presents an interesting challenge for an actor – portraying someone who has been falsely incarcerated for 17 years. How did you prepare for such a challenge?
ALFREDO: Stephen Brackett said in an interview, and I paraphrase: “I feel a tremendous responsibility to tell Monty’s story”. I concur wholeheartedly. I did quite a bit of research online and read an incredible book that was edited by Dave Eggers called “Surviving Justice”, but the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was watching a documentary called “After Innocence”; in the doc, they followed the life “after” prison of about a dozen exonerees. After (we just can’t escape that word now, can we?) I saw the distant look that every single one of those men possessed in their eyes, I felt an instant responsibility and desire to inhabit and tell that story. It was actually the thing that made me decide to do the play.
PCP: The relationships that Monty makes now that he’s a free man are anything but simple; both Warren and Susie are dealing with their own kind of “prison” (for lack of a better word). What do you think that says for Monty’s future friendships?
ALFREDO: I can imagine a reticent man like Monty would welcome such loquacious people in his life. In my own life, I can be very quiet at times and rather enjoy listening. Being surrounded by talkers, I find myself coaxed out of my shell and finding my more gregarious tendencies. When you live so deeply inside of your head, you have to let the light come to you. But, who knows? That’s the joy of the play; we have no idea what life will bring for Monty once the lights blackout. But we are hopeful…
PCP: What’s next for you after AFTER.?
ALFREDO: I just dropped my computer, so, hopefully, it won’t be a trip to the apple store. For the first time in a while I don’t have anything lined up; I will most likely spend the next little while reflecting on life and choosing what direction to go in. Perhaps, a career as an ocularist? Or a Barbie dress designer? The options are endless…
AFTER. continues this week at The Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd Street
Tuesday – Saturday night at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 3pm are PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN at the door!