Alex Dipepe, a University of Pacific graduate in theatre arts, plays Artie in “The House of Blue Leaves,” a dark comedy that opens Friday, May 6 at the Tillie Lewis Theatre.
Q: What was your involvement in this and why?
A: “I studied the play while I was a sophomore at Pacific. I did a full in depth analysis of this play, which over the course of the semester, ended up being a 50-page thesis on it. I got so involved and so drawn into the text of this play and when I saw the audition notice in January, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and I had the audition. I’m very glad I made that decision.”
Q: What was your personal experience during the making of this play?
A: “A lot of introspective growth I’d say because this play is very dark. Artie, who is the character I play, has a lot of really bad trials thrown at him. There are a lot of challenges thrown his way and he has to overcome them, they’re pulling him in different ways and he’s really struggling to hold on to who he really is. I had to go back into my past and think of some things that really helped me relate to that a little better.”
Q: What level of anticipation do you have for this play’s first screening?
A: “I’m very excited. Like I said, I’ve fallen in love with this play for 2-3 years now and being able to finally perform it on stage instead of just reading it from a book is exciting. Plays are meant to be performed and expressed, not read or studied.”
Q: Can you give me a quick idea of what the play is about?
A: “It centers around Artie, who is struggling to deal with the relationship between his mentally deranged wife and his overly eager girlfriend who are trying to pull him in different directions in his life, having to stay home and take care of his wife while going off to Hollywood to pursue a dream of having his music be put into films. It’s hard to describe what the play is about because it’s really about Artie. It’s about this day in his life where it gets turned upside and flipped every which way before it finally gets to the conclusion.”
Q: What kind of audience do you think will enjoy this play?
A: “People who really like laughing at other people’s misery because Artie does not have a whole lot of good things happen to him in this play. To be perfectly honest, some of the things that happen to him are funny, they are, in a sick way, they’re funny.”
Q: So this is surely a dark comedy?
A: “Oh, definitely.”
“The House of Blue Leaves” runs through May 15. Performances are at 8 p.m. May 6-7 and May 13-14 and 2 p.m. May 8 and May 15. Tickets are available at the Delta College Center for the Arts Box Office.