Marcus Kyd on Performing ‘The Thousandth Night’ at MetroStage

In her review of The Thousandth Night at MetroStage, reviewer Yvonne French described Marcus Kyd’s performance as:

… poignant, moving, courageous, and appropriately desperate…Marcus Kyd’s tour de force performance as he carries the audience from the soaring heights of comic storytelling to the heartbreaking depths of human frailty, is one that should not be missed.
Marcus Kyd enlightens us about his performance as Guy de Bonheur.
Marcus Kyd (Guy de Bonheur). Photo by Chris Banks.
Marcus Kyd (Guy de Bonheur). Photo by Chris Banks.

Joel: Why did you want to perform The Thousandth Night at MetroStage? What is it about the play that intrigued you when you read it?

Marcus: The opportunity to do this challenging play really came to me via [MetroStage’s Artistic Director] Carolyn Griffin and  Director John Vreeke. I was thrilled that they wanted me to take it on. I had only read it before the audition, but once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. It’s very compelling.

How do you relate to the character you play

Guy de Bonheur is an actor. And a bit of a comedian. He is part of a company of actors that work together. So I feel like we already have a lot of similar experiences. I kind of love that, whatever the genre or period of playmaking in the world, there have always been companies of actors whose experiences may be a bit universal.

How did you prepare for your role? 

I had to drill and drill and drill the language. It was a bear. He and I share a lot in that we are actors, with comic experience, and part of a larger company. But he phrases his thoughts differently than I do. So I needed to sort through that. On top of that, it was really about putting myself in the circumstances that led to this event. And taking ownership of what it is to suddenly perform entire stories without the help of the actors ordinarily playing the other parts.

Marcus Kyd (The Devil) in Taffety Punk's "The Devil in His Own Words" in August 2007. August 2007.
Marcus Kyd (The Devil) in Taffety Punk’s “The Devil in His Own Words” in August 2007.
Photo by Kip Pierson.Photo by Kip Pierson.

You did another one-man show at Taffety Punk. How was preparing for this show different that preparing for that one?

The Devil in His Own Words was a lot different since it was one I was cobbling together. I’m not sure it’s fair to compare the two. The main difference on the other one is that I had to really get out of my own way. I had put so much time and research into the script that I needed to put someone else in charge of directing the show- someone who could be ruthless about guiding the show into it’s finished form. That someone was Lise Bruneau. And she did a magnificent job of honing that play into a whole.  On this show, John and I collaborated a lot. Since we were discovering the material together. There’s a big difference. It’s hard to describe. Both approaches are exciting and challenging. But very different.


The Thousandth Night plays through May 18, 2014 and is playing in rep with Underneath the Lintel, which plays through May 25, 2014 at MetroStage – 1201 North Royal Street, in Alexandria, VA. For tickets, call (703) 548-9044, or purchase them online.


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