In Part 6 of a series of interviews with the cast of Avant Bard’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, meet Christian R. Gibbs.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you perform recently on stage?
Christian R. Gibbs: The world premiere of Unexplored Interior at Mosaic Theater Company. Before that I was in Avant Bard’s Friendship Betrayed.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Avant Bard?
I wanted to work with Randy Baker, and enjoyed my previous experience with Avant Bard.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to them?
I play Theseus and Oberon. I’m intrigued by the shifting balance of “duty” and “desire,” and how both Oberon and Theseus function in their respective worlds.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your characters?
It’s about getting what you want when you want it, but force doesn’t always work in your favor. These two figures are given glimpses of true love that don’t reflect their initial understanding.
Director Randy Baker has reimagined the show with shadow puppets and a percussion orchestra. For you as a performer, what’s new and different about it, and what are you enjoying about it?
As a performer it’s been really exciting and challenging creating music from mostly found objects as well as animating puppets. The shadow puppetry and gamelan elements support the story so well. It’s been quite awesome working with such talented and versatile artists.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character says, and what is your favorite line that someone else says in the show?
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding Violet’s grow” is one of my favorite lines of Oberon. I love the imagery, the structure, the sounds—it’s beautiful.
“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.” This line of Bottom’s makes me smile every time. Love makes no sense sometimes.
What are you doing next on the stage?
I’ll be performing on the stage called my life—learning, laughing, loving, and living!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Love. Magic. Dreams.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays from January 14 to February 7, 2016, at Avant Bard performing at Guston Arts Center, Theatre Two – 2700 South Lang Street, in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 418-4808, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 1: Annalisa Dias.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 2: Jon Jon Johnson.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 3: Zach Brewster-Geisz.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 4: Linda Bard.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 5: Daven Ralston.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 6: Christian R. Gibbs.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Part 7: Toni Rae Salmi.
Robert Michael Oliver reviews A Midsummer Night’s Dream on DCMetroTheaterArts.