In Part One of a series of interviews with the cast of The Foreigner at the Sandy Spring Theatre Group, performing at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn, meet Rob Milanich.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages.
Rob: My name is Rob Milanic, and most recently a year ago you would have seen me as Gabe in Rockville Musical Theatre’s Next to Normal, and in Damascus Theatre Company’s Production of The Wedding Singer in the Ensemble and as Billy Idol. Both of these were also on the Arts Barn Stage.
Why did you want to become a member of the cast of The Foreigner?
I was pulled into the play after the initial auditions when a friend of mine told me they thought I would be perfect for a role they needed, and I knew a little about the play and thought it would be a nice fun challenge, since I have never played a role like this. Also, I have wanted to be in one of the Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s shows for a while.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to this character?
I play the wonderful and kind Reverend David Marshall Lee. David is a very passionate individual, and I can easily relate to that. Since he is a Reverend he also can take control of the situation, and recently I have been learning to do that at my job.
What were some of the challenges you faced while learning your role and how did Director Bruce Hirsch help you with these challenges?
One of the biggest challenges was keeping my voice in a low enough place while using the southern dialect to show I was in control, and Bruce gave careful guidance and ways I can use my voice to get across what David really wants.
What does The Foreigner have to say to today’s audiences?
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Which character is most like you and why and how?
The character I’m most like is Charlie. He doesn’t reveal a lot about himself when you first get to know him, but as he becomes more comfortable his personality is revealed.
What are your favorite lines that you recite and your favorite lines that other characters recite in The Foreigner?
Ooooh that’s a tough one… I would have to say “God Helps those who help themselves” It’s a line that is said during a moment in the play when something fully gets revealed, and well…. You will just have to come and see the show to see what happens there. As for my favorite line that someone else says… “Blasny Blasny…” It’s a phrase said several times throughout the show. It has a variety of different meanings, and honestly, it’s just fun to say in general.
Where are you appearing next on the stage after The Foreigner ends its run?
Well I can’t say yet, but look for me on stage somewhere during July.
What do you want audience members to take away with them after seeing you perform in The Foreigner?
Hmm… I would honestly want them to take away that feeling of being immersed in the lives of people you didn’t know before you walked through the door. It is this feeling that keeps me wanting to keep performing in shows, because through the magic of theatre I get to portray the human experience of being a character I have never been before.
The Foreigner plays from May 13-29, 2016 at Sandy Spring Theatre Group performing at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn – 311 Kent Square Road, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 258-6394, or purchase them online.