PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Wesley Taylor, Performing Broadcast at the O'Neill Theater Center

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29 Jun 2013

Wesley Taylor
Wesley Taylor

Broadway and "Smash" star Wesley Taylor talks with Playbill about returning to The Eugene O’Neill Theater, the demise of "Smash," his big dreams and why he tweeted that he became pregnant at Penn Station.

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Actor Wesley Taylor was voiceless for the first couple of days he was at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, yet every time he was in rehearsals for the musical Broadcast, his animated mimes brought his characters to life.

That’s just what Taylor does: adapt and transform. The 26-year flits in and out of different performing mediums through which he has already established a solid career. He originated the roles of Franz in Rock of Ages as well as Lucas in The Addams Family and recently starred as Bobby in the Emmy-winning musical-drama "Smash." When he’s not on TV or stage, he’s writing, directing and starring in the critically acclaimed web series, "It Could Be Worse."

Taylor’s ability to transform is perfect for his role in Scott Murphy and Nathan Christenson’s multi-layered musical Broadcast, which is currently in development at The National Music Theater Conference. It spans a period of fifty years in the history of radio and requires Taylor to play a vast spectrum of characters.

Question: How did you end up being cast in Broadcast?

Wesley Taylor: I was at the O'Neill years ago. I did a show called Myth by John Mercurio and that was a great cast, a great experience, and I had a great time here. I wanted to always come back but it never worked out, schedule-wise. I met Joe Calarco, the director of Broadcast, at The Memory Show a few months ago and we got to talking and he told me there was a show he wanted me to do. Plus I'm close to Alan Filderman, who casts for the O'Neill. It just worked out timing wise. I read the script and I loved it, so I came.

Question: What are you thoughts on Broadcast?

Taylor: First of all it is one of my favorite marriages between book and music. A lot of times in a musical you have a very strong score with sort of a flimsy book or maybe a conceptually strong story with not much music-wise. With Nathan (Christensen) and Scott (Murphy), both the book and music excite me.

Question: Why do they excite you?

Taylor: They ask a lot of questions. The show itself has a lot of messages about technology, how we connect to each other. What technology has done in a positive way for saving lives, and communicating, and connecting with each other, and how it has disconnected us as a people, and brought us further away from each other. It’s a series of vignettes with all these different characters and all these different stories and it's something I really enjoy in a story because pacing-wise, it just flows. It’s exciting.

Question: You're quite involved with social media as well, right?

Taylor: Yes, I am. Basically Mitchell Jarvis, my best friend, and I met doing Rock of Ages together, the original Off-Broadway production. We started doing backstage mockumentary videos because the producers gave us these flipcams to advertise the show to put up on its website. We were just like, "This is really boring, filming each other, just eating sandwiches on our lunch break." We thought we should be funny, do something creative with it.



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