As the temporary shutdown of Broadway and theatres around the world continues, Playbill is reaching out to some of our favorite artists to see how they are coping with the self-isolation on a daily basis, both physically and creatively.
The series continues with Tony nominee Chad Kimball, who stars as Kevin T., Garth, and more, parts he originated, in the Tony-nominated musical Come From Away. Kimball earned his Tony nomination for creating the role of radio DJ Duey Calhoun in the Tony-winning musical Memphis, a performance he preserved in the live filming of the Broadway production. He has also been seen on Broadway in Lennon, Good Vibrations, Into the Woods, and The Civil War, while his Off-Broadway credits include Murder in the First, My Life with Albertine, Bat Boy: The Musical, and Godspell.
What is your typical day like now?
My wife and I have settled nicely into a routine—I’m a bit of a night owl, so our bedtime/wakeup routine is a little off kilter, but we both end up having alone time—mine at night and hers in the morning. Upon waking around 10 AM, it's coffee, then devotions, prayer, and meditation time. It’s a difficult practice for sure. I try to focus solely on the quiet time and ignore the phone and all the notifications. It doesn’t always happen! Next it’s a noon Zoom prayer call with my community at church. We just pour out our hearts to God and each other—it’s really special. Then I walk the infamous Norma Jean Meatballs, our two-year-old Frenchton. We wander through Central Park, and she trails the squirrels. She loves squirrels. She caught one once. Thankfully, it got away, but she nabbed a bit of fur.
Find ways to turn outward. Outward kindness cures.
What book/TV show/podcast/film should everyone take the time to consume during this period?
Just read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, about a Christian Dutch family, who during World War II, hid hundreds of Jewish friends and neighbors across all of Holland. They are caught, and you can imagine their fate, but it’s a harrowing account of an even scarier time in our history and puts things in perspective. On TV, it’s been Ozark, You, and Little Fires Everywhere.
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the isolation?
Give your heart away. Give your things away. Give your compliments, your money (whatever you can spare), your efforts. I often find when the isolation overwhelms, I tend to spin in on myself and my thoughts, so I try to do the opposite, which is to think of myself less. Find ways to turn outward. Outward kindness cures. I’m not great at it, but the practice works. I have to remind myself of that.
How are you keeping your creative juices flowing?
My wife and I are scheduling “production meetings” during the day where we spitball ideas and come up with things we’d like to try…Reading and walking and observing—taking it all in without judgment and mulling over all the given circumstances helps to keep my wheels turning.
Are you working on any theatrical projects during this time?
I’m working on Come From Away in my head and absolutely bursting with the thought of what the show will mean to our incredible audiences once we return. I was always excited to share the story, but I think there is a turbo-charged yearning to share it after what we have all experienced in these difficult and confusing times.