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Patrick Ball plays John in The Lover and Bill in The Collection. Ball has been seen on stage previously at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Triad Stage, Theatre Aspen and more. He spoke with STC about exploring D.C. and playing Pinter’s magnetic character Bill.
STC: Have you performed in D.C. before? What are you enjoying the most?
PB: No—this is my first time really spending any meaningful time in the capital and I have been having an absolute blast. STC is a world-class operation and that was evident from the first day at the meet and greet. I’ve had a truly wonderful time working with Michael and everyone on these plays over the last few weeks. Of course, seeing all the museums has been great. The history and character of this city is so rich and so apparent. And I have been to four ballgames already (go Nats!). I think definitely the most fun I’ve had has actually been in the room. I mean, it doesn’t get better than Pinter!
STC: What do you want the audiences to take away from these two pieces?
PB: I don’t know! I guess I want everyone to go home and admit to themselves that we aren’t, you aren’t and your lover isn’t as simple and easily understood as we may like to imagine. These plays are about the complexities of the human heart, the duality of the social and sexual selves and the reconciling of these seemingly contradictory aspects of ourselves. One must accept that a man is not simply a dutiful husband or a passionate lover, gentleman or scoundrel. A woman is not a lady or a broad, princess or siren, gay or straight even, but that within all of us live a multitude of needs, desires and possibilities. You must embrace all of these different identities—not choosing to see one and ignore the other—in order to ever begin to truly understand.
STC: How do you see the two plays fitting together?
PB: Hand in fist.
STC: What is the most enjoyable part about portraying Bill in The Collection?
PB: Bill has a exhilarating sense of mischief and delight about him. He is a young man that came up from nothing and with nothing. He has used his cunning and his sexuality to get what he wants. Bill has absolutely no qualms about that fact! There is no shame for him in doing so. He is good at it! I am having just tons of fun diving into this character who has such a sense of ease and tact with his sexuality and is so entirely unburdened by conventional morals and mores.
Performances begin September 26. Click here for more information.