THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS

Rhett Henckel in \"Dying City\"

Q&A: Rhett Henckel

The actor who plays twins in Second Thought Theatre's Dying City on brothers, New York and Top Gun.



published Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Actor Rhett Henckel, 30, has returned to Dallas to play twin brothers in Second Thought Theatre’s production of Christopher Shinn’s Dying City, directed by Lee Trull. Henckel went to Baylor University with STT’s co-artistic director Steven Walters, and knew all of Second Thought’s founders.

After working in New York (where he still has an apartment) for several years, he’s starting to think about pursuing more work regionally. Later this summer, he and his company there, called the Outfit, will take their original show Jester’s Dead to New York University’s Studio Tisch. Read more about that below.

TheaterJones caught up with Henckel as he was preparing to play twin brothers Peter and Craig in Dying City, which runs for one more weekend, closing July 2.

 

TheaterJones: So you were at Baylor University at the same time as Steven Walters. I understand you both played a lot of "older" roles.

Rhett Henckel: Yeah, I graduated with Steven in 2003. We were both tall and we could grow significant facial hair. I guess that’s kind of what it takes. In The Comedy of Errors, he played my father, I was one of the twins [Dromios]. I played his father. We played each other’s fathers a lot. …We never got to work together in the way that we were portraying characters our own age.

 

What was your first exposure to Dallas theater?

The year I was graduating I auditioned for the Shakespeare Festival here and got cast as Hamlet in 2003. I was also in Earth and Sky in Second Thought's first season in 2005.

 

What is different now that you’re working in Dallas again, eight years later?

Seeing how the theater scene has evolved. It’s really flourishing, with the Dallas Theater Center and the arts center. That’s something I didn’t see in 2003. I felt like Dallas had a glass ceiling in terms of the arts. I look at it now and there are so many great companies and people working here. I think it’s a really exciting time to come back to Dallas.

 

How did you come up with the idea for Jester’s Dead?

New York’s such a saturated market, obviously, there’s so much going on. A buddy and I had this idea for a mash-up the movie Top Gun and Shakespeare. It took a while for this idea to take shape, but once it did, it took on a whole life of its own. We wrote it, and decided that we wanted to keep working with this people, so started this company called The Outfit. We workshopped it around New York, did it at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

It’s sort of a send-up, a love card to Top Gun the movie. We all grew up with it, and we peppered it with Shakespeare. There’s a bit of text from every Shakespeare play in it.

 

Every play? Even Timon of Athens?

The best line from Timon of Athens is in there. Although don’t ask me to remember it now. That was one of our rules. But we keep specific language from the movie too. It’s fluid, it never stops. It’s like a band of players tells the tale of Top Gun, but they’re like a Shakespearean, resourceful group. People who were Shakespeare fans but didn’t know Top Gun loved it and thought it was funny and interesting; and the Top Gun fans who didn’t know Shakespeare loved it. We wanted to put these disparate elements together. When we first started looking at Top Gun we were struck by how Shakespearean it was.

 

Is the volleyball scene there?

Yes. The two choruses are talking about what’s happening, it’s from Macbeth, reporting from the field. It’s a slow-motion, shirtless, sweaty volleyball scene. Somewhere buried in there beyond all the fun, there’s a comment about what theater is and how it can be exciting.

 

What did you like about Dying City when you read it?

It was challenging. This is the first play I’ve done in five years where I feel like the amount required of me is really challenging enough to take all of me, I don’t have the luxury of being half-involved. That's good.

 

How did you get into playing twin brothers?

I’ve spent more time on how they are the same than how they are different. I think of the play as a magic golf club that has been crafted so well that I don’t have to swing that hard to make it go where I want it. I just have to let the club do the work and be a little gentle with it. I think [the brothers are] not too different, they’re very close and express themselves in different ways. I thought Peter would be easier for me to get to and Craig might take some work, but it has been the opposite.

 

Do you have a brother?

Yes. I’m the oldest of three. I was in the car with him last time I was here and was talking to him about this play. Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with my brother.  I feel like my relationship to him is like Craig’s relationship to Peter, so that’s why Craig has been more immediate for me to access. I think about him a lot when I think of Peter, although he and Peter are nothing alike. But that has really served me.

 

Can we expect to see you working in Dallas again?

I’ll have Dallas as long as Dallas will have me. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Q&A: Rhett Henckel
The actor who plays twins in Second Thought Theatre's Dying City on brothers, New York and Top Gun.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit