ARTIST PROFILE: Kipp Moorman, Much Ado’s Don Pedro and Macbeth’s Lennox

Meet Kipp Moorman, Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing and Lennox in Macbeth in the 2015 Santa Cruz Shakespeare Summer Festival.

Kipp Moorman Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Where are you from originally? Where do you call home now?

I like to claim a dual origin from East Liverpool, Ohio and Richmond, Virginia. Currently all of my stuff is in Los Angeles.

Do you have a history with us, or is this your first time?

This is my first time. I had heard good things about the festival from actors I’ve worked with in the past, so when I saw that Mike Ryan was coming to LA for auditions I went on down.

What has your experience been like working with Santa Cruz Shakespeare this season?

I am having a most wonderful time. Everyone around you is working so hard to make so much happen in such a short period of time and it makes you want to give your best. Not to mention there is an audience here that seems to understand, appreciate and value the work. The company has a lot of heart and I have made some great new friends. It has been one of those situations where you just feel like you’re in the right place and it feels good.

Kipp Moorman Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Patty Gallagher (Leonata) and Kipp Moorman (Don Pedro) in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Photo by C Games.

Tell us about the character(s) you’re playing. How did you approach the role(s)? Was there anything you discovered about your characters and/or the play during the rehearsals and performances? What was it like to work on multiple roles at once?

I love the challenge of working on multiple roles. Each time I think there is no way I can do this and then there is this real thrill when it all starts to come together. Don Pedro was far more complicated than I originally thought. He has a great warmth to him that seems to motivate his actions from a place of love and fun. Then he ends up going through shame and faces loneliness in the end. For Lennox, his greatest quality seems to be loyalty, which lands him on the wrong side of a pretty tough situation. Two completely different journeys that I have really enjoyed being on. My goal is always to tell the best story that I can, and it always helps when you are surrounded by great actors and strong directors. Both of which I’ve been lucky enough to have here.

What have been some of your favorite things to do in the Santa Cruz area when you weren’t rehearsing/working?

I love Santa Cruz. It’s fun, beautiful, crazy and weird. All qualities I hold dear. There hasn’t been much down time yet. We have Monday’s off, so I’ve been going to dollar ride night on the boardwalk. I love the Big Dipper and the Caveman Train. We had a great time at Coasters Karaoke one night and I can’t wait to get out there and explore more. I’ve also developed a liking for the Rush Inn.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play? Why?

My favorite Shakespeare play tends to be whatever one I’m working on at the time. Each one has such a richness to it that really gets into your soul when you work closely on them. That being said, I’m partial to Hamlet, Richard III, and Othello.

Kipp with Mike Ryan and Josh Saleh in Much Ado About Nothing.

Kipp with Mike Ryan and Josh Saleh in Much Ado About Nothing. Photo by rr jones.

What is your favorite Shakespearean insult?

There are many. My favorites are mainly the insults between Hal and Falstaff in Henry IV Pt.1. Stuff like “There is no more faith in thee than a stewed prune”. Classic.

Why should people come to see Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s plays this summer?

There is a good reason that we still perform Shakespeare’s plays. They hold a mirror up to human nature in such a way that they have been able to bridge centuries and remain relevant. The actors, directors, and designers here at Santa Cruz Shakespeare are some of the finest I’ve known and their work is not to be missed. Not to mention this is the last season in the Glen and getting to see these shows in that cathedral of nature is an experience you will remember.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself? Or about anything?

Just that I’m so happy to be here and be a part of this community for a while. Come on out and see us, you’ll be pleased you did.

Tickets on sale now for the 2015 season, which features three outdoor productions, starting with the wickedly romantic Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing, opening July 3; followed by David Ives’s modern adaptation of the wickedly hilarious 17th century farce, The Liar, opening July 24; and Shakespeare’s wicked tragedy, Macbeth, opening August 7. Plus, SCS continues the tradition of its intern-showcasing Fringe production with four performances of the wickedly festive comedy The Rover, starting August 18.


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