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Spencer Scott talks about the upcoming Off-Broadway production of ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Actor and filmmaker Spencer Scott spoke about the upcoming Off-Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Spencer Scott
Spencer Scott. Photo Credit: Yolanda Perez Photography
Spencer Scott. Photo Credit: Yolanda Perez Photography

Actor and filmmaker Spencer Scott chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about the upcoming Off-Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

What was it like to be a part of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”?

Being a part of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” has been an eye-opening experience. Having a group that believes so wholeheartedly in the show and each other is such a rare thing, and to get to experience it first hand is so incredible.

Everyone is so dedicated to bringing out the life of this play, which truly still has something to say even though it was written nearly 70 years ago. Sometimes through our rehearsal process and character work, it still amazes me when something so relevant to today pops up. In fact, at times, themes and dynamics pop up that I imagine are MORE relevant today than in 1955.

What was it like working with Matt de Rogatis, Joe Rosario, Christian LeBlanc, and the rest of the cast?

Wow. That’s not an easy question to answer without taking up an entire day. Suffice it to say, working with each one of them has been absolutely wonderful.

With Matt, he and I go back a couple of years to when we did “The Glass Menagerie” and we built a great relationship on and off stage. Together we’ve been able to accomplish far more than what we each can do individually. I think we complement each other very well not only off stage but on stage too.

With Joe, I’m so glad to be working with him. This is the first time we’ve worked together. He brings a level of professionalism and commitment that you rarely see. And more importantly, you can just tell he loves this stuff. Whereas some directors might just want to tell you what’s going on with a character, Joe is the first one to want to have long discussions and probe deeper and deeper into a situation or scene until something really special is arrived at. I trust him with the work, completely.

Christian is such a cool guy. We’ve had a lot of fun discovering what is going on between “Big Daddy” and “Gooper” because it is mysterious and conspicuous which leads to amazing bursts of creativity and humor. I can remember several times where as we are going over something a new revelation will come that is incredibly detailed, truthful, as well as so funny that we bust out laughing for a bit.

He’s so fun to explore with. It comes with being such an open and experienced actor such as him. His humility is also really impressive. At his stage, he could tell me to leave him alone until opening, but he’s always willing to explore. Even happy to jump into something. I love it. He’s my kind of actor.

The rest of the cast between Alison, Sonoya, Tiffan, and on down the line are just powerhouses. Alison is going to steal scenes if not the show. Sonoya brings humor and poignancy with every breath and move. She’s really something in this role. And then Tiffan. Playing my wife, Mae. I’ve never seen or even heard of a Mae quite like her. She brings a real compassion to the character that I think is extremely hard to convey with Mae. She makes us truly feel like partners.

Also, I have to mention, I’m so excited to be working with Carly Gold, who plays ALL of the No-Neck Monsters, and happens to be my incredibly talented younger sister. She’s got great experience doing the Broadway tour of “Fun Home” and made her Broadway debut in “The Ferryman.” She’s already having an impressive career for one so young. We’ve wanted to do something together for a LONG time and now we can finally make that happen!  

Whew. And that was the short version…

What was your favorite part/experience of this production?

I know this is the worst answer ever. But there really is no moment or anything like that. At least not as of yet. The comradery that’s been built working with such dedicated, professional, and like-minded artists has been the best part for me. I love these people and I love that I get to build something special alongside these people.

What motivates you each day as an actor?

Interesting question. I love the work. Diving into characters and exploring relationships is so fun and interesting to me. If I ever feel bogged down with the outside goings on of the business or something like that, I always bring it back to getting to do what I love most in the world. The promise of getting to do “the acting” is what keeps me motivated.

How does it feel to be an actor in the digital age? (now with streaming and technology and social media being so prevalent)

Honestly, it’s a mixed bag. Streaming has been great for making films and shows even more accessible to people. And the wide variety of work that has come available from streaming services is great for actors/directors/writers etcetera. But other technology aspects such as social media and now the dreaded “zoom reads” can get in the way of what’s important.

Social Media is good for outreach, connecting with fans, and keeping more people informed as to what’s available or upcoming, but when it becomes the center of everything you do it’s just a distraction. The culture on social media platforms isn’t great or healthy either…

As far as “zoom reads” go, it’s been incredibly helpful for people especially during stricter social distancing times when there was no way to meet in person. However, I really hope it doesn’t become a crutch. Especially in acting. You can’t replace the simple nature of being in the room with your cast mates, and having your whole body present with another person. There is no replacement for that. Just like there is no true replacement for being at a show live.

We’ve taken it for granted, but you can’t change the fact that the vast majority of exchanges in plays automatically assume the characters are occupying the same space.

What does the word success mean to you? (My favorite question)

Great question. Success means a lot of things to me. Sure fame and fortune are the standard markers of success, especially in this field. It’s really never been about that for me though.

I wouldn’t say no to financial success haha, and I’ve always thought fame would be nice for about a week before it became annoying. To me, I’ve always measured my success by how my work affected people. If they came away with something specifically from what I’ve created, then I was successful there. It keeps me alive and grounded in everything I do and it’s always a question of will I reach it this time.

It doesn’t matter to me whether my performance is on a Broadway stage, the Big Screen, or an acting class. The bigger the venue, the more engagement (and therefore, success) I can potentially have, but if someone came away truly moved from a performance I gave, then I’ve had success.

What would you like to tell our readers about “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”?

Go see it! I really believe in this production in a way I don’t think I have in anything else I’ve ever been a part of. I think you’ll be amazed at how fresh and relevant this play and these characters feel.

We have a dedicated, all-star cast, untethered creativity, and out-of-the-box ideas, to really bring this show out in a way that hasn’t been seen before. And to top it all off, it’s with very minimal cuts to the original script.

So for Tennessee Williams aficionados, while you may feel you’ve never seen it like this before, you’ll still recognize Williams’ spectacular writing. The look and feel will be different and exciting, but the soul 100 percent remains. And the entire cast is going to blow you away too. Just go see it.

To learn more about “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” or to obtain tickets, click here.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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