In the Spotlife: Cory Sapienza of 'Hir'

by John Moore | Feb 09, 2017
Cory Sapienza and Martha Harmon Pardee in 'Hir' at Miners Alley Playhouse. Photo by Sarah Roshan.
Cory Sapienza, left, with Martha Harmon Pardee, plays a trans-masculine character named Max in 'Hir' at Miners Alley Playhouse. Photo by Sarah Roshan.


(The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)

MEET CORY SAPIENZA

Max in Miners Alley Playhouse's 'Hir,' Taylor Mac's story of a discharged Marine who learns that annihilating the past does not always free you from it.

  • Hometown: Denver
  • School: I am a high-school sophomore
  • What have you done for us lately? Teen Chorus in Performance Now's Bye Bye, Birdie
  • Cory Sapienza QuoteWhat is Hir all about? Hir is essentially about a dysfunctional family. It's described as 'absurd realism' due to the exaggeration of the issues it focuses on, which span from transgender issues and the patriarchy to abuse and war. At it's core, it's designed to make the audience truly think about what they're witnessing. The play is extremely relevant in the 21st century, and even more so given recent events.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing Max. Max is a trans-masculine character who the pronouns ze/hir. I'm also transgender, and I use he/him pronouns. Although I can relate to the transgender aspect of Max and most definitely pull from my experience as a transguy, Max has had a very different trans experience from mine. The greatest challenge for me is playing a character who comes from such a rough and unstable home environment, because since I was very small, I've had a loving, stable and supportive home. It's new for me to portray a character who has been forced to grow up so quickly.
  • What do you love most about this play? That it focuses on issues that are so common, and yet so often overlooked. I love being a part of a show that portrays them as they are without sugar-coating them, and I love playing a character who will help bring visibility to the transgender community.
  • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I do all kinds of art. As a theatre kid, I sing, act and dance (ballet, tap and musical theatre), but I also make jewelry, do metalwork and photography, sew, draw and write. If it's an art form, I've probably at least tried it. 
  • Morgan Reynolds. Wizard of Oz. What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Morgan Reynolds, the actor who played The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz national tour, inspires me every single day. I contacted him when I was cast as The Scarecrow in my school production of The Wizard of Oz, and ever since then, he has been so supportive of me, and he is always there to give me advice. Morgan is the reason I have been able to keep doing what I do, and I am so thankful for that.
  • Cory Sapienza, left, with Royce Roeswood in 'Hir' at Miners Alley Playhouse. Photo by Sarah Roshan.

    Cory Sapienza, left, with Royce Roeswood in 'Hir' at Miners Alley Playhouse. Photo by Sarah Roshan.


    Hir: Ticket information
    • Written by Taylor Mac
    • Directed by John Hartwell
    • Through March 5 at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden
    • Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12; 7:30 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 12, 19 and 26
    • Tickets $18-$28
    • Info: Call 303-935-3044 or online at minersalley.com

    Cast list:

    • Royce Roeswood (Isaac)
    • Martha Harmon Pardee (Paige)
    • Cory Sapienza (Max)
    • Marc Stith (Arnold)

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre'sThe Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Angela Mendez of Beauty and the Beast
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Jane Shirley of Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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    ABOUT THE EDITOR
    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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