Meet the cast: Maurice Jones

by John Moore | Sep 17, 2015
At the Theatre Company: Ruined, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol. Broadway: Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet. Roundabout: Little Children Dream of God. Folger Shakespeare Library: Julius Caesar. Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey: The Learned Ladies. National Theatre Conservatory: Richard III, Charley’s Aunt, Fahrenheit 451, Topdog/Underdog, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Town. Cabaret Theatre: Glengarry Glen Ross, Six Degrees of Separation, Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays. Livingston Theatre Company: Ragtime, Once On This Island. Television: “30 Rock,” “Conviction.” Film: Winter’s Tale, And So It Goes. Training: MFA, National Theatre Conservatory, DCPA.

MEET MAURICE JONES
Jones, Maurice_August 2015Orlando in As You Like It​

  • Hometown: Trenton, N.J.
  • Training: Rutgers University/National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (MFA)
  • What was the role that changed your life? Not so much the role that changed my life, but rather the show, would have to be the 2011 production of Ruined that I was honored to be in here at the Denver Center. Directed by Seret Scott and starring the incomparable Kim Staunton, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winnig play was the first true and tangible evidence that I had ever experienced about how important and socially enlightening Ruined. Photo by Terry Shapiro. theatre could really be. It was nothing less than a high honor to be a part of the telling of that story. There were audience members who had no idea that such radical and violent injustice was happening in the world. I met countless patrons after the show who, with tears flooding their eyes, would come to me and simply say, “I had no idea.” That afforded a the privileged opportunity one can sometimes have as an actor. That is to say in reply, “And now you know.” And that’s my job as an actor. (Photo: Kim Staunton in 'Ruined."' Photo by Terry Shapiro.)
  • What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t an actor? If I weren’t an actor I would doubtless be an educator. I studied English at Rutgers University and would love to teach a course on dramatic literature or acting. I taught music for a couple of summers at the Denver Center Theatre Academy and found working with young children so much for fulfilling than I thought I would. It really solidified education as a solid, solid future goal of mine.
  • James Earl JonesIdeal scene partner: It might have to be James Earl Jones circa 1987 in August Wilson’s Fences. There is a video online you can watch of his performance as Troy with Courtney B. Vance playing his son, Cory. I watch it perhaps once a week to marvel at what pure power on stage looks like. I would be beyond terrified to do that scene with that man, but that’s also what excites me about it!
  • Why does this play matter? As You Like It was written in 1599 and remains a popular play for very good reason. Like so many of Shakespeare’s plays. it is truly timeless in its themes, its ideas and its sensibilities. This play matters in 2015 because it beautifully and comically highlights the fervent, earnest, turbulent and oftentimes wacky pursuit of true love. It captures the giddy speechlessness of awkward teenage infatuation, the fickleness of romantic interest and the importance of patience when it comes to your heart’s desires. All themes that have always been and will always be prevalent.
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of As You Like it? I truly hope audiences leave uplifted and entertained. It’s a fast-paced story of madcap cross Rumidressing, body slamming, guitar playing, forest dwelling, back stabbing, poetry writing, heart professing love! Requited and otherwise.
  • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ... " to “respond to every call that excites my spirit.” ~ Rumi

  • Maurice Jones, who plays Orlando, reads at the first rehearsal for 'As You Like It.' Photo by John Moore.

    Maurice Jones, who plays Orlando, reads at the first rehearsal for 'As You Like It.' Photo by John Moore.

    More 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Molly Brennan, Red Queen and others, Lookingglass Alice
    Maurice Jones, Orlando in As You Like It

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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.

    DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.