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.
School: I am a high-school sophomore
What have you done for us lately? Teen Chorus in Performance Now's Bye Bye, Birdie
What 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.
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.
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
• Royce Roeswood (Isaac)
• Martha Harmon Pardee (Paige)
• Cory Sapienza (Max)
• Marc Stith (Arnold)
More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
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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