Meet Robert Montano of 'Two Degrees'

by John Moore | Mar 10, 2017
Robert Montano Adams VisCom

Kathleen McCall and Robert Montano in the world premiere of Tira Palmquist's 'Two Degrees,' playing through March 12. Photo by Adams VisCom.


Jeffrey, Eric and Malik in Two Degrees

At the Theatre Company: Debut. Broadway: Kiss of the Spiderwoman, On The Town, Cats, Chita + 2, Legs Diamond. Regional: Barcelona, Fallow, Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot, One Shot One Kill  (all world premieres), Diosa, Marty (opposite John C. Reilly). Television: Shades of Blue, Elementary, Blue Bloods, Army Wives, Without a Trace, Sex in The City, Law & Order: SVU, Undefeated. Film: Shame, The Yards, Chicago, Center Stage, Hustling, The Strike, Passionada.

  • Robert Montano. Photo by Jimmy ReedHometown: Bayside, Queens
  • Web site: RobertMontano.Com
  • What was the role that changed your life? It was a play written by Richard Vetere called One Shot, One Kill." I played Sgt. Nick Harris, a Marine sniper at the top of his class. This was May of 2002, not long after 9/11 when I was glued for days watching CNN and wondering what our next step was going to be after the attack. I spent weeks in my apartment watching the news, not eating, losing weight and feeling sick and nervous. I thought to myself, "I have to get up and do something ... something meaningful." So I went to the recruiting station in Times Square to sign up for the Marines. When the recruiting officer told me I was too old to be recruited, I nearly fell over. I felt helpless. So in January of 2002, I was offered the role of the sniper. I read up on all these sniper gods within the Marine Corps. But that wasn't enough for me. I needed to know what the brotherhood was all about. I asked my director, Joe Brancato, if he could set up a trip to Quantico for me to train with Marine snipers. It was there I learned the realities of what our selfless men and women do for our country - the discipline, the honor, the brotherhood and willing sacrifice. I wanted to get it right, and bring that into my work. This play, this story and this character changed my life.
  • Why are you an actor? I like wearing other people's shoes.
  • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: I would go back to being a professional racehorse jockey in a minute. Plain and simple, I love horses. I love the competition. I love the adrenaline rush. It's just unfortunate that I became too physically big to continue on. While some men want to be tall, dark and handsome, I just wanted to be small.
  • Robert MontanoIdeal scene partner: Sean Penn, hands down. He's unpredictable, diverse and constantly surprises you by his choices. He is a creative force to be reckon with. One of the greatest actors of our time.
  • Why does Two Degrees matter? I was given the Two Degrees script in January 2016 for the Colorado New Play Summit. Before I got halfway through, I called my manager and told him this was an important script, a story that has to be told - and that I wanted in. I watch a lot of news and political shows and whenever I'd hear them talking about climate change, I'd go, "A-huh." But I was never really invested because of the climatological jargon. I didn't really know how fossil fuel impacted climate change. When having read this play I saw clearly how important climate change mattered, especially through the eyes and struggle of our leading character, Dr. Emma Phelps. I saw how imperative it is for us to have scientists, advocates and the politically powerful fighting for this serious cause. Two Degrees makes it plain why we must combat the deniers, and the clowns who are only out to protect their own interests. We need to put a stop to it, because this is real. And this is now.  
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I can only hope the subject matter will stir up a conversation about how serious climate change really is. And more important, I hope audiences read up on it, act on it and help in any small way to prevent further destruction.
  • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
    "... calm and understanding." It's not a lot in the grand scheme of things.

Robert Montano. Photo by John Moore.'Two Degrees' actor Robert Montano performed an excerpt from his one-man play 'Small,' which recounts his growing up as a jockey at the famed Belmont race track in New York, at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Ticket information: Two Degrees
Two DegreesEmma, a climate change scientist, is invited to share her findings at a Senate hearing that could define her career and her cause. But if she can’t overcome her tumultuous inner struggle, her dedication and sacrifices may not be enough. Two Degrees was developed at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit.
• Through March 12
• Jones Theatre
• 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Previous NewsCenter coverage of Two Degrees:
Video: How do they make that ice, ice, baby?
Photos, video: Your first look at Two Degrees
Two Degrees: A telling exchange at public forum
Tira Palmquist on Two Degrees: Grief for a husband, and a planet
Two Degrees
cast digs deep into Boulder ice-core research
Meet the cast: Kim Staunton
Two Degrees
heats up conversation on global warming
Opening night photo coverage
Two Degrees: Five things we learned at first rehearsal
Colorado New Play Summit Spotlight: Tira Palmquist, Two Degrees
Video: Look back at 2016 Colorado New Play Summit
2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
Liam Craig, The Book of Will
Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
Mark Junek, Frankenstein
Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
Kim Staunton, Two Degrees


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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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