MEET ALEXIS COOLEY
Hometown: Los Angeles
Home now: Denver
High school: McGavock High in Nashville, Tenn.
College: University of New Orleans
What's your handle? @wildimaginarium on both Twitter and Instagram
Twitter-sized bio: Theatre artist - director, designer, actor, and producer - with a penchant for geekery and a flair for the outrageous!
The role that changed your life: My first role was as an orphan in La Boheme at the age of 4, and it completely changed my life. That experience set me on a path to learn everything I could so I could make art with my friends for the rest of my life.
Ideal scene partner: Helen Mirren is everything fabulous in the world: She's strong, hilarious, sexy and super-smart. Given the chance, I would play with Helen Mirren in a heartbeat. I would love to really dig into something meaty and fabulous with her.
In short, what is House of Gold all about? Ostensibly, the play is about the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey, which spurred an international media obsession that continues to this day. But in reality, it is about something deeper and darker. What really happened? Who really did it? Those are the “easier” questions. The “harder” questions are really about us, and about humanity. Why did the public become so intensely wrapped up in this story? What is our part in this tragedy? What does this infatuation with “murder porn” say about us as people? What is that need, that absolute craving, that many people have to pour over the tragedies of others, and what should we do about it? That's what I think House of Gold is about.
Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: Jasper is a 13-year-old white boy who wants nothing more than to be a strong black man. He self-identifies as a black man and worships Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali and other black celebrities. I am none of those things, so my task is huge. Giving heart to Jasper, this little outcast, while acknowledging and respecting the role of cultural appropriation in this process, is my greatest challenge in this production.
What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? As with all square product theatre shows, this play is really quite funny, charming, incisive and thought-provoking. I hope the audience leaves thinking about who they are and how they engage with the world – and hopefully have a bit of introspection about the difference in what we say and what we do. It is very telling.
What don't we know about you? I am much lighter on my feet than most folks think – and I love fight choreography. Come see House of Gold to see how well I can take a punch.
What do you want to get off your chest? I am a ginormous nerd. I really, really, enjoy science and nature shows. If Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku or Brian Cox is explaining something about the universe, I feel so smart and awesome ... until I leave the room, because I immediately forget everything.
Jasper in square product theatre company's regional premiere of the JonBenét Ramsey play, 'House of Gold,' now being performed on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.
Alexis Cooley with cast members from square product theatre company's 'House of Gold,' running through Aug. 12.
House of Gold: Ticket information
Remaining performance schedule:
• Presented by square product theatre
• Written by Gregory S. Moss, with original music compositions by Janet Feder and a live sound score performed by Todd Bilsborough
• Directed by Gleason Bauer
• Through Aug. 12
• At The ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Boulder Colorado campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder MAP IT
• Tickets: Up to $22
• Call 800-838-3006 or go to brownpapertickets.com
• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m.
• Monday, Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.
• Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.
• Alexis Cooley
• Jacob Dorr
• Emily K. Harrison
• Andrew Horsford
• Moses Hunter
• Michelle Moore
• Mark Rudolph
• Andrew Seracuse
• Jesse Wardak
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