In the Spotlife: Christian O'Shaughnessy of 'Much Ado About Nothing '

by John Moore | Aug 05, 2017
Christian O'Shaughnessey


MEET CHRISTIAN O'SHAUGHNESSY
Don John in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' 'Much Ado About Nothing' at the picturesque Rock Ledge Ranch near the Garden of the Gods through Aug. 19. Tickets

  • Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia 
  • Home now: Colorado Springs
  • High school: Fruita Monument
  • College: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs 
  • What have you done for us lately: I played Reverend Hale in The Crucible at The Millibo Art Theatre in Manitou Springs 
  • What's next? I will be playing Sergey in Wild Honey at Theatreworks from Oct. 19-Nov. 5
  • What's your handle? @christianboheme on both Twitter and Instagram
  • Twitter-sized bio: Heavily influenced by Space Jam, French wine and the paintings of Edvard Munch. Brad Stevens for President. 
  • The role that changed your life: Without a doubt, it was Ibsen's Ghosts at Theatreworks in 2015. It was a play I never thought I'd get a chance to see, let alone be part of at that level. We also had this tremendous Ibsen legacy in the cast and crew of that production that connected us in sort of an unspeakable way, I thought. It heightened and informed everything we were doing inside the play. We all knew that. We all knew we were in the right room at the right time with the right text. I've always felt a kind of relief when I finally get to the theatre each night, but there was definitely something else going on in me whenever I got to the Bon Vivant that fall. It was special, and it unlocked a lot for me.
  • SIMON RUSSELL BEALEIdeal scene partner: Simon Russell Beale: The deal does not get any realer. I saw the NT Live screening of his King Lear and I've never been so honestly enthralled by a performance. That dude has so much grace and vulnerability and control in what he does. If it weren't so beautiful, it would terrify you. 
  • What is Much Ado About Nothing all about? I think the play is about the anxieties of realizing you're absolutely up to your neck in love with someone. What happens when you're that galvanized and out of body with that? It makes you crazy. It's about love, baby. It also might be about Leslie O'Caroll playing Dogberry. Need I say more? 
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: We had a great room for this production, so even when the process was challenging, we all made it easier for each other. And yet, "The King" isn't in the building anymore. Coming back to Theatreworks for the first time since our founder Murray Ross passed away in January was difficult for us. I  worked on about 10 projects with Murray since 2011, and our working relationship had grown into something so exciting. We came a long way from him throwing me out of rooms and locking the door, or calling me a disgrace. He taught me so much about working in the theatre, and what kind of tenderness and drive it requires. There's hardly a lesson I've learned on stage that I can't trace back to him and what he taught me. He had just as much of an influence on my character offstage. Don't let anything hold you back. I loved Murray. Entering any rehearsal room, anywhere in the world will always be a little harder without him around. Our preview did get rained out right after I opened my mouth to speak, though. So, he may still be around. (Read more about Murray Ross here.)
  • Christian O'ShaughnesseyWhat do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? I hope everyone wants to run out of the theatre and go get close to the person they can't stop thinking about. Much Ado should make you want to make out.
  • What don't we know about you? I can drain 3-pointers and recite Sylvia Plath.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? No matter what happens in this country, or anywhere in the world, for better or worse, the Warriors still blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. 

  • (Note: "The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead" refers to a series of jokes about how the NBA’s Golden State Warriors lost the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers after having three wins against Cleveland’s one in the best-of-seven series.) 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Christian O'Shaughnessey


    Much Ado About Nothing: Ticket information
    Rock Ledge Ranch Handsome Claudio loves beautiful Hero, and the two dreamboats are going to the Chapel of Love. Or are they? Villainy is afoot, and treachery lurks in a midnight garden. Meanwhile, marriage is the last thing on Benedick’s mind, especially with sharp and witty Beatrice, who is equally resistant to tying the knot. Complications naturally ensue until it all works out in the end.
    • Presented by Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    • Written by William Shakespeare
    • Directed by Jane Page
    • Estimated running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • Through Aug. 19
    • At Rock Ledge Ranch at the base of the Garden of the Gods FIND IT
    • Tickets: $30-42; Children under 18, $20
    • Call  719-255-3232 or go to theatreworkscs.org

    Remaining performance schedule:

    • Saturday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Aug, 8, 7:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 9, 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.
    • Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.


    Cast list:

    Town Folk
    • Leonato, Owner of Hotel and Saloon: Robert Rais
    • Antonia, Leonato’s Sister, Barkeep: Rya Dyes
    • Beatrice, Leonato’s Niece, Manager of Hotel/Saloon: Jennifer Holcombe
    • Hero, Leonato’s Daughter: Dalia Anderton
    • Margaret, Barmaid: KT O’Conor
    • Ursula, Hotel Maid: Samantha Pistoresi
    • Padre Paul, Local Clergy: Steve Wallace
    • County Clerk – Christian O’shaughnessy

    The Law
    • Dogberry, Local Sheriff: Leslie O’Carroll
    • Verges, Deputy, Dogberry’s Right-Hand Man: Mark E. Cannon
    • Hugh Oatcake, Deputy: Jake Zindorf
    • Georgia Seacole, Deputy: Katie Medved

    Wagoneers
    • Don Pedro, Wagon Master – Kyle Dean Steffen
    • Benedick, Trail Master – Nick Manfredi
    • Claudio, Wheelwright – Alex Williams
    • Don John, Don Pedro’s Brother, Gunsmith – Christian O’shaughnessy
    • Borachio, Trail Cook: Michael Lee
    • Conrad, Drover: Matt Radcliffe
    • Balthasar, Scout: Leo Lopez Rivera

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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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