Meet the cast: Benjamin Pelteson of 'Disgraced'

Disgraced Benjamin Pelteson-photo-credit-adamsviscom
Benjamin Pelteson plays Isaac, a curator at the Whitney Museum, in ‘Disgraced,’ playing through May 7. Photo by Adams VisCom.

Isaac in Disgraced

At the Theatre Company: Debut. Other Theatres: Ensemble Studio Theatre, City Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Baltimore Centerstage, Wilma Theater, Williamstown, Capital Repertory, McCarter (tour), Pittsburgh Public and others. TV: “The Americans,” “Homeland,” “Law & Order,” “Unforgettable,” “Silly Little Game” (ESPN). Barrymore Nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor for Angels in America (Philadelphia).

  • Disgraced Benjamin PeltesonHometown: Orlando
  • Training: BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
  • What was the role that changed your life?

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    When I was 17, my high-school drama teacher handed me The Merchant of Venice and asked me to play Shylock. Not a good idea. One rehearsal I found myself weeping and spitting on people and grabbing them by their collars. The language did something to me that was very unplanned and very surprising and addictive. Those poor kids who had to act with me … I am so sorry. But that show 900 years ago is why I decided to do this for a living.

  • Why are you an actor? I learn more by being other people than by being myself. Also: Affordable health insurance. 
  • What would you be doing if you weren’t an actor: I would be a writer or a civil-rights lawyer. I like words. I like clarity and argument. I like changing people’s minds.
  • A Mark RylanceIdeal scene partner: Mark Rylance. He never stops inventing. He always listens.
  • Why does Disgraced matter? To me, this is a play about the problem of tribes. Can we get past our ancient group hatreds, or are we – no matter how hard we struggle – going to be beholden to them forever? That seems like a pretty pressing question for all of us right now.  
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want the funny stuff to be funny, the sad stuff to be sad and the surprising stuff to be surprising.
  • Finish this sentence: “All I want is …”
    “… public institutions and politicians we can put our faith in. A general restoration of belief in empiricism. The National Endowment for the Arts to be well-funded into perpetuity, so that the Denver Center and others like it can keep bringing you great work. … That, and a really nice cup of coffee.”

Disgraced Benjamin Pelteson-photo-credit-adamsviscom‘Disgraced’ actors, from left, Dorien Makhloghi, Christina Sajous and Benjamin Pelteson. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.

: Ticket information
DisgracedIn this raw new play, Amir has built the perfect life. But as a high-profile case and his wife’s art show reveal how little his culture is understood, their misconceptions become too much to bear.

Through May 7
Ricketson Theatre

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ASL and audio-described performance: 1:30 p.m. April 30

Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Previous NewsCenter coverage of Disgraced:
Perspectives: Disgraced is about starting, not finishing, conversations
Video, photos: Your first look at Theatre Company’s Disgraced
Video: A talk with Disgraced Costume Designer Lex Liang
has been known to leave audiences gasping
Disgraced Director promises to push your (empathy) button
TED Talk: On the danger of a ‘single story’

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
Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
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
Robert Montano, Two Degrees
Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
Kim Staunton, Two Degrees


More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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