Food & Drink

World Premiere of ‘The Comparables’ at The Seattle Rep

Nancy Guppy talks with Seattle actor/director couple Cheyenne Casebier and Braden Abraham

By Nancy Guppy February 25, 2015

0315guppy

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Seattle magazine.

Last summer, Seattle Rep’s associate artistic director Braden Abraham became acting artistic director after the sudden death of predecessor Jerry Manning. Having already helmed many successful shows at The Rep (including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and My Name Is Rachel Corrie), this month Abraham directs his wife, actor Cheyenne Casebier, in the world premiere of a new play by Laura Schellhardt (The K of D). Set in a high-end real estate office, The Comparables (3/6–3/29; seattlerep.org) explores the intense relationship between three women in a competitive work environment.

LOCATION: Chaco Canyon Organic Café in West Seattle
DRINKS: Abraham, a short Americano; Casebier, rooibos tea

Nancy Guppy: You are two artists in one household. Is it hard to balance artistic ambitions with domestic life?   
BA&CC: [Together] Yes! Absolutely!  

NG:
Who washed the dishes last night?        
CC: I did. But Braden put the kid down.  

Ng: What’s Braden’s best quality as a director?      
CC: He’s a sensitive listener and gives space to all the different energies that actors and designers bring to a project.   

Ng:
What’s something people might not know about Cheyenne as a performer?
BA: She’s very funny. Cheyenne typically gets cast as the leading lady—which she does well—but she’s also capable of extreme comedy, and I think that’s what really gets her motor going.  

Ng: Describe the difference between opening and closing nights of a play.       
CC: Sometimes at opening I think, “Did we film that? Can we wrap? Because that was good and everybody’s happy and I’m done now.” [Laughs]
BA: Opening is about giving the play over. When I come back for closing, it’s like visiting.      

Ng: When a play fails, how do you talk about it?          
BA: I think that failure is an inevitable part of innovation, of trying to achieve something that you don’t know exactly how it’s going to come together. If you try to avoid failure, you’re just going to fail harder.  

Ng: You’re stuck on a desert island and you have to choose—as a couple—one book, one record and one type of food.             
BA & CC: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, John Lee Hooker, and red wine.  

Ng: Is there something you haven’t done that you wish you had?           
BA: I wish I would’ve started meditating sooner.
CC: Clown school.           
 
Nancy Guppy showcases Seattle artists on her TV series, Art Zone (seattlechannel.org/artzone).

 

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