15 questions for Dennis William Grimes

There are just two more weeks of performances for Danny Casolaro Died For You! And before this show’s brilliant six-actor cast leaves our stage on December 21, we have two more interviews to share. (You can catch up with our previous posts featuring Kyle Hatley, Mark Richard, Demetrios Troy and Philip Earl Johnson.) Today’s is with Dennis William Grimes, who returns to TimeLine after previously appearing in The Pitmen Painters, Frost/Nixon and Pravda:

1 — When did you first know you wanted to be an actor? I was 15 and I spent more of my time in the theatre in high school than I did at home, or anywhere else for that matter. I had no question that working in the theatre would be my life; it felt like magic and still does.

2 — What has been your favorite moment working on this show? The first time we had electric silence after the final Thomas monologue, felt like we knocked it out of the park.

3 — If Danny came to you, would you believe him? I think I would. I see the inter-connectivity of the government and these private contractors. As a society we don’t confront the fact that we ask our government to do things in an effort to keep us “safe” without asking what that means or what that will cost us.

4 — What do you think happened to Danny Casolaro? I don’t know really, but I think that he extended himself too far without enough personal and professional protection.

5 — Danny stumbles on to a government conspiracy and finds he has to make choices about how far he’ll go for answers. What would you do if you had been in Danny’s position? How far would you go for the truth? Well, I’ll start with the notion that the truth is elusive. We have to weigh costs and try to go with what you have when you have it. Like playing spades; sometimes you “Shoot the Moon,” but for the most part you play out the hands one trick at a time, taking a percentage.

Dennis William Grimes (as Brian Ehrlich) and Jamie Vann in “Danny Casolaro Died For You.”

6 — Do you trust the government? That’s a big question. I think the better question is: Do we trust our electorate? We often don’t take enough responsibility for our own governance. We expect someone else to fight for us.

7 — What character do you most enjoy portraying, and why? I love playing Jeff Beagle the most. His points are very direct, but at the same time, there is a lot of flexibility in how he can react to the situation, which allows the audience to have an ambiguous relationship to him. It allows me to have a different relationship with the audience every night.

8 — Would you want to be friends with your character in real life? No, these guys don’t make friends.

9 — What’s your favorite moment in the play? I love it when I bring up Clark Clifford, and someone in the audience acknowledges the name and begins to put things together.

10 — Does being in TimeLine’s intimate 99-seat space affect your engagement with the audience? Not really, it’s kinda what we do in town. Often, playing to the bigger rooms feel strange.

11 — This is a fast paced show, with costume changes, food being cooked on stage, changing characters and settings. How do you balance all the moving parts? I don’t think, I just go. Thinking too much can throw off the balance. We just trust the team and do one thing after another and no further.

12 — What’s your favorite conspiracy thriller movie or TV show? House of Cards, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but mostly, Rubicon! AMC bring it back!!

Dennis William Grimes (as Jeff Beagle, from left) with Demetrios Troy and Kyle Hatley in "Danny Casolaro Died For You."
Dennis William Grimes (as Jeff Beagle, from left) with Demetrios Troy and Kyle Hatley in “Danny Casolaro Died For You.”

13 — Is there a conspiracy in the world that is most interesting to you? I still think what happened in Chile with President Salvadore Allende is an event that most Americans are not only ignorant of, but desperately need to know about in order to understand why the world looks at our country with great skepticism.

14 — Of the conspiracies in the show, which one fascinates or concerns you the most? BCCI. That global financing is still around. Capital will always flow. You can’t stop or change the world by trying to clamp down on that part, it will just go to the dark places.

15 — What’s a fact or quirk about you that could be fodder for conspiracy theorists? I have moved a great deal, and know a lot about how things work.

To read Dennis’s biography, visit our website …

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    […] (Check out the previous five: Kyle Hatley, Mark Richard, Demetrios Troy, Philip Earl Johnson and Dennis William Grimes.) You have until December 21 to  see their work together before the show closes! To wrap up the […]