Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: LA Theatre Works will soon be launching four performances of the Tony Award-winning play, Oslo, for radio, podcast, and online streaming platforms. As you will be taking on multiple roles in the production, what originally enticed you to join the production?
André Sogliuzzo: I have been doing shows with LATW for over 15 years. And though there is no official company per se, we like to think of ourselves as an extended family of actors. When they called me with the offer to do this play, the first thing I did was check my schedule to make sure I was free. LATW always gives me the opportunity to a variety of challenging characters, in diverse and interesting projects, from Classical to contemporary. Once I looked into the play, I knew this one was going to be a very exciting challenge, and I jumped at the chance.
BD: Given your incredible body of work as a voice-over actor, do you feel that your creative process in preparing for Oslo was similar to or varied from your typical process?
AS: I’m an actor who is frequently tasked to do a variety of accents, and often voice impressions or voice matches. So, my process for this play was similar to other contemporary projects based on real events and real people, ala Frost Nixon which I did for LATW. I read they play first and create my own impression of the person I’m portraying, then I go to whatever real source material of the actual person I can find. I try to honor the actual voice of the person as close as possible, and also honor the playwright’s and my own impression of who the character is. In this case, my impression of Yossi Beilin was initially a bit heavier presence than my first impression of the actual man when I saw interviews with him. Ultimately, once I saw him, I split the difference and gave him a more humorous and lighter touch than my first impression.
BD: You have quite a talented cast and crew surrounding you within this production. How would you describe your shared creative process in preparing for Oslo?
AS: Well, I think my previous answer goes a bit to the group process as well. We all read the play together as we rehearse, look to our individual source materials, and then find the right notes to play as an ensemble to honor the play itself, the playwright’s intentions, and our own impressions of these people. A few of us in this production have worked together before, so we often have an instinctive rhythm of where the other is going. But as a group you hopefully find the right pocket so to speak.
BD: In what ways do you feel that the play will resonate with audiences, and what do you hope that viewers (and listeners) will take away from the performance?
AS: As of my writing today, with the election in Israel, the play couldn’t be more timely, though it’s about events over 25 years ago. This play speaks directly to an attempt to deal with issues that were being debated and fought at the ballot box in Israel yesterday. It’s an education and an inspiration for today’s audiences, of what can be possible if both sides try to find compromise for the greater good.
BD: With previous experience in theatre, TV, and film, do you find yourself gravitating more towards a specific medium of performance? Likewise, do you find that the mediums offer their own distinct tools to utilize as an actor?
AS: I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work in each medium, and I like each one differently. I utilize the same tools as I approach a character for each, even when reading commercial copy. Of course, as a voice-actor, I am given much greater latitude as to what I’m able to play, rather than just what I look like. So, the possibilities are much broader and more fun and challenging. But even in “on-camera” work, I tend to start with the voice, which then affects how you move, and carry yourself.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects that you are able to share with our readers?
AS: I’m currently in the brilliant animated series of Love, Death, and Robots which was just released on Netflix. I had the opportunity to work with the great Tim Miller on that one. My short film, "Near Change," was just a nominee for “Best Short” at the Ferrara Film Festival. It is still making the rounds in film festivals all over the world and is an Official Selection in upcoming the Sorsi Corti Film Festival Palermo Italy this May. I just released an incredible video game I’m very proud of called Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is one of the most visually beautiful games I’ve ever seen. I got to play a mysterious Samurai ghost figure named Isshin Ashina.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Oslo and your other work?
AS: To find out more about Oslo, there is a wealth of material about the play and the real-life events to be found with a simple Google search. It’s a deep dive so to speak, but well worth the time. It gives you a much greater understanding of where we are on these issues today.
As to information about me, you can go to my website, www.andresogliuzzo.com, and also follow me on:
Photo by Joshua Arvizo