He plays a nun, an Air Force pilot, a photographer, a prostitute and 16 other characters in Mo’olelo’s “How I Got That Story.”
But it’s not a cost-cutting move to have one actor incarnate so many people. The play’s written for only two actors. One plays a reporter covering the war in fictional Ambo Land. And the other, Greg Watanabe in this production, plays this multi-faceted “Historical Event” — representing all of the situations and people the reporter encounters.
On top of all of that, Watanabe must be a prodigious sound-maker, too. That means mimicking gunfire, invoking the sounds of planes overhead and even singing the Rolling Stones tune at a local bar the soldiers frequent.
Per playwright Amlin Gray’s peculiar instruction in the script:
Every sound in the play is made, live or on tape, by the EVENT actor. Where possible, the audience should be able to recognize his voice.
We’ve been following the work behind the scenes as Mo’olelo hones and pieces together all of the elements for this play. Opening Night is Friday; the play’s now in previews.