The Pickwyck spoke to Usman Ally, who recently won the 2015 Obie Award for THE INVISIBLE HAND at New York Theatre Workshop and is now performing in Ken Ludwig's BASKERVILLE at The Old Globe. In this interview he talks about his introduction to theater, his portrayal of Dr. Watson, and diversity in theater.
Tell us about your first theater and/or musical experience or earliest memory of it. What or who inspired you to pursue a career in performance?
Who inspired you to pursue a career in performance?
Tell about your initial involvement with this creative adaptation, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. What was the audition process like?
What sets your portrayal of Dr. Watson apart from previous performances of this beloved character?
To follow the last question, what has it been like playing Doctor Watson as a person of color?
What does diversity in theater mean to you? What do you see for the future in theater if the community continues to embrace new subject matters and diverse casting?
What other roles would you like to take on in the future that challenge old fashioned casting choices?
This is new take on the classic Sherlock Holmes story. Could you tell us what it was like working with Director Josh Rhodes? What, in your opinion, makes the Sherlock Holmes stories so enduring?
How has it been working with the talented cast of BASKERVILLE?
What was your first car?
What was your first non-creative job?
What is your favorite book, TV show and movie?
Tell us about your educational experiences at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR and University of Florida. While there you began a career in SLAM poetry, performing in Hip Hop groups. How were these experiences crucial to your creative work now? Was there a particular instructor and/or experience that inspired you? Could you tell us about that aspect of your creative work? (That's very cool!)
Was there a particular experience or individual you met while working in theater that changed you as an artist?