Our Clybourne Park Cast Interview Series Continues with Phillip Keiman, a Brilliant Stage Actor from Across the Pond
Where are you from? If not from the Pacific Northwest, what brought you here?
I’m from the City of Derby in the fair County of Derbyshire, in the Country of England. Seattle is my wife’s home town and after living in London for the past 20+ years, she wanted to come home…. I kind of followed.
What makes Clybourne Park such a powerful piece of theater?
Human perception and social conformity. As individuals we are intelligent, but massed together and under the control of the powers that be, we are a breed full of prejudice and judgment. Clybourne Park addresses these issues with wit and biting exchanges.
How did you get started in theater? What was your first role?
I had wanted to be actor since I was a child but, coming from a non-theatre family, it didn’t happen till I was 32! My first role was as the 2nd shepherd in the nativity play in infants (elementary) school.
Where did you go to college? What did you do while you were there?
I studied engineering at the University of Derby and then performance arts as a post grad in London.
Where else have you performed?
In the Seattle area I have acted on stage at TPS Studio 4, Freehold, Seattle Fringe festival 2013, TOJ and for Burien Actors Theatre. I have acted in film in Gig Harbour, Sequim and Tacoma and on TV down in Portland. Back home in the U.K apart from various Theatres in London I’ve acted in my home town of Derby, in Cambridge for their Summer Shakespeare festival, the Minack Theatre (Google it, it’s amazing) and many touring rep Theatres across the county. On TV for the BBC, various commercial stations and the National Geographic channel.
Do you supplement your income with any non-acting endeavors? If so, what?
As an ex-engineer I know my way around a tool box so I work over here as a handyman.
What’s it like working at Harlequin?
It’s one of the best Theatre experiences I’ve had since moving out here. Such a friendly, passionate, talented and amazing bunch of people, worth facing the I5 for!
What advice would you have for an aspiring young actor?
Don’t be afraid to fail, because you will and that’s how we learn.
What is one of the craziest theater experiences you’ve ever had?
I played a body builder / drug dealer / stripper in a comedy. Stripping on stage was a very weird experience.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about coming to see Clybourne Park?
Come see the show then decide which side of the fence you want to be on, it is one of the most thought provoking pieces of Theatre I’ve ever had the privilege to be involved in. Plus you will laugh and cringe at the same time!