Holiday Interview: John Novak and Bradley Greenwald
MINNESOTA PLAYLIST: Tell me something about the show you’re doing.
JOHN: It’s not "A Christmas Carol," but it has snow, which makes it a Jungle holiday show.
BRADLEY: It’s called “In the Next Room, a play by Sarah Ruhl, “In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play.”
MP: What are your roles in the production?
BRADLEY: I play the role of Mr. Daldry, husband to one of the patients of Dr. Givings.
JOHN: And I’m stage managing, which means I also get to run all the vibrator sound cues. It’s a unique show for having to watch people’s body parts for my cues.
MP: And how did you two meet? Was it in the theater?
BRADLEY: It was on the Minnesota Opera Tour of ‘The Magic Flute” in 1991. I was in the cast and John was on the tech crew.
MP: So ’91?
BRADLEY: Yeah, twenty one years ago.
MP: Wow. Have you done many shows together?
JOHN: More and more, recently. I’m always here and he’s gotten work from, now, three or four directors who’ve been at the Jungle.
BRADLEY: And this is the second Christmas we’ve spent together at the Jungle. We were together last year.
MP: And you were doing…
BRADLEY: “I Am My Own Wife.” So it really was just the two of us.
MP: Because that’s a one-person show.
JOHN: Also not “A Christmas Carol,” but it had snow.
MP: And do you like it? Is it good doing a holiday show together or is it awful?
JOHN: It’s almost always good.
BRADLEY: What’s the “almost” part?
JOHN: If one of us is having a hard time, you can’t just vent it at home because the other person knows too much.
BRADLEY: Yes, we never talk about work at home when we’re both working on the same thing.
JOHN: But we haven’t had complications like that very much.
BRADLEY: And, since I’m a free-lancer, when we’re not doing the same show, there can be weeks that go by where John and I simply don’t see each other. But when we’re both at the Jungle…
MP: You get to see each other.
BRADLEY: And that’s been great. And last Christmas was really sweet because it was just the two of us. And we had the week before Christmas off before we came back for an extension. So we had a week’s holiday at Christmas, which hadn’t happened to me in…thirteen years?
MP: Anything else I need to know about being together during the holidays in a show?.
BRADLEY: Uh, it’s usually gotten us out of going to family gigs. [Laughter] Because we usually are exhausted by Christmas Eve day and usually have to be right back to work on the twenty-sixth.
JOHN: It’s hard when your family’s out of town and you work six days a week. It doesn’t give you travel time to do family things. So this year we’re taking a rare opportunity to actually travel and see family because of the show schedule. And it will go back to normal next year, stuck at home for Christmas, but both by choice and by convenience.
MP: Well thank you and Merry Christmas!