The Clown – Actor Rob Maniscalco reflects on The Sisters Rosensweig
The Sisters Rosensweig opens Oct 17th with an exclusive 2 week run. Tickets Here.
Rob Maniscalco reveals…
The character of Merv is part of a long lineage of clown-like characters and personas created throughout history that tell us about a particularly fascinating aspect of the human psyche. At first glance Merv, at least the Merv I’m playing, is a card, a fun loving buffoon. He’s a person many would typically not take very seriously. But like most clowns, Merv has a very deep serious side. Merv is on a mission, a very serious quest to pass on his Jewish identification to future generations. Why? Because he views the Jewish tradition as a vehicle for a loving, just and more tolerant world. Merv is all about connecting people and ideas. He is filled with irony and has lots and lots of love in him, ready to burst forth whenever the opportunity arises.
I think of Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful, wearing his heart on his sleeve, his pure soul using every once of his wit to win the love of his life and keep his family intact during the Holocaust. I think also of the story of Pagliacci, the tragic Clown, who loved so deeply but could never be taken seriously because he was only a clown. The fable of Beauty and the Beast also comes to mind along with a thousand characters played by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Gleason, Woody Allen and any number of clowns since the beginning of theatre. The clown is always a little too playful, too insecure, too loving, too sensitive, ironic and absurd for his own good. He doesn’t shy away from the truth; he just happens to see it with a bit more irony than the rest of us. He is usually thrust into our midst by circumstances beyond our control, the uninvited guest, and is NEVER to be taken seriously. Often his/her humor is contagious, but more often, he is merely an annoyance to those into whose lives he has inadvertently crashed; he is someone taking us away from where we think we should be. Very often the clown doesn’t take himself very seriously either. Then something happens… (read the full blog on Rob’s page.)
Rob Maniscalco (Mervyn Kant) has been active in the Charleston Theatre community for about five years, most recently with Threshold Theatre, where he was Beethoven in 33 Variations and Rev. Hale in The Crucible. He has also has worked with Pure Theatre (the mafia boss in Superior Donuts), Footlight Players, (The Full Monty, Sordid Lives, Rumors, Frost/Nixonand Is He Dead) and the College of Charleston (Measure for Measure). Rob is grateful and excited to be making his debut with SOB with such a talented cast. He received his acting training at the Circle in the Square Theater and appeared in numerous stage, television and film productions in New York City. In Detroit, his home town, Rob was host of “Art Beat,” a highly rated TV program on PBS, where he interviewed celebrated artists in their studios. As Rob’s “day job” he is a nationally recognized portrait artist; his fine art and portraits are part of hundreds of private and public collections throughout North America, including many prominent Charlestonians.
More about Rob and his art at maniscalcogallery.com .