||Morohunfola in rehearsals for
Pullman Porter Blues
Our Backstage series is back for the 2013/2014 Season! We are kicking it off this season with a few questions for Tosin Morohunfola, star of Pullman Porter Blues. Little known fact: while this will be Tosin’s first time performing on a Goodman stage, he was with us all summer as we toured Chicago’s summer festivals disguised as The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan! We are thrilled to have him back in this latest work from Cheryl L. West, directed by Chuck Smith.
1. Place of birth and/or hometown?
I’m a Kansas City guy. Raised in the suburban outskirts of KC. Leawood, Kansas.
2. First professional role/production you were in?
My first professional role was Howie in Speech and Debate at the Unicorn Theatre. Unless you count my 2008 summer internship at Creede Repertory Theatre the summer prior.
3. Favorite professional role/production you were in?
I enjoyed being in the world premiere of BlackTop Sky at the Unicorn Theatre. That was a very mentally and physically challenging but ultimately gratifying dramatic role. And I loved doing certain iconic roles like Donkey in Shrek and Scarecrow in The Wiz (both at the Coterie Theatre) and making them my own. But the one that most shaped me, as a singer, was definitely the two-man musical The Presidents! back at Creede Repertory Theatre two years ago.
4. Dream role or production you hope to be in in the future?
Currently, I am in love with the play Defiance by John Patrick Shanley. Give me a stage and I'd do that play in a heartbeat. It’s so thoughtful and provocative and I’d imagine as stimulating to watch as it is to read.
5. Role you know you’ll never get to play because of your age/sex/race but would love to play in an alternate universe, and why?
Lady Macduff. Or the mother from August: Osage County. But hey, you never know, it could happen.
6. Production or role you've experienced as an audience member that left you speechless?
Inherit the Wind. And that was the show that showed me I wanted to do theater from then on. Watching them discuss the themes of religion versus science and then reconciling them both together was very powerful to me. Especially as a middle schooler. And it showed me I wanted to tell stories like that too. Also, my older brother as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. That was pretty badass.
7. Biggest on stage flub and how you handled it?
One time I skipped several pages of dialogue. How did I correct it? I don’t know but I didn’t do it again. Another time I almost said “motherf**ker” during a children's show. That woulda been bad...
8. Favorite thing about working in Chicago?
This is a new city for me, so I have a lot of favorites. Everything is a new experience for me. And I guess that would be my favorite thing, that there’s so many new experiences going on for me. From using public transit, to working with Broadway legends; it’s all new. And I’m loving it.
9. What other projects are you working on?
Just finished a space race comedy film called Destination: Planet Negro as well as an end-of-the-world web series called Withered World: If Night Comes and you can look that one up online. Also I'll be in the first episode of the second season of NBC's Chicago Fire. I'll also be directing a show for the Coterie Theatre in the spring.