Meet Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Gary Cramer (Dr. Sweet) is clinically proven as a local community theater veteran, having appeared in nearly 20 productions since 2005, including such recent shows as A Christmas Carol and Twentieth Century (LTA); November (DS); And Then There Were None, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelve Angry Men (ACCT). He also has a recurring role in Shotgun Mythos, an independently produced dark fantasy web series airing on YouTube, blip.tv, and townspot.tv.

Gary Cramer 1 240x300 Meet Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Come see Gary and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

For years now, most of my stage roles have been in outright comedies or as the comic relief character in older dramas, family-friendly fare, traditional mysteries, etc., so I do appreciate the variety of bringing a more serious character to life in a deeper, darker, modern show now and then. After all, my own preferences in entertainment tend toward serious science fiction, horror, murder mystery, and psychological thriller material that doesn’t end up on stage very much on this side of the Potomac.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

The beginning of it dates back to my high school years, when a speech teacher insisted I try out for a show he was directing, and I ended up being in a handful of school plays through my senior year. However, I did not find opportunities for acting in college or return to the stage until I was in my mid-30s, when some thespian friends of mine cajoled me into auditioning for the summer season of a barn theater near State College, Pa., where I was living at the time. Since getting my first “adult” role there, hardly a year has gone by in which I haven’t been in at least one play, and sometimes several.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

This is the most serious and surreal modern show I’ve been involved in that is not based on a true story (as far as I know…). The unique thing for my role in it is that while I have played characters who only appear in one scene in other shows, I think this may be the most “meaty” part of this nature I have ever had.

What creeps you out the most?

Watching (or even thinking about) scenes in which someone dislocates a shoulder, breaks their neck, or punctures something is a great way to make me queasy as heck. But I don’t mind the sight of blood and most bugs don’t bother me. Except for ticks. I have no kind things to say about ticks.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

Someone new comes into your life. He or she has some pretty wild stories about the past. How sure can you ever really be if those tales are true. How sure do you want to be?

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Just accept that others are right when they feel there is something deeply wrong with all theater folk, and enjoy the ride with your fellow geeks.

What have you learned about yourself in doing this show?

Playing creeps can be cathartic.

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

I just imagine any gym teacher I ever had in my life.

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