Currently running at T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre is a world premiere of a new play written by Emmy nominated Disney Executive Jim Geoghan entitled, HYSTERICAL directed by Crystal Edn. A workshop production, this dark comedy finds an ideal venue in T. Schreiber’s intimate black box where the focus is on the fine actors telling the stories through complex character relationships in the setting of a Las Vegas mental hospital. One of the play’s most intriguing characters is Monroe, played by Robby Ramos, the hospital’s resident schizophrenic drug dealer. Robby Ramos is utterly captivating in this role, both hysterically funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Ramos is a standout in this production and Arts in Color had the pleasure of interviewing him!
AIC: Where are you from? When did you decide to become an actor?
Robby: I’m from Miami, Florida. I decided to pursue acting shortly after high school. I’d played baseball since I was five years old. I had dreams of becoming a Major League baseball player but some of the behavior I was indulging in during my teen years didn’t exactly help my chances of reaching my full potential as an athlete. So I switched gears and took a chance with this acting thing.
AIC: Tell us about the role of Monroe in Hysterical. What are the biggest similarities and differences between you and your character Monroe?
Robby: We all want friendship. We all want to feel connected. Loved. And I think thats what is at the core of Monroe. The mental health issues are something I’ve never had to deal with. Although, yo, sometimes I hear voices too. Just saying. Thats normal, right?
Mike Blum and Robby Ramos. Photo credit: Ryan Camarena
AIC: What was the casting process like?
Robby: You ever jumped off a plane? I haven’t. But I imagine at some point you have to say (bleep) it and jump.
AIC: How did you prepare for the rehearsal process?
Robby: I spent a week living inside an insane asylum. I’m method. Shout out to DDL. Nah, in all honesty, I have to say that Crystal, our director, really set the tone early and established a safe environment where I was able to play freely and take chances. And for the record, I’m not throwing shade at the method. I love Daniel Day Lewis. Just in case, you know, he reads this or whatever.
AIC: What has it been like to work on a World Premiere and what has surprised you most about this process ?
Robby: I think I rediscovered how much fun acting can be. I’ve been having a blast on stage. And the fact that its a world premiere gives me the free rein to take the character wherever I’d like since its never been done before.
AIC: Our site is called “Arts in Color.” What does it mean to you to be an artist of color?
Robby: I take pride in that. And I salute all the artists who came before me for opening the doors.
AIC: What advice do you have for aspiring actors, particularly artists of color?
Robby: MAKE YOUR OWN WORK. MAKE YOUR OWN WORK. MAKE YOUR OWN WORK.
AIC: What is next for Robby? How can our readers stay up to date with you?
Robby: I wrote my first play, ‘ALPHA 66’ and its premiering at the Theatre for the New City’s ‘Dream Up Festival’ in September. If you search ALPHA 66 on indiegogo it’ll pop up. We need dinero. For reals. HELP! Add me as a friend on Facebook or instagram/twitter @robeeramos.
HYSTERICAL runs until July 23rd at T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre
Wednesday July 20-Saturday July 23 at 8pm
Featuring: Gavin Bazalar, Zulla Berha, Mike Blum*, Niles Gunning, Linda Hill, Lauren Leland, Robby Ramos, Dan Sturges, Emma Traubert, Diane Tyler*, Noelle P. Wilson*
Run time: 2hrs
Note: Contains adult language and brief partial nudity
Credit: Ryan Camarena, Vick Krishna