20% Theatre Company is thrilled to present Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage April 26 – May 10, 2014. In the weeks leading up to the show, we are giving you the chance to learn a little bit about the artists involved in this production. In this interview, meet Randy Funk!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How/when/why did you get into theatre?
I started acting when I was in junior high school. I majored in theatre at Mankato State University (I know, I know. But it was Mankato State when I went there and it will always be Mankato State to me.) I ran a theatre company called Pigs Eye Theatre for about five years, which gave me the opportunity to do some directing and writing as well.
Tell us a little about the character you will be playing in Rapture, Blister, Burn.
Don is a dean at what he describes as a fourth rate liberal arts college. He’s been married to Gwen for a number of years and has settled into a comfortable, if somewhat unfulfilling, life. He’s someone with great intelligence, but without the drive to do much more than what he’s doing.
In what ways do you personally relate to this character?
There are a lot of ways in which I relate to Don, but most of them are things I’d be more comfortable keeping to myself. Still, I can say we’re both at an age where you can’t help but look back and wonder, “What if I had done that instead of this?” or “What if this had happened to me rather than that?” But I’m a little more content with things than Don. I guess the best way to describe it is: I don’t have Don’s life, but I can see it from where I’m sitting.
What is exciting about your character? What are some of the challenges that you, as an actor, are facing in portraying this character?
Well, like I said, I relate to Don. There are a lot of little moments where I think, “Wow, I’ve had that thought.” or “Jeez, I’ve had that said to me.” The challenge is not flinching when those things you relate to take you into uncomfortable areas. I mean, looking at yourself in the mirror can be nice, but maybe not when you’re naked.
Rapture, Blister, Burn is often called “a feminist play”. How would you describe the play? How do you feel about feminism and what it signifies today?
I think it’s a play that brings up and covers a lot of facets of feminism without telling the audience what its supposed to feel or think. It’s a play that’s meant to be enjoyed, but also one that facilitates discussion. I think feminism still has a very important role to play in our society. As long as there are people out there who will challenge a woman’s right to choose, who will question whether rape is really THAT bad, who, in general, are still willing to treat women as second class citizens, then feminism will be a much needed voice in the discussion.
How do you personally balance being male in our society with the concepts of feminism?
I think feminism makes me a better man. Pure and simple.
What else do you do in the world, outside of theatre and/or working on this production?
I want to write mysteries when I grow up. That’s the thing I most want to do. Also, I’m working on getting my son to brush his teeth without me ordering him to.
Favorite breakfast food?
An earth breakfast (hash browns and onions mixed into scrambled eggs and topped with cheese.) Great, now I’m hungry.
How did you get to Minneapolis? (Where did you grow up? Where are you from?)
I grew up in Hibbing. My family moved to the Cities area when I was a junior in high school.
Current favorite song or band?
This might sound weird, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but until a few months ago, I’d never heard “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground or Patti Smith’s version of “Gloria”. Now I’m pretty much obsessed with both of them. Oh, and I want Oasis to get back together. Who can I talk to about that?