Meet the Cast of Brandeis’ Production of Hookman


The past couple months I have had the privilege of working with my fellow castmates and production staff to put on Hookman through the Undergraduate Theater Collective at Brandeis.  I am so proud of all of our hard work and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we cannot wait to share our performance with you.  Our shows are this Saturday and Sunday (10/27 & 10/28) at 2 pm and 7:30 pm in the Merrick Theater. Now, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to the incredible cast, director and stage manager of Hookman.  


What are your name, your year and your role in Hookman?


Daniel Souza - My name is Daniel Souza, I am class of 2019 making me a senior this year and I am Hookman in Hookman.


Sophia Seufert - I’m Sophia Seufert, I’m a freshman and I play Lexi.


Ashley Kim - My name is Ashley Kim, I’m a junior and I play Yoonji.

Casey Bachman - My name is Casey Bachman, I am a sophomore and I play Jess.

Seth Wulf - My name is Seth Wulf, I’m a sophomore and I play Sean, Adam, and Kayleigh.


Karina Wen - My name is Karina Wen, I am a junior and I am the director of Hookman.

Kayleigh Bettencourt - My name is Kayleigh Bettencourt, I am a junior and I am the stage manager of Hookman.


In this show or any other shows, how do you get into character?


Dan -  I like to start out by thinking about what my character thinks of themselves, then I like to think about what other characters think about my character.  I like to think about what the author might think of my character and usually, that helps me get grounded and have a starting point and then my characters usually become some amalgamation of all those things.


Sophia - Well, I feel like when I’m doing Lexi I just look up a lot because she doesn’t really listen to anyone around her and when you’re recalling information you look up and to the side so I find that saying some of my lines and looking up and acting like I’m remembering everything, then everything starts coming more bubbly.  I mainly just stop listening to other people saying their lines because Lexi is very inconsiderate.


Ashley - I think I just study the character a bit more and if the character doesn’t really have a backstory I try to create one that will help emphasize  or highlight why my character will behave a certain way in certain situations and just try to think about if I was this character and had this backstory, how would I react in certain situations.


Casey - I don’t really have a thing that I do but I think over the time of the rehearsal process I build a background for my character.  When I’m doing a scene, instead of thinking ‘what would Casey do?’ I start thinking more like ‘what would Jess do?’


Seth - I usually get into character by really getting into the character’s headspace and really thinking about how they would react to things and how their reactions might be more similar to my reactions than I would think and then I take a little bit of me a little bit of them and I spice it together in a character.


Karina - I guess thinking about my character’s mannerisms and the way they carry themselves and the kinds of words they use is helpful for me.  Sometimes I think about their calendar and what their life is like.


Kayleigh - How I get into character as stage manager… Well, with a small show it’s different because I’m allowed to be your friend more.  The stage manager is always the serious face of the show when it comes to prod[uction] staff and with a larger show you have to stay in the ‘I am your peer but I am mostly your superior right now and you need to listen to me’ so it’s really nice in this smaller show to be able to be like ‘I’m still in charge of you guys but I’m your friend too.’



What has been your favorite part of this rehearsal process?


Dan - I think it’s been really lovely for me, Karina’s been one of my best friends for most of my Brandeis career and it’s really great to be working on this with her and see her grow.  It’s just really interesting when you see someone take on directing for the first time because it’s really scary.


Sophia - This is my first show here ever so getting to know the people in the theater department has been really nice and I’ve loved making new friends.  I guess as the show has developed more the other thing is understanding the underlying meanings of certain lines or discovering certain jokes that I didn’t even realize before.


Ashley - I think it’s been nice getting to see the whole show form and just see how every actor brings in a certain aspect to the show and you build off of each other and feed off of each other’s energy.


Casey - This has just been a really fun group of people and it’s been really cool because we are a small cast and it’s just been really great getting to know everyone.


Seth  - My favorite part is how nice everyone is to each other.  Everyone’s just so awesome and supportive. We start every rehearsal with a check-in and we find out about each other’s day so it’s very low stress and it’s very fun.


Karina - Seeing the cast bond has been my favorite part because I cast everyone and picked the production staff but seeing everyone come together and form their own relationships have been really awesome.


Kayleigh - I think this has been one of the most fun and collaborative rehearsal processes that I’ve been a part of. I also think having a smaller cast and how cohesive we are as a unit has been able to foster a really great rehearsal environment.



What are you most looking forward to about having an audience?


Dan - Sometimes it takes somebody being there to put you on the spot and demand that a rhythm is established. I think that’s why a lot of people think that they have the sense knocked into them once the show actually opens. It’s because you have energy play off of the spectator is half of what theater is.


Sophia - I’m excited for them to laugh at our jokes because we know they’re funny but when the audience is reacting like either laughing or just being like *gasps* then it’s a lot easier to build off of that energy in the scene.


Ashley - There may be certain parts that we don’t realize are funny or we don’t realize brings out a certain reaction in the crowd and having that and being able to respond to that energy that the audience gives us and hopefully does give us will be a really fun process.  And then after the show ends, hearing what everyone has to say about how they felt about the show, what they liked about it, what they didn’t like about it can help us improve for any future shows that we decide to go into.


Casey - It’s just always more fun to have the energy of the audience.  It just brings the show to life. It’s fun doing it in rehearsal but it really adds something to the show to have reactions from people who have never seen it before.


Seth - I’m just looking forward to how different audiences will react to different things because not every joke is going to land with every audience but I’m curious about the stuff that makes people gasp, the stuff that’s gonna make people laugh and smile… maybe something that I thought would scare people will make people get into hysterics, I don’t know, it’s a big mystery - that’s what I love.


Karina - I’m really looking forward to having laughs and I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react to it because there’s a lot of really weird stuff that I hope will have an impact on the audience that doesn’t have an impact on me because it’s my idea and we’ve been doing it for so long, but I’m really interested to see what people will say and what questions they will have.


Kayleigh - With the number of times I have stared at the script, I can forget how funny and deep the show is so I think having an audience to perform to and an audience that will react to the show and react to the actors will be really cool to see.


Photo credit: Karina Wen ‘20