Photography by Nancy Nolan | Produced by Ellen Scruggs | Shot on location at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Acclaimed for his role as George Costanza on the hit TV sitcom Seinfeld, Jason Alexander joins The Arkansas Repertory Theatre as director for the world premiere of Windfall.
The play illustrates the endless possibilities and hilarious antics of five co-workers as they desperately attempt to escape their manipulative and maniacal boss. Determined to live the lives of their dreams, these colleagues collectively bet every last cent on playing the lottery. But the unexpected sharing of $300 million hysterically brings out the worst in each of them.
We caught up with the famed actor and director to get his insight on the play, The Rep and more.
Jason comes to The Rep with an eclectic resume. “I’ve directed about two dozen stage pieces, two motion pictures, about six different television episodes, several commercials and one music video that won a Country Music Video Award.”
The Rep has proven itself to be a first-rate theatre in every sense, Jason says, making it the ideal venue to premiere Windfall. “Over 40 years, it has built a reputation for quality and it has built a relationship with its audience. That audience knows that people are working to create meaningful, entertaining, intriguing and memorable theatre. Designers and actors are eager and happy to work here because of its excellent reputation. And so, the Rep has become a theatre that artists across the country think of as a safe, supportive and glorious place to practice their stagecraft.”
One of the hardest things in theatre is launching a brand new play, Jason says. “To have a wonderful theatre to mount this play with all of the finest accouterments is just a joy for all of us.”
Jason became involved in the arts as a teen, moving from town to town with his family. “The theatre kids picked me up. It was an instant community and friendship, and I found that I really enjoyed the shows. Soon, I was working professionally. And I’ve been doing that for about 40 years.”
As a director, some favorite accomplishments include his episode of Criminal Minds and the feature film Just Looking. “Both really came out the way I was hoping they would, and they both have some wonderful ideas and touches. For the stage, I got to direct a dear friend in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound, which I performed on Broadway in the original cast. Revisiting that play and building it around my friend was a total joy.”
His role on Seinfeld remains an impressive accomplishment as well. “How we were able to keep that level of good for nine years amazes me still. And how our work seems to continue appealing to and attracting new audiences year after year just astonishes me. We had so much fun making it – we just can’t believe that people seem to enjoy it as much as we do.”
About Windfall, Jason says the characters are “very recognizable, for better or worse. They are good people trapped in uninspiring and crumbling lives. I hope the audience will have fun with the absurd heights the play hits and the crazy language and some of the ironic twists. Scooter Pietsch has written a really fun, funny and often touching play. And we hope that the roller coaster ride of it will make audiences feel like they got a real experience.”