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Altwies Stars in American Buffalo at The Rep

Altwies Stars in American Buffalo at The Rep

: Courtesy Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Andry Laurence.

In the Seattle Rep’s production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo, Hans Altwies [TH ’93-‘96] plays Teach, reunites with Tony Award-nominated director William Milam.

PICTURE: (l-r) Hans Altwies, Zachary Simonson, and Charles Leggett in American Buffalo at Seattle Repertory Theatre, 2013. Photo by Andry Laurence.

It’s the reason you train at a school like Cornish: Hans Altwies gets to sink his teeth into David Mamet’s deliciously foul-mouthed, low-life character of Teach in American Buffalo at a top regional theater. At the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the play is under the direction of Wilson Milam, who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director for The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which he also directed in its world premiere in London at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The production is a reunion for Altwies and Milam, who worked on God of Carnage and The Seafarer at The Rep. Also in the cast are Milam favorites Charles Leggett as Donny and Zachary Simonson as Bobby. American Buffalo opens Friday, January 11.

Despite (or perhaps because of) its salty poetry, American Buffalo is becoming a classic. The Rep writes: “During one long day in a run-down junk shop, three men of great ambition and low morals — Teach, Don and Bob — plan a heist of a customer’s valuable coin collection. When the con goes awry, it’s every man for himself. This fast-paced drama is all aggression and testosterone, with characters wielding words like weapons to intimidate, cajole and manipulate each other. The results are hilarious, powerful and ultimately tragic.” Listen to Altwies talk about playing Teach in this SRT video:

Altwies trained at Cornish from 1993-96, and moved directly into some of the best parts Seattle’s theaters had to offer. At Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hans last appeared in This in the Leo K. Previously at the Rep: God of Carnage (subsequently playing at The Alley in Houston), An Iliad, The Three Musketeers, The Cure at Troy, The Lady From Dubuque, Misalliance, Romeo and Juliet, Light up the Sky, The O’Conner Girls, Design For Living, and The Seafarer as Sharky. Some other roles include Macbeth, Iago, Henry V, Mercutio, Richmond (in Richard III directed by Bart Sher), Costard, Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tybalt, Demitrius, and Posthumous. He has worked locally at New Century Theatre Company, ACT, Intiman, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Wooden O, and Book-It. Hans is a company member of New Century Theatre Company, the proud father of Stella Blue and Charlotte and is married to actress Amy Thone.

The Rep notes that American Buffalo premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre Stage Two in November 1975, followed by a Broadway debut in 1977. A number of American theatre’s elite have acted in the play, including William H. Macy, Robert Duvall, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman. The original Broadway production was nominated for two Tonys and four Drama Desk Awards, and it won the OBIE Award in 1977 for best new play.

Performance Details: Performances of American Buffalo are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees on most Saturdays and Sundays and select Wednesdays. An Open Captioned performance will take place on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. There is an American Sign Language (ASL)-interpreted and Audio Described performance on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. Post-play discussions with cast members will be held after the performances on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.; and Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m.


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