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Get a behind the scenes look at Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT.

Meet the cast, crew, creative team, and much more! 

Check back regularly for more updates.

Meet Denver, Ben, & Mike

Full Name: Denver Crawford

Character: Johnny

Education/Training: In my last semester of BFA training at VCU

Favorite food? Spam Musubi

Favorite color? Purple

If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go?  I would go somewhere in Europe.  Maybe learn a different language and change my name.

Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song?  ABSOLUTELY.  My favorite song growing up was always Holiday.

What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why?  Wake me up When September Ends always hits a soft spot for me.  I think the song captures so much surrounding the loss of a loved one, and it never fails to make me cry.

What lyrics from the show best describe your character?  I think the lyrics that describe my character the best are "You're not the Jesus of suburbia."  Johnny absolutely believes he is, and this is what keeps him disconnected from the mainstream and from being "normal," which is what I think his greatest fear is.  He has no wish to be normal because it's boring to him, and boredom might as well be death.  

Describe your character in 4 words: No one understands me

Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Punk as Fuck

How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? American Idiot is actually one of the biggest challenges I've had as a performer in a while.  Most roles I get to play are characters where things happen around them and you get to watch how they deal with everything.  In this show, however, Johnny creates all of his own problems, and then it's really about fixing his own mess.  It's been a challenge because my character is kind of his own worst enemy.  The character of St. Jimmy really is the antagonist of the show, but St. Jimmy exists only in Johnny's head.  Gotta know your enemy.

What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance?  Lots of water and stretching.  Plus some time spent staring at myself in a mirror psyching myself up and blaming the world for my problems.

Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Evan in The Aliens

What is your dream role? In about 20 years, it's Dan from Next to Normal

Why should people come see the show? It's a wild ride with nonstop fun and energy from beginning to end.  And the music is damn good.

Final thoughts: Nothing is ever final!  Fuck the man and whatever he's trying to tell you.  Start your own war.  Follow the beating of your own drum. And remember: Nobody likes you!  Everyone left you!  They're all out without you having fun!  

Full Name: Benjamin James Wilson
Character: Will
Education/Training:  Graduated Appomattox Regional Governors School class of 2015
Favorite food?  Pizza
Favorite color?  Is black a color? If so yes, if not, probably like a forest green or something.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? I love the New Mexico desert area. It's just so pretty and calm.
Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? I listened to so much green day when I was growing up, it was almost a problem. My favorite song is probably either Longview, or East Jesus Nowhere.
What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? Boulevard of broken dreams, because it's that feeling we have all felt of being isolated, and having to go through a difficult period in your life on your own.
What lyrics from the show best describe your character?  "Nobody likes you, everyone left you, they're all out without you, having fun"
Describe your character in 4 words: Lost, lonely, bored, loser
Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words:  Rips, bangs, and shreds.
How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? Being able to play my guitar onstage and be a the rockstar I've always wanted to be is the most unique and amazing part of this show.
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Finger warm ups, full physics warm ups, and trying to clear my head of anything but character.
Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Super cliche, but this one, no lie.
What is your dream role? Bobby from Company.
Why should people come see the show? Cause it's a crazy fun rock show.
Final thoughts: Try to get a front row seat, it's worth it. 

Full Name: Mike Bamford
Character: Tunny
Education/Training: Shenandoah Conservatory

Favorite food? Pizza
Favorite color? Blue
If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Norway
Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? Yes. I loved the song She off of Dookie
What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? City of the Damned sticks with me because I've found myself in situations where people, myself included, have become completely apathetic to anything other than instant gratification in whatever form it may come. 
What lyrics from the show best describe your character? The lyrics in City of the Damned capture that feeling and mentality well which is the precise headspace my character is in at that point in the show. It's why he feels the needs to leave town and find something else although he's not sure what it is yet. 
Describe your character in 4 words: Searching for a purpose
Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Emotional roller coaster 

How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? Ive never had to do so many things simultaneously in any other show.
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Get my blood pumping and my body moving

Favorite role you’ve ever performed?  Buff in SubUrbia

What is your dream role? Katurian in The Pillowman
Why should people come see the show? People should see the show because it's an explosive and exciting piece filled with great music. 
Final thoughts: Don't do heroin. 

Meet Anna, Kelsey, & Rachel

Full Name: Anna Rose
Character: Whatshername
Education/Training: Hunter College in NYC.
Favorite food? Anything from Lamplighter
Favorite color? Red
If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Hogwarts!
Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? Yes! I was basic and liked "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? "21 Guns." We all go through struggles, it's nice to know we aren't alone.
What lyrics from the show best describe your character? "She's a rebel, she's a saint."
Describe your character in 4 words: Powerful, loving, rebellious, intelligent.
Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Trying to survive.
How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? Learning the instruments along with everything else has been very different, but amazing!
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Eat sour patch kids
Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Maureen in RENT.
What is your dream role?  I don't have a dream role that is already known. I want to originate a role on Broadway.
Why should people come see the show? It's amazing and fun. You will have a great time!
Final thoughts: It's not over 'til you're underground. 

Full Name: Kelsey Kathryn Cordrey
Character: Heather
Education/Training: New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway; Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology.
Favorite food? Mexican Food. 
Favorite color? Blue.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Greek Isles.
Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? Absolutely! My favorite song was "Are We The Waiting."
What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? I relate most to "Are We The Waiting," mostly because of the sense of longing for something more.
What lyrics from the show best describe your character? "I'm here to honor you. If I lose everything in the fire, I'm sending all my love to you." 
Describe your character in 4 words: Loving, kind, independent (eventually).
Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Fun, heartfelt, rockin'.
How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? It's been such a fulfilling learning experience. We've been challenged in ways actors typically aren't challenged, and it has been a very fun hurdle to conquer.
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? I drink SO MUCH WATER. I also stretch and warm up my voice and chill with the cast backstage. We've become a little family, and that's maybe what I'm most thankful for.
Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Daphna in BAD JEWS (TheatreLAB), and this one.
What is your dream role? Oh, so many. Rose in DOGFIGHT, The Girl in ONCE, Narrator in MURDER BALLAD, Jenny in IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, and Diana in NEXT TO NORMAL, to name a few.
Why should people come see the show? It's perhaps the most fun they will have at a theatre this summer. It's got heart, great acting, great singing, and truly incredible musicians.
Final thoughts: I feel so lucky to have been a part of this show. Come see American Idiot!!

Full Name: Rachel Hindman
Character: St. Jimmy
Education/Training: BFA in Theatre Performance at VCU
Favorite food? Spaghetti!
Favorite color? Probably green. 
If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Either Venice or Scotland. 
Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? YES. Especially in middle school. I distinctly remember jumping up and down on my bed blasting "Holiday."
What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? I relate to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" a lot. I think that song deeply connects to that state of loneliness that I think everyone feels or has felt before. 
What lyrics from the show best describe your character? "I'm the patron saint of the denial with an angel face and a taste for suicidal"
Describe your character in 4 words: Electric, intimidating, addictive, a temptress.
Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Heart-warming, thought-provoking, fun.
How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? In this show I have to focus on not only my choreography and vocals but also have to still be very present and aware of what is going on onstage while playing the drums. It's the most multitasking I've done in one show.
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? I usually show up an hour before call time. I use that time to center myself.  I put all my "punk" make up on while listening to the cast album. I usually sing through the show once. I just like preparing by myself before the "craziness" of pre-show starts .
Favorite role you’ve ever performed? St.Jimmy. Duh.
What is your dream role? This was a hard decision. For a musical - Velma Kelly (CHICAGO), Play- Abigail (THE CRUCIBLE).
Why should people come see the show? We've put a lot of hard work into it. We've made it into our own show. I think there is something very special onstage that everybody should come witness for themselves.
Final thoughts: Come on out and have some fun with us!

Meet Katy, Caleb, Chandler, & Starlet

Full Name: Katy Burke. Only my parents can call me Kaitlin.

Character: Extraordinary Girl

Education/Training: BFA in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory

Favorite food? The Big Kats kept in the green room freezer...thank you, Starlet Knight :)

Favorite color? “Blue! No, Yellloooooooow”

If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? The Amazon. So deep into the jungle that the Man could never find me. I’d befriend the cannibals by using the power of rock and roll, and by doing so would recreate the laws of the forest and be made queen.   

Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? I listened to it as a kid in my grandparent’s basement, thrilled that punk existed. “Basket Case” was my personal anthem at the time.    

What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? My life and heart have been tangled up in the military as of late, so “Novocaine” (especially our rendition) gets me achy and breaky every time we sing it.  

What lyrics from the show best describe your character? “The waiting unknown”. I’d like to think Extraordinary Girl is the unexpected, yet destined, end of the terribly rocky road Tunny’s life took. Who knows what’s waiting for us on the path ahead?

Describe your character in 4 words: Playful. The past bites.

Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: An emotional rollercoster

How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? I’ve taken such a long break from the stage that I’d forgotten the magic you feel in your gut when the audience applauds, cheers, and cries for you. But jumping back in, head first, I know this particular magic means more. I am truly connected to the story we tell as a cast. Nothing compares to hearing the personal stories of audience members that we’ve affected and moved. But magic aside, the choreography is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered. Like, woah dude, there’s my cardio for the week.

What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Blow my eardrums to smithereens with punk and metal while driving, windows down, to the theatre, to home away from home. And then do 50 sit ups with Kelsey during warm ups...

Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Princess Fred in Once Upon a Mattress was tight, but Extraordinary girl is up there...Honestly, more than anything, I love playing my own inner punk as an ensemble member throughout American Idiot.

What is your dream role? I’m a little old for Peter Pan now, so a gender reversed Captain Hook would make my whole life worth living. And if the whole show could be steam punk...oh man.

Why should people come see the show? Aside from the fact that your face will be rocked off by artists that have put their hearts and souls into this process? You should see the show because it is a story that exposes the human condition for what it truly is. Let my Idiot family show you rage and love, and you will leave feeling whole again.  

Final thoughts: Rock and roll has saved my life a couple times, but this cast and this crew, they saved my soul, my heart. Before I met my idiots, my art was dying. I owe them more than a lifetime of love. They fanned my creative flame when it was going out and taught me to be me again. My calling to the wild side, the life of creativity, has never been so strong. I am so proud to be a part of this family. I hope they make you feel as human as they make me feel. Rock on.

Full Name: Caleb Wade

Character: Ensemble (Favorite Son / Rock & Roll Boyfriend :-P)

Education/Training: Bachelor in music at VCU

Favorite food? Mac & Cheese for life!

Favorite color? Blue matches my eyes, soo...

If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? New Zealand. LOTR, bay-bay!

Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? I listened to Green Day in high school quite a lot (AI came out during my Sophomore year in High School). Always loved Jesus of Suburbia.

What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? I always really responded to Are We The Waiting - something about the emotion and sense of longing for something out of reach always struck a chord with me. 

What lyrics from the show best describe your character? "I got a rock and roll band. I got a rock and roll liiife. I got a rock and roll girlfriend. *smirk*" 

Describe your character in 4 words: Eye on the prize

Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Big, Bold, Beautiful

How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? American Idiot has been the most technically demanding & challenging shows I've ever worked on. Had to very quickly become very proficient at doing many things that I'd never done simultaneously before and it's helped me grow exponentially as a performer over-all. 

What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? So. Much. Red Bull. Don't do it, kids. It's bad for you.

Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Oh, Winnie-the-Pooh, hands down - THE HOUSE ON POOH CORNER.

Why should people come see the show? Many people are familiar with the album American Idiot but not many people know the meaning behind the music. The story told throughout this show have something that everyone can connect to. Plus, it's just a hell of a lot of fun! You'll cry; you'll laugh; you'll cheer - it's one of the most complete and invigorating musical experiences you'll have all year. 

Final thoughts: This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I've grown so much both as a performer and a person. I'll never forget the people I've grown to call family in this cast/crew and the experiences I've had while putting on this monster of a show. Never stop rocking it out (but drink less Red Bull).  

Full Name: Chandler Bryant Matkins
Character: Ensemble / Drums / The Mufucka with The Sticks

Education/Training: Currently pursuing a BFA at TheatreVCU with a concentration in performance.

Favorite food? Ham

Favorite color? Carolina Blue

If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Boston, MA

Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? Hell no, pop punk scared the shit out of me. 21 Guns was dope though. I know… I'm typical. (BASIC).

What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? Through becoming better acquainted with Green Day's American Idiot, I've found that I most relate to "Good Riddance". It's heartfelt and simple, just like life should be, even though it isn't. It makes me look around and appreciate all the things that have gone wrong in my life for leading me to the great things.
What lyrics from the show best describe your character? The person I'm trying to embody on stage is meant to be nothing more than the ruckus badass, so "Holiday" is probably it. I had free range to be what I wanted in this show, so given the circumstances (and my costume), I figured, why not grunge freak?

Describe your character in 4 words: Tough, Lost, Harsh, Thoughtful.

Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words: Big | Loud | Meaningful 
How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? This has been unlike anything I've seen, done, or heard of before. To learn an entire show, loads of choreography, and play the music on top of that, I honestly can't believe we pulled it off. Hats off to Adam Ferguson, Kate Bellman, and Matt Koon for making me understand how the hell this was ever going to happen, and giving me the gift of exploration.
What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Stretch in jeans that are too tight, and use the bathroom more than enough times. It's a lot of pressure so, more than anything, I relax.
Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Jess from THE COMPLETEL WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ABRIDGED.

What is your dream role? Max Bialystock 
Why should people come see the show? A lot of people gave it everything they have, and made it more than satisfying. It's got a little bit of everything for everybody. You can sing along, dance, and party the night away with a couple of idiots. Who could ask for me?
Final thoughts: To say that this has been a hard road would be an understatement. I could not be prouder of the people I've had the privilege of working and growing with. I have made lifelong friendships, and learned lessons that will stick with me throughout my career. Thank you to Adam Ferguson, Kate Bellman, and Andrew Scott for constantly moving us forward. Thank you ALL for keeping the hope alive, as this show continued to flourish. BUT, to Matt Koon, thank you so much for teaching me why it is so important to care -- to care about your art and take it seriously. You have given me hope for my career, and hope for humanity. May this world be blessed with people like you for years to come. You are truly an inspiration. Thanks to everyone, let's continue to kick ass!

 

Full Name: Starlet Knight

Character: Ensemble (Drug Dealer?)

Education/Training: BA, MA English (concentration in Composition Pedagogy) and a bunch of other graduate work. Some people play golf; I go to grad school.

Favorite food? Steak

Favorite color? Gray -- in all it shades

If you could travel anywhere in the world to escape where would you go? Puerto Rico

Did you listen to Green Day growing up? If so what was your favorite song? Uhhh, I was on my second marriage by the time they hit big. My kids did, though. I've graded hundreds of college freshman essays on 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'.

What song do you relate to the most in AMERICAN IDIOT and why? Whatsername. I've moved so much in my half decade on the planet. I'm tickled to have lived long enough to enjoy the information age. It used to be that good relationships were lost whenever I moved. I've long had that experience of being suddenly reminded of someone that I used to know, and wondering how they're doing. And it does seem like forever ago sometimes.

What lyrics from the show best describe your character? Oooo, ahhhh, didip dididip.

Describe your character in 4 words: the crazy old lady

Without giving any spoilers describe the show in 3 words:  White Kid Problems

How has working on AMERICAN IDIOT been different than other shows? It's the only show I've ever done in kneepads. It's also been my first death scene.

What do you do to prepare for each AMERICAN IDIOT performance? Stretch and get high hair.

Favorite role you’ve ever performed? Skshp in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH

What is your dream role? Victor/Victoria

Why should people come see the show? It's complicated. No, I mean the show is complicated, so it's pretty fascinating -- a kind of aural and visual overload.

Final thoughts:  Being with young people keeps me young. These kids are letting me 'mom' them, though. My own children live in other cities, so this is super enjoyable. I've learned a LOT.

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Firehouse Theatre / 1609 W. Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220 / 804.355.2001 / info@firehousetheatre.org

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