Q&A with Greece native Mark Roland
The performer is back home—and onstage in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
For Greece native Mark Roland, home is an unusual and uncertain ideal.
Three years spent on the road dancing with national Broadway tours can certainly bewilder; Roland, however, was born for this type of movement. He is currently on tour with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which stops in Rochester from November 11-16 at the Auditorium Theatre as part of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 2014-15 season. The production, which has toured since February, is now on its second leg.
Before before landing in this year’s Dreamcoat cast, Roland’s roles sent him to the farthest reaches of the United States—a chassé across state lines—dancing in various regional productions and, most notably, as an ensemble member in the first national tour of La Cage aux Folles.
According to Roland (and almost every critic who’s written about the show), director and choreographer Andy Blankenbeuhler’s vision for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is powerful, a fresh new take, a blockbuster production, and a monumental achievement on stage. American Idol fans may recall the leading sweetheart duo from seasons three (Diana DeGarmo) and five (Ace Young); the couple married last year.
Via phone from his current tour stop in Dayton, Ohio, Roland offered a few thoughts on touring life, seeing family, and the show itself.
Tell us a little bit more about your background.
I’ve been dancing since the age of five. At Greece-Athena High School I was involved in the nationally acclaimed show choir under the direction of Judith Ranaletta. I also performed community theatre at Rochester Association of Performing Arts (RAPA). Near the end of my junior year in high school, I made a commitment to pursue a life in dance and theatre.
How is life on the road?
Our cast gets along so well. It can be hard because you’re with the same people all the time. Hotel, travel, performance—together. The only people you ever see are each other. But we do things together even when we don’t have to. We are a family.
Coming back to Rochester, what do you look forward to most?
Spending some time with my family. My mom. My sister will be visiting with her husband and their new baby. I’m excited to see my little nephew. I’ll also be teaching a couple master’s classes, sharing some of the choreography from the show at A Touch of Dance in Greece, where I danced as a child.
Have you thought much about teaching?
I’m not done performing yet, but maybe down the road.
What are your thoughts on Joseph?
Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo are amazing. Diana’s voice alone is reason enough to go see it.
For tickets to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, click here.
Kevin Carr is a blogger, playwright, and freelance writer. He studies at the University of Rochester and blogs at TheNumberKevin.com. Occasionally, he sleeps.