Making butter outta cream

Q & A with senior Timothy Leonard on acting as father-figure


McDaniel's Photography

Senior Timothy Leonard advises as Frank Abagnale, Sr. that people see only what they want to see. His son, Frank Abagnale, Jr., is played by senior Paul Phillips. The story within “Catch Me If You Can” is a true one, first made into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, and then transformed into a Broadway musical in 2011 starring Aaron Tveit.

The plot within the comedic musical “Catch Me If You Can” stems from a divorce. It is because of his parents’ split that the main character, Frank Abagnale, Jr., runs off to become an expert con man.

Acting as Frank Abagnale, Sr. is senior Timothy Leonard. Leonard was asked about his experience with the production of “Catch Me If You Can” and preparing his character.

Q: How have you prepared for this role outside of class and rehearsal?

A: It takes a lot of searching for inspiration and character development. I spend a lot of time writing a character that I’ll be able to portray on stage. Since I’m playing the father and, in some cases, best friend of the main character, there is a lot of depth to the character I haven’t personally experienced yet, like being a father.

So I spent a lot of time watching my father, and looking at how what I said affected him. My character is also an alcoholic and slightly insane, so I had to look at different types of insanity, and compare it to alcoholism stages.

Q: What kind of voice have you developed for this character?

A: It is a treble-leaning voice that is also deep and booming. That way, as the show goes on, it lends itself to hysteria and laughing and cracking that goes with it. On that note, I develop all my own voices. Sometimes I’ll take inspiration from other performances, but this one is all me.

Q: Compare this show to performances you have done in the past.

A: This show is both unique and similar to ones we have done in the past. It has quirks, like “The Drowsy Chaperone” from last year, but it’s also somewhat grounded in the same way.

Q: What has it been like working with both the cast and crew?

A: The crew and the cast have their differences, and being a part of both, I feel as if the crew doesn’t get as much appreciation as they deserve. They can be taken for granted, and they run the show. But that’s part of the challenges of working together on a main-stage production.

Q: What are you looking forward to for your performance?

A: I’m looking forward to just being on stage again! I love performing so much. It is what I plan on doing with the rest of my life. The exhilaration I get while up there is the most amazing feeling in the world.

“Catch Me If You Can” will be performed January 29-31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are ten dollars.