Tuesday, October 14, 2014



URI Theatre I  By Brianna Penta

Christopher Morris as Leonard, and Laine Wagner as Izzy
Photo by Randy Osga
“Well it's both comical and dramatic. Usually the roles I have played have been one or the other. This is definitely the most realistic character I have played,” explained URI Senior, Chris Morris, about his character Leonard, in the hit production Seminar which opened Thursday, October 9th at 7:30pm. This comical, thrilling, and edgy production, which is set in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in an upscale apartment, explores the lives of four young novelists. In the hopes of pursuing prosperous writing careers, they hire a well-known, literary genius (Leonard). Under his reckless, surprisingly magnificent, and unorthodox direction, the post grad students get a taste of reality for that profession accompanied by the shredding of their egos. “This production is without a doubt, one for the books,” adds Morris.

Although Morris has been involved with theatre since the 6th grade, he was a late bloomer when joining the URI Theatre program. Coming to URI as a film major was the original plan. However, recognizing all the free time he had on his hands at the end of last semester, he decided to spontaneously audition for the student play Nasty Little Secrets. With the success of his casting opportunity he realized that the stage was his home. “It reignited my passion for theater and I decided to take up a double major,” Morris stated confidently.

Morris’s natural “show-biz” and acting talent is transparently portrayed through his brilliant ability to so easily “get back in the ring,” and it is reflected in his lead role as Leonard. Being new to the theatre department did not make the audition process any easier. “Excited seems like too weak a word. It was a very strenuous audition process. I auditioned against someone who was Leonard's age (50). So I figured I was beat out by the guy who would fit the role,” Morris says as he expresses his general struggles in obtaining the role. But his work ethic and love for the theatre landed him one of the lead characters. Morris’s satisfied audiences aren’t the only viewers who see his potential. He states, “Bryna (director) took a chance on me, and I haven’t let her down so far.” He makes it look too easy being a master at his craft.

Looking back at his acting career so far, Morris is most proud of his work in The Producers, a musical about an accountant and a producer who plan a scheme to create the worst Broadway show and raise more money than necessary in the hopes of retaining the surplus. To indulge entirely in his roles, he draws on his own life experiences to fully bring the character to life. Morris gladly explains, “I had a lot of freedom to take my character wherever I wanted, and I think I brought a lot to that show. Whenever I look back on it I always smile.”

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