CHRIS MORRIS LADIES AND GENTLEMAN
URI Theatre I By Brianna Penta
|Christopher Morris as Leonard, and Laine Wagner as Izzy|
Photo by Randy Osga
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.”