Who are you, and where might audiences have seen you before?
I am Alex Alejandria, a husband and father who enjoys being part of tribes that form with every theatrical production. There haven’t been so many shows that I couldn’t name them all and so I shall. The first was Oliver in the Philippines where I played the titular character. The first in Canada, in Windsor, was Jesus Christ Superstar where I was Annas, a priest. I’ve done this role twice, 15 years apart. Next was the Captain of the Inquisition in Man Of La Mancha. After that was the first of three Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat productions where I played Judah (Benjamin Calypso) in the first two. I was the Lion in The Wizard Of Oz where I met Matt Froese - a castmate here - 14 years ago. Next came Miss Saigon at the Cleary where I played the bar-owner in Bangkok. After the second Joseph/Dreamcoat, my first show with my daughter Sadie, I was Schroeder in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Next came Mr. Stride and a newsboy in Jekyll And Hyde, and then I was an Irish priest in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, my second show with Sadie. The King And I came next where I met Michael Potter in my third show with Sadie. Next came Shrek The Musical (King, Duloc guard, Grumpy the elf) with Sadie as young Shrek, then Sweeney Todd (Mr Fogg, ensemble), then Fiddler On The Roof, as a Russian thug. I played a pirate in Korda’s Peter Pan(to) to Sadie's Nana the dog. I was Bart Simpson in Mr Burns - A Post Electric Play, and then once again Annas the priest in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Chrysler Theatre last year. My most recent was as Miss Beginagin in Annie Of Green Gables Get Your Gun, the most recent Korda panto where Sadie was stage manager. That’s all of them, and now this. Stop Kiss is my first non-singing role and Sadie's second as a stage manager.
You've played a diverse range of roles, clearly. What can you tell us about Detective Cole and how he fits into the story and themes of Stop Kiss?
Detective Cole is the character written to set up the environment in which the later (even-numbered) scenes take place. His conversations with Callie hint at the culmination of the flirtation and budding friendship happening between Callie and Sara in the scenes preceding his. He is not unsympathetic but his job requires a certain coldness and “just the facts, ma’am” demeanor. He is annoyed that Callie is not more forthcoming but he is aware that she thinks he will prejudge her relationship with Sara when she herself is not sure what that is yet. I modeled the performance of his character on Detective Marcus Bell in the TV series Elementary.
One of the major themes of Stop Kiss is that love can take various forms, not all of which are recognized even by the people who are experiencing them. What do you hope audiences learn from this play about love?
That love really is where you find it. Another good example, which to me has some parallels with Callie and Sara, is the story of how the comedian Tig Notaro met her love. Now, neither Callie and Sara identify as lesbians but that is not the point. Ms Notaro’s wife is heterosexual. A deep friendship was struck and there was no grand seduction per se. She fell in love with Tig because of the person she is and she couldn’t bear to be apart from her. And such is love.
There is an openness to serendipity in your example that really seems to resonate with what we see in Stop Kiss. If you were asked WHY someone should see this play, how would you answer?
You should see this play because of its novelty. The device (if that’s the proper term) used is one that requires intellectual time-travel, with an accompanying see-saw of emotions where you see a fresh budding unconventional romance (for those who must have conventions) interrupted by a not-so-inconceivable nor uncommon tragedy, and then enduring friendship which manifests in acts of unspoken commitment and what must truly be love. The way the actors perform all of the above is so casually real that one feels like the proverbial fly on the wall as it unfolds. I don’t get the title yet though. I look forward to that moment.
Photo by Jacques Scheepers Photography