The Man of Many Hats - Kevin Loreque of "What the Constitution Means to Me"
December 22, 2022
Kevin Loreque was last seen at FST in 2014 playing Patsy in Monty Python's Spamalot, an outrageous parody of the legend of King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail. This season, he shows off his dramatic acting skills in the Obie Award-winning play, What the Constitution Means to Me, which plays in FST’s Keating Theatre through February 26, 2023.
Over the course of the 90-minute play, Loreque wears many hats—he plays a Legionnaire (and army veteran), represents “positive male energy,” and serves as a debate moderator between two women who are passionate about the Constitution. We sat down with Kevin Loreque to discuss the challenges of his roles in What the Constitution Means to Me, his creative process as an actor, and what he hopes audiences will take away from seeing this award-winning show.
What drew you to audition for What the Constitution Means to Me?
I was lucky enough to see What the Constitution Means to Me when it was on Broadway, and I immediately knew I wanted to be in this play. There was such a strong pull for me emotionally, even if I couldn’t have put it into words at the time. So, I was thrilled when this audition came my way, and was ecstatic when I was cast. I am truly grateful for this whole experience, even when it is a challenge for me emotionally.
What is this play, What the Constitution Means to Me, about for you?
Compassion is the word that keeps coming up for me. I feel that it’s about finding the humanity, the care, and equality for all people—regardless of age, sex, race, gender, or orientation.
I think the play is asking us to take a look at our history more honestly and question how each of us might change things, even within our own little worlds. It asks us to recognize that we each have the capability to hold space and compassion for someone that we may perceive as “different” from us.
You’re embodying a real person as well as representing a more abstract idea—“positive male energy”—on stage. What is that like for you?
I do this as an actor in each project I work on, whether they’re living or fictional. You get as much information as possible and live within the given circumstances of the play and its world to the best of your abilities. And I personally feel that I, myself, bring fairly positive male energy, at most times anyhow. So, I will strive to be my most loving and supportive self in the latter half of the play. Above all, I hope to bring honesty and integrity to these roles.
What is the biggest challenge for you in taking on these roles?
I would say the verbiage in some of my passages is the most challenging aspect to me. The language needs to be precise since we’re talking about published documents. And it certainly isn’t the way I talk in life. The accuracy of that is important in these circumstances.
What are some of the challenges of having no “fourth wall” between you and the audience with What the Constitution Means to Me? What is fun about this?
Having no fourth wall during What the Constitution Means to Me can be wonderful to see when people are really connecting with the material, and even getting quite emotional over certain things. It’s heartening to know that the play is connecting with so many.
What is your hope for this play?
I hope people will find this as funny, as important, as shocking, and as illuminating as I did when I first saw it. This play has a capacity to wake people up to some truths about this country that we don’t always like to look at or admit. And it ultimately reminds us that we are all human beings on this journey together—no matter who we are or what we look like.
What the Constitution Means to Me plays in FST’s Keating Theatre through February 26, 2023.