Don Maloney as Pat Degan in Iconic Nero Wolfe Mystery

Tell me about your character. What makes you excited about playing him?

Actor Don Maloney in Park Square Theatre's production of Might As Well Be Dead, A Nero Wolfe MysteryI play the character of Pat Degan, who is the head of the Mechanics Alliance Welfare Association and is personally connected to the victim, Bill Malloy. When Peter Moore cast me in this role, I was most excited to have the chance to workshop the character. It is a rare opportunity that you get to work with the writer and director to help shape the character in both his demeanor and dialogue.

For readers who aren’t familiar with the practice of developing a new play, could you tell us about this process?

Workshopping is a unique opportunity for the actor to work with the director and writer on developing the character while the script is still in development. I love the freedom that comes with this type of process. For Might as Well Be Dead, it was fun to play with the character and bring my own creative vision, which was a more blue collar take than the writer originally had in mind. Both Peter and Joseph really embraced the direction I was going and as a result, Joseph tailored the dialogue so that we could steer the character in that direction. This type of character development happened across the entire cast. It was so rewarding as an actor to collaborate in this way with such a talented group of people.

Is Degan typical of the characters you portray? What kinds of roles have you performed recently? Is the play’s blend of suspense and comedy typical in that sense?

I would say that Degan is a larger than life character and that aligns with some of the characters I have played in the past. Although, the last character I played was Marco in View from the Bridge, who is a man of few words but a man of action when it comes to his family. In my career, I have had the privilege of playing a wide range of characters and I have enjoyed having the opportunity to develop Patrick Degan into the character he is now on stage.

I see that you received your BFA in 1994. I wonder if you could talk about where you feel you are as actor right now in your career. Where do you feel you come from artistically.

I am proud of the career I have had as an actor from my high school and college days to my time in Los Angeles to coming back home to the Twin Cities theater scene. I think the most identifiable growth I have seen in my acting is that in my younger years it was more about the performance I was giving to impress others, and now, it is about the process. I am having more fun simply creating characters and collaborating with my fellow actors. There is so much talent here in the Twin Cities and so much support from the community. It is good to be back.

Without revealing too much about the plot, what’s your favorite moment in the play to be onstage?

With this show, it is less about a specific moment on stage than it is about being a part of this show as a whole. You rely so much on each other in a mystery to keep the audience guessing. It has been so fun to be a part of a 1950s iconic mystery where the dialogue is snappy and fun. It was great to work with Peter Moore and Joseph Goodrich as they really keyed into what the actors were bringing to the characters and fine tuned the interactions to make this show a successful suspense. Honestly, it has just been incredible to be back on the stage at Park Square, it really felt like coming home.


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