Born and raised in Fargo, Tucker is a man of many talents. He joined the B ensemble in 2007. He has participated as both an actor and director, as well as behind the scenes, designing sound, properties, and poster art. But his first love is video production. You can experience Tucker’s sound design work in The Sweet New, opening April 15th.
Theatre B (TB): What’s your favorite position to take on? Do you prefer acting or being behind the scenes?
Tucker Lucas (TL): You know, it depends on the project, but I think being behind the scenes is more conducive to my lifestyle. Mostly because video production itself is a very behind the scenes type of craft. I do like acting, but I don’t have the kind of passion that makes me actively look for acting gigs. I probably average an acting role once every two years. I suppose if I had to pick my favorite role at Theatre B, it would just being able to be apart of the ensemble.
TB: When did you first get involved with theatre?
TL: I did some theatre in high school. My dad was a teacher at my junior high school. He had directed plays for years and years, so as a kid I had gone to many of those. So I did theatre in junior high, high school, and after I graduated, a little bit of community theatre as well. It ended up being through that, I met people who did Summer Shakespeare, and through Summer Shakespeare, I met the folks who started Theatre B.
TB: Do you remember your first role?
TL: My very first speaking role was in a 5th grade. My name was Yohannes Schmitengister, and it was a play about immigration at Ellis Island. I had two lines and the first was just my stating my name. Then later when the station agent changed my name to John Smith I said, “Hey, in America, anything goes.”
TB: Favorite Theatre B role?
TL: I have a couple. I think my absolute favorite was The 39 Steps. It was the last show that Matt Burkholder directed for B, and this is going to sound weird, but it was one of my first serious roles with B where my character has not murdered children. For whatever reason, I think there was like 3 or 4 roles in a row where my character had that backstory. So it was pretty refreshing to have a role that didn’t have that baggage. I also loved Rabbit Hole.
TB: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced artistically?
TL: I would say it is always resources- I don’t mean just about theatre. I do a lot of filmmaking as well. The theatre world and the filmmaking world have a lot to do with each other. There are many crossovers. The hardest thing really is managing resources. For example, if you don’t have a budget and the project has a lot of moving parts, you have to rely on volunteerism and donated resources. Resource management is, in my opinion, the hardest thing to do. That’s why they have paid jobs where people do that, I suppose. It does require a pro.
TB: What would you say has been your greatest artistic achievement?
TL: I guess in terms of successes – or successes at least that I’m proud of – is that I’ve lead a few teams that have won the Fargo 48 Film Competition. Those are some really fun successes. Of course it’s a team effort, but that’s really great to be a part of. Recently Greg Carlson and I have done some work in documentaries that have been in festivals and have received some accolades. Another huge success though is that I get to be a part of a non-profit theatre organization that’s still alive after more than a decade. I mean that’s awesome. Or at least maybe that they haven’t kicked me out yet.
TB: Is there a Tucker Lucas fun fact you’d like to share?
TL: My name is not actually Tucker. My name is William. Tucker has been a nickname since I was a baby. My dad is William; my grandpa is also William, so I too am a William. They needed a nickname to differentiate us, and my dad is from Kentucky so the adults somehow landed on Tucker as my nickname. Ever since that it has just stuck. The only people who call me William are the Bank and the Government.
TB: what is your favorite thing about being a part of the ensemble at B?
TL: That’s like picking a favorite song or movie. Impossible. The camaraderie is the thing I feed off the most. Being on a team of people where our goals are so incredibly aligned is wonderful. It also gives me a creative outlet, and it’s essentially what is responsible for my post high school education since I didn’t stick with college. A lot of the values that I have learned, I’ve learned through Theatre B.
Interviewer: Corin Puhalla, Theatre B Promotions Intern