Alan Campbell plays Pastor Paul in The Christians, currently running at Gulfshore Playhouse.
You’ve had a really amazing career so far. Can you tell us about some of the highlights?
I’ve been so fortunate to have worked with so many amazing people and in a number of different forms. Early on I did a sit com ’Three’s a Crowd” with John Ritter and being locked in a room with him was a master class of comedy and joy. And then later fulfilling a dream with Sunset Boulevard with the phenomenal Glenn Close. Also Contact, a dance based show, was fun. But I have grown to really love intimate theater and theater about something which means meaty, literate plays, many of which I’ve gotten the opportunity to do at Gulfshore!
How did you first meet Kristen Coury?
Kristen was just a few years out of college when we met. She was the assistant company manager on Sunset Blvd. and we became good friends. She also brought us our checks every week which made her even more popular with the cast and crew!
What kind of characters do you most enjoy playing?
I enjoy characters that are flawed and complicated but I always enjoy finding the good and best intentions available. I think most of us try to do the right thing most of the time. Even supposedly “bad” guys have some thread of decency somewhere and I like to mine that. I think the conflicting parts of character are the most interesting and make them more believably human.
What draws you to certain roles or projects? Is it the piece itself, the character, or the people you work with (or a mixture of all)?
You nailed it…all of the above. Acting is a job and sometimes a pretty big one. I always think about it as legs of a chair. The piece, the character the people you will work with and the compensation. I like to get three of those in place. That may sound slightly mercenary but but when you leave your home and family, it needs to make sense. And things have changed since I have become a father and gotten older…………
What drew you to this role?
I love the idea of a man of god who undergoes an epiphany or crisis of some kind. Again wanting and thinking he is doing right with unintentional results. It’s an old story but such a wonderful foundation for exploration and good theater.
Do you know anybody in real life like Pastor Paul?
I do. No names but I have a friend who runs a mega church just outside Durham North Carolina. I drew a lot from him and his personal qualities.
How did you prepare to step into the role of a Pastor?
Attended the above mentioned mega church and also read a few books by Tim Keller and others. And also just the basic grunt work that goes with learning a lot of dialogue.
What has been your favorite thing about working on The Christians?
I think creating the “world” of this church and culture has been fascinating. And also my fellow actors are fantastic and working with and reacting to what they bring to this piece has been a wonderful treat. Every show!
How has this experience been different from your previous work at Gulfshore Playhouse?
As I told Kristen, I feel so fortunate to have seen firsthand the growth and success of Gulfshore Playhouse. I did the first show here years ago (Oleanna) and then came back a few years later (Doubt) and each time the theater has grown in capability and excellence. GP is a really first class theater and it is so gratifying to feel apart of that continued success and the richness that Gulfshore Playhouse brings to this community.
What do you like most about Naples?
I am South Florida born and raised (Homestead) and it never leaves you. I got off the plane and the smells, fauna and feel of Naples and of coastal Florida is intrinsically familiar. Naples has grown so much but still has a smaller, slower feel while offering great beauty, culture, and quality of life. I have been looking at real estate here like everyone else, I guess. I do think about returning, one day and watching a lot more sunsets!