Company Profiles: Ryan Sellers

This is the second in a series of posts profiling our company members — get to know the Synetic family of actors. I sent a few questions out to some company members, and their responses, as well as some info on the actor, can be found in this series. Enjoy!

Ryan Sellers

Ryan Sellers

Ryan Sellers has been working with Synetic since 2008, performing roles such as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Dancaire in Carmen, Ensemble in Host and Guest, Demon in Dante, and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

1. Where are you from? What is your training?

I’m from Springfield, VA. My training is in musical theater — I attended the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University in DC.

2. What was it like to start working with Synetic? How was it different from your other experiences?


My first experience with Synetic was playing Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. Starting to work with synetic was exciting — even though I had worked with dance and movement before I had never seen it applied in such a contemporary fashion.  We did choreography and physical improv that excited me and challenged me in ways I had not thought were possible.  The fight choreography was intense and very instinctive as well as the ethereal and symbolic movement.

It was different from my other experiences: everywhere else technique comes first, in tap, in song, in ballet, in acting… however in Synetic I found a much more visceral approach — everything is driven by raw emotion.

3. Do you have a favorite role?

My favorite role with Synetic was my first: Tybalt. He was the most in-depth character I’ve worked with in a synetic show and the fight choreography was unbelievable.

Author’s note: Ryan had the dubious honor of going directly from a tremendously acrobatic fight against Philip Fletcher’s Mercutio to the tremendously fast fight against Romeo…all in the space of a good 8 minutes or so. Handy situation for those who want to stay in shape.

As the hotheaded Tybalt (photo credit Raymond Gniewek)

As the hotheaded Tybalt (photo credit Raymond Gniewek)

Another favorite role had to be Tateh in Ragtime. He was a very selfless man with a pleasant demeanor.  The range in that role, as well as that show, goes from very emotionally touching to very light and humorous.  It was one of the most fun roles any person could have.

4. What things do you enjoy about working with the company?

I enjoy the camaraderie of Synetic, and the intense level of trust.  In movement that intense and that emotionally motivated if anyone goes to fast or too slow someone could get seriously injured.  We trust each other to duck when we need to duck, jump when we need to jump, and catch each other when someone falls.  Even if you fall by accident, someone will get your back.  It’s a family like no other, and the investment of the group as a whole in the quality of a show is unmatched. We will not let each other settle for anything less than our best.

5. Any crazy stories from rehearsal, performance, etc.?

hahaha… um… There was the time that Ben [Cunis] was trying to show Vato [Tsikurishvili] how to lift me with one arm, but made one big different choice.  He moved his wrist in such a way that I flipped over on my back and dropped from the top of Ben’s arm to the ground and landed flat on my back.  That was something.

There was also the time I jumped up to grab the cage in Carmen in a moment where the entirety of the rest of the ensemble went into slow motion. Once I realized that I dropped of the cage and went immediately into slow motion, but Roger was laughing so hard at me that we both kept laughing until we exited the scene.

6. What’s next for you?

Midsummer remount! And then the Demon in Dracula. Come check it out!

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~ by synetictheater on August 26, 2009.

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