We look to the past to shape our future. Who are you? Where are you going from here?

I’m Reece Santos. I’m an actor. I was born in Brazil and raised two hours from here in Lowell, Massachusetts (Mill City!!). I moved to New York City and have resided there for the past nine years. I just finished my first year at NYU’s Graduate Acting MFA program in May. From here, I will head back to New York City and start my second year at NYU. Just taking it day by day!

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s (R)evolutionary Redux Season?

Theater people have shown incredible imagination, drive, and effort on keeping shows coming through such challenging circumstances and in new and unfamiliar virtual mediums. I think they all deserve our thanks and credit — for performing period. But the heart of the theater is the LIVE physical experience between the performers and audience. Lights. Sets. Costumes. Sound. All of these things coming together to tell a story in real time.

It’s been a long year. I am just a humbled and dedicated to being one of the first companies in the country to bring back live performances. Truly it’s an honor to be part of this season at TAM.

We’re all about making old things new and new things classic. Why are you drawn to Classic Theatre? How do you shake it up?

Shakespeare to me is longevity and prescience. There’s a reason why his plays are still being produced. I remember in High School reading his plays and full disclosure; I was too lazy to really investigate the text. But then I saw a production… and said ” I want to do that!”.

We need to read Shakespeare too but it was meant to be performed and seen. When we hear it, see it, then, well it’s just amazing. When you’re able investigate and wrap your brain around his phrases (that sound so unfamiliar at first) they come alive in a visceral way and suddenly sound so familiar. It’s magical. I can’t explain it! My aim is to always make Shakespeare’s language accessible and understandable to the audience.

From what sources do you draw your inspiration?

It’s important for me to feed my imagination with images, music, the world. My teachers this year have inspired me: Jim Calder, Janet Zarish, and Richard Feldman have really opened up my eyes that there is no formula to this work. Inspiration can come from anywhere, from anyone—you just have to keep your eyes open to the world and the people in it.

You can have dinner with any three influential people. Who are your dream guests, why them, and what is the topic of conversation?

I never met my maternal grandparents. They both passed when my mother was a child.

I’d love to sit down with them and talk about their life, their stories, and my family history. Nelson Mandela because of his life and the man he became despite the odds.

What recent revolutionary acts are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the moments where I jumped into new experiences and uncomfortable conversations fully without worrying about being wrong.

What’s your super power?

Prioritizing finding joy in everything I do. Especially when things get difficult!