by Virginia Hatch

Seacoast Scene, May 5, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Seacoast Scene]

Chris Doubek at home in Hampton on a rainy day.

The Independent Film Festival of Boston brought ten of the films chosen to be shown at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah to Boston. One of those films, “Lovers of Hate”, stars Chris Doubek, former Hampton resident and graduate of Winnacunnet High School and the University of New Hampshire. At Winnacunnet, Chris appeared in school plays, “Up the Down Staircase” and “The Sound of Music” in which he played the Captain. Chris wanted to play football at WHS; but, when he realized that he would have to warm the bench for one year before getting to play; he opted out of football and into drama. At UNH, Chris majored in Drama.

Before studying at UNH, Chris attended Salve Regina College in Rhode Island and Hunter College in New York City where he studied acting and interned with Julie Taymor’s production of Juan Darien. She, later, created The Lion King on Broadway. Chris, also, interned at the now-defunct Circle Repertory Company in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which was the artistic home of Jeff Daniels, Christopher Reeve and William Hurt.

Chris’s interest in acting began in England in mime classes, where it was an upper-school elective.

On television, Chris was in Friday Night Lights. He has been in ten films and has appeared in 16 regional theater venues.

Chris’s training for a career in acting included: a B.A. in Theater at the University of New Hampshire plus special classes in Acting; Improvisation; Movement; and Voice.

After college and brief stays in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, Chris headed west for Austin in hopes of doing independent film and working with Richard Linklater. Chris ultimately reached that goal, although it was only opening a hamburger in Fast Food Nation; but, he had achieved another long-standing goal.

“I achieved a long-term goal. After moving to Austin, film seemed to take priority over theater. Actually, I cut my film teeth on doing student films at the University of Texas’s Film School. There, I met Bryan Poyser, who, later, wrote and directed “Lovers of Hate”. We collaborated on a few projects culminating in our trip to Sundance with “Lovers of Hate”, which is, currently, available on video-on-demand from IFC (Independent Film Channel). Bryan saw my work in student films; and, we collaborated on a short film before the feature.”

Chris’s latest film, “Lovers of Hate”, was one of 16 finalists chosen from a little over 1,000 applicants in his category of films submitted to Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival in the narrative competition.

Bryan Poyser, director, and Chris Doubek, actor, worked together on “Lovers of Hate.

“LOVERS OF HATE” director, Bryan Poyser, interviewed by The Austin Chronicle described Chris’s talent in acting.

AC: Chris Doubek is painfully believable as Rudy. You’ve worked with him before, but why, specifically, did you cast him here?

BP: “For one thing, he’s a very gifted physical actor because he’s been trained in the theatre, where your whole body is your instrument. He can engage his entire body in the scene, whereas a lot of film actors are unused to that kind of full-body expression. The character of Rudy really doesn’t have very many lines, particularly in the last two-thirds of the film, so we’re relying on his physical presence for a lot of the comedy and as a means of expressing what’s going on in Rudy’s head.

“Chris is kind of heroic to me, because he’s figured out a way to make his life be totally about acting. He doesn’t accrue anything else that would make that not possible. He’s just there and ready to act.” — The Austin Chronicle, March 12, 2010.

“However, probably, the most formative experience came before college at Hampton’s own Hampton Playhouse, which is now, sadly, ‘Playhouse Drive’. I remember walking in and telling them I would do anything –- if they needed somebody to sweep the floor — or do odd jobs of any kind; because, I didn’t know how people got hired. One of the owners, Al Christie or John Vari said to me they could ascertain my real reason was in acting. They told me if I wanted to be an apprentice, I could act as well as sweep floors, clean toilets, park cars, sell soda, paint and construct sets and costumes, do poster runs (I knew Hampton). We were, also, on the running crew (backstage dresser), to working lights, hanging lights, setting lights, endless lights; so, that was—at the end of my first season there, John encouraged me to go to New York and do a showcase.

“The thing about the Playhouse is that every aspect of the theater that I could imagine was present there, from the smell of the wood shop, wood glue and Murphy’s Oil Soap, the smell of the shellacked canvas, the flats that we made that were part of the scenery, the luan. Meeting Georgia Engel (Ted’s wife) of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Franks (Vohs and O’Brien) who are hilariously funny. One dipper less and he burlesqued Frank O’Brien, the dramatic actor. Hampton Playhouse as a window onto the American theater, a world that I’d only seen snippets of.

“Lastly, the Hampton Playhouse was like a template for the rest of my time in the business. Everything that happened since then happened in those two summers already. In the words of The Chorus Line musical: ‘What I did for love; The gift was ours to borrow. Love is never gone. Love is what we’ll remember.'”

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