Introducing Akolotu Moeloa as "Monsieur Bouc" in Murder on the Orient Express

Another week, another Debuting Artist! OpenStage is home to many incredible artists, some who have worked with the company for years and others who are brand new. This week we are proud to introduce another new company member, Akolotu Moeloa, making his OpenStage debut in Murder on the Orient Express! I got to know Akolotu a little more before he performs as "Monsieur Bouc," a good friend and former colleague of Hercule Poirot as well as and the owner of Wagon-Lit (the train company that owns the Orient Express). Here is what Akolotu had to say:

Tell me about yourself! Where you’re from, your hobbies, past work, fun facts, or anything that comes to mind!
 My name is Akolotu Moeloa, though everyone calls me "Mo." I'm a Polynesian from the MidWest (Indiana) and made my way to Fort Collins with stops in California, Hawaii, and Texas. I enlisted for two tours in the US Navy, earned an arts degree in Chinese Mandarin from the Defense Language Institute, and a bachelor and master degree in information systems from Tarleton State and Texas A&M. I spend my free time playing board games with my friends, video games with my kids, and brewing beer at home. I also read a lot and run roleplaying games as a gamemaster. It's how I tell stories when I'm not on stage.
What made you decide to audition for Murder on the Orient Express? What was the audition like?

I've been a fan of the Poirot character since I was young. I'm a huge fan of David Suchet's portrayal and I was ecstatic for the chance to help bring Christie's story to life. As an amateur linguist, I saw the presentation of so many international characters and their accents as an intriguing challenge when I auditioned. The differences between Belgian and French accents are subtle indeed.

How has your experience with OpenStage been so far?

My experience with theater in Fort Collins was limited to working with Fort Collins Children's Theater. I love working with kids and the energy they bring to the stage. Joining OpenStage gives me the opportunity to work with adult talent as well as explore topics and themes that don't work with younger audiences. This presents new challenges and allows me to grow as an actor.

What is your favorite thing about acting?

It's all about the storytelling. The opportunity to present the human condition in all its tragedy, triumphs, and glory keeps me coming back.

What is your favorite show/film that you have ever worked on and why?

I have two, and I was a teenager for both of them. I played the role of Johnathan Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula with the adult theater company in my hometown. That was my first major role and the first time I had to use a foreign accent in a show (RP British). The challenge of being a young person playing a believable 30-something character was considerable. The other role I played was that of an adult male with an intellectual disability in Boys Next Door. Portraying this character in a way that ensured his dignity as a human being while presenting the pitfalls and foibles of having a disability comedically was intensely challenging.

Do you have any upcoming projects after Murder on the Orient Express?

I do and I'm both thrilled and terrified about it, but it's not official yet so you'll have to wait and see!

Come see Akolotu and the rest of the cast in Murder on the Orient Express, opening October 30th!

Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by Bruce K. Freestone

October 30 – November 27, 2021

It’s 1934. Snow is falling. And the Orient Express is filled to capacity. What starts as a luxurious journey through Europe becomes the scene of a murder in the blink of an eye. Just after midnight, the famous train is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. When the isolated passengers discover a man stabbed to death in his room, they quickly become suspects as the one and only detective Hercule Poirot strives to identify the killer before the murderer strikes again. This clever and quick-witted adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famous mystery, will keep you asking, “Whodunit?