Introducing Ryan Wilke-Braun as "Hector MacQueen" in Murder on the Orient Express

As we rapidly approach opening night for Murder on the Orient Express, we are proud to introduce 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 introduce another new associate member, Ryan Wilke-Braun, making his OpenStage debut in Murder on the Orient Express! I asked Ryan a few questions before he performs as "Hector MacQueen," an American man working as an assistant to Mr. Ratchett, helping him navigate the various languages of Europe in his travels. Here is what Ryan had to say:

Tell me about yourself! Where you’re from, your hobbies, past work, fun facts, or anything that comes to mind!
I'm originally from San Fransisco, California but grew up in Fort Collins. My past work has primarily been at CSU but if anyone wants to see me performing currently I can always be found performing with the First United Methodist Church of Fort Collins as their Baritone Choir Scholar. I also am in Patria Del Core which is a radio play on Spotify written by Alana Corigan and you can find that Spotify or Apple Music! I also recently worked with Colorado Shakespeare Festival as a Costume Technician. Outside of acting and singing I like going to the gym, sewing, playing board games with friends, or Beatboxing!
What made you decide to audition for Murder on the Orient Express? What was the audition like?

I auditioned for Murder on the Orient Express because I have seen OpenStage's shows for years and had heard many good things from Jessie Kroupa. The open auditions were for Sense and Sensibility and Murder on the Orient Express, and the director of Sense and Sensibility is Noah Racey who I worked with in college, so I knew there would be a friendly face in the room. I was overall impressed with how friendly everyone was to me even though most had not met me before.

How has your experience with OpenStage been so far?

I have really enjoyed my time with Openstage so far. I've made many friends and gotten a great perspective on a form of collaborating on productions I didn't have previously.

What is your favorite thing about acting?

My favorite thing about acting is the moments when you lose yourself in the stakes and situation of the characters. When you feel that invisible chord connecting yourself to the audience, and you know you are directly affecting them.

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

My favorite show I have ever worked on was Cabaret with CSU a couple of years ago. While it was the musical for my senior year of college, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had performing. For the production, I was able to apply everything I had learned over the course of my college education including accent work. I have always felt like my accent work is not great, and that show was the first time I really felt like I was living in the accent which was a great feeling. I also sang a high G in the show which was my first time singing that note in a performance. Overall, it was a big personal milestone for me as well as just one of the best shows I've done.

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

Nothing quite yet, but you may be seeing me in some ads and commercials soon!

Come see Ryan 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?