Tiernan takes the stage for the very first time with OpenStage in Big Fish: Small Cast Edition!
Tell us about yourself! What theatre or other experiences did you have in this discipline before working on this show?
Prior to Big Fish, I was working on my degrees in Theatre and Music at CSU! Last November I played Chip in our production of Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was an insanely fun experience. As of December 2023, I’m now freshly graduated, and I’m excited I get to work on Big Fish at OpenStage so soon after getting out of school!
What is something you spend your free time doing, outside of theatre?
Well, I love music— especially punk, indie, and alternative rock in most of its forms— so I spend a lot of time writing and playing and listening to that (my favorite band right now is Skating Polly). I also play a lot of video games, usually single-player story-based games like Baldur’s Gate and The Last of Us.
How did you hear about OpenStage?
I heard about OpenStage through Noah! He and I worked on a lot of shows together during my time at CSU, and he always sent out notices about shows and auditions happening here.
What is your favorite song from the show? Why is that one your favorite?
It’s gotta be “Time Stops.” Maybe it’s a little sentimental, but I just love the trope of witnessing the love of your life and feeling the entire world melt away around you. Plus, since we already know how things turn out for Edward, we know that he means every word he says— he’s going to marry Sandra, and the two of them are going to stay together until the very end. It’s really, really sweet.
What has been the most challenging aspect of rehearsals for this show?
So far, it’s been the Alabama Stomp. I’d consider myself more of a “mover” than a “dancer,” as it were… so I’ve definitely spent a lot of extra time in my garage practicing choreography. But once I get it down, there’s no denying how much fun it is!
Why is Big Fish important? What do you hope audiences will get out of it?
Big Fish is about dreaming, it’s about empathy, and it’s about learning to see the people you love for who they truly are. I think the show succeeds in a big way at reminding us that it’s the people we know that make life worth the living. If we learn to love each other not despite our differences, but because of them— then our relationships become based in true understanding and an appreciation of what makes a person uniquely themself, thus allowing us to live in each other’s hearts in more fulfilling and authentic ways. And also… maybe we could all stand to romanticize life a little more.
What is your favorite role you’ve played in the past?
Tough one! I really enjoyed playing Melchior in Spring Awakening a couple years ago, but I also had a strong personal attachment to the role of Johnny in a production of American Idiot back in 2019.
What is your favorite musical?
What projects are you working on next? What is your dream role or dream show to work on?
Well, my dream is to move to LA and audition for films and write music out there! I’m currently collaborating on a recital at CSU with one of my former music professors, and I’m also acting in a short student-directed horror film. My dream roles would naturally be Pierre or Anatole from Great Comet of 1812.
Book by John August
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture written by John August
Directed by Noah Racey
March 23- April 20, 2024
Playing at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre