Meet the Cast: Carlos Bustamante, "The Boy"

The Giving Tree is a timeless story about a boy and a tree.  In The Gift, the Kelly Mayfield Dance Company's original reimagining of this classic tale, we have many more characters to explore--each and every one of our dancers has created and molded a complex character who is integral of our telling. 

Here  is your chance to meet the cast of The Gift and learn about their process in creating their character, their experience in bringing this story to life on stage, and their favorite childhood memories. We asked the cast some questions to help you get to know the cast a little better--and maybe ask them some more personal questions at the show's talk-backs!

Stay tuned for more characters as we approach opening night. And don't forget to join us for the world premiere of The Gift, April 6-14 at Round House Theatre Silver Spring (tickets here)!

Introducing ... Carlos Bustamante as "The Boy"

I've been dancing with the company for ... over two years.
When I'm not in the studio dancing, I am ... either on stage acting, in the woods running, or at my Smithsonian-supplied desk trying to help build a new national museum.
My favorite childhood book/story is ... A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. It was one of the first books that I encountered as a child that laid out a world of ordinary people, troubled by ordinary burdens who are propelled into a universe of unimagined possibility. L'Engle never talks down to her youthful audience--weaving in issues relating to childhood, adolescence, parent-child relationships, maturation, acceptance, social stigma--all of which make the book utterly relatable, even when the kids are transplanted to fantastic or awful new planets in far off galaxies.
My character in The Gift is ... The Boy.  It's actually more of a challenge than I first envisioned. As a child, my impression of the story was of playful dedication and enduring love. As an adult, with eyes fogged over by cynism, disappointment, and, well, life, that impression has morphed into a vision of inequality and selfishness. However, Shel Silverstein never fully painted the boy's side of the story for his audience in The Giving Tree.
I think, in some ways, this is because the boy is all of us. He is the human condition. Playing, searching, stumbling and hurting. The boy can then come to represent anything we need him to, wherever we are in our own journey. When asking who the boy is, I look to the end.  He chooses to spend his twilight with the tree, and the tree was happy.
To me, this show means ... life can be uneven, delivering moments that cannot be easily understood as bad or good. The important takeaway from the story and from our rendition is remaining open and gracious despite the certainty of an unpredictable existence.
Read more about Carlos in his company bio.

Essential The Gift links:

IndieGoGo    |  Rehearsal photos & video   |    Purchase tickets   |   Event on Facebook--invite your friends!