An Interview with Mike Dorval

by Jessica Austin, Marketing Assistant

As the opening of Becky’s New Car fast approaches, I caught up with Mike Dorval (Joe Foster) to chat about his experience working on the show. This is his debut with The Lyric Stage Company, but he’s been in several local productions recently and has performed in a one-man show entitled Death by Chocolate at several local venues. We’re excited to finally be able to work with him!

headshot of Mike Dorval

Q. As your Lyric Stage debut, how has working on “Becky’s New Car” differed from your experiences in previous productions? 
A. Of course every experience is unique, but the amount of rehearsal time has allowed for some in depth work with the script which has been invaluable. It’s allowed for a chance to try a lot of different things. So often you just have to make a choice and run with it due to time!

Q. What are some of the biggest differences between performing your one-man comedy show, “Death by Chocolate”, and working with a cast in a show like this? 
A. The nice thing about a one man show is that you only have to worry about making choices for yourself and the audience. If it feels good, and you think the audience will respond, you can go for it. In an ensemble piece, every choice you make affects someone else, but their choices can also help you make more informed decisions and discoveries. Also, it’s a much more enjoyable cast party when there’s someone else in the show!

Q. Have you and director Larry Coen found ways to incorporate your brand of comedy into your character? 
A. Ultimately, the most important thing is serving the script. I wouldn’t want to force a laugh based on something I like that’s not furthering the story. Larry has a great ear for comedy and hopefully, as a team, we get all the laughs that will help the play and none that detract.

Q. What inspired you to audition for/accept the role of Joe Foster? 
A. I’d been wanting to work with Larry Coen again for a long time and had always wanted to work at the Lyric. To do both was something I couldn’t pass up. I didn’t really know much about the play until I auditioned, but after reading it, I became very invested in the characters and the journey they go on. 

Q. Do you have a favorite line/scene from this show? 
A. I have a favorite scene, but describing it would give too much away. I will say it comes in the second act and was a surprise to me when I read it!

Q. What’s your favorite part about working on “Becky’s New Car”? 
A. The people. It’s a tremendous cast and crew. 

Q. What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about coming to see the show? 
A. Fences aren’t comfortable. Most are pointy.  The Celtics are bad, hockey doesn’t matter until the playoffs and Tom Brady has no one to throw to. Wouldn’t you rather come out for a evening of laughter than sit on your fence at home? Of course you would.

Becky’s New Car opens Friday, November 29. Read more about the show here. Buy your tickets now!