Part of the fun of watching an actor perform year after year is seeing how they grow. In the case of Doak Campbell Rapp, it’s also seeing him literally grow up.
The 16-year-old has been performing at Plano’s Fun House Theatre and Film since its founding in 2011 by his mother, Bren Rapp, and local actor and playwright Jeff Swearingen (who writes many of Fun House’s original works). The children’s theater that Fun House produces has an edgy, adult bent to it, and that unique combination of innocence and maturity has won the group mountains of critical accolades. (One actor, Lizzy Greene, is now starring in a show on Nickelodeon.)
But there’s no nepotism involved. In roles ranging from Grunther (a Khal Drogo stand-in) in Game of Thrones, Junior to Adam in Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things, Rapp has proven that he’s willing to put in the work with each character he takes on.
He just wrapped Yes Virginia Woolf, There Is a Santa Claus, and he has three more shows in the next few months: Matt Lyle’s House Party, Holiday Edition: Adulthood, or How I Learned to Love Ken Burns (December 18-21); True West (January 15-18); and Romeo & Juliet (February 13-21).
In advance of House Party, Rapp took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun and sometimes ridiculous questions.
Name: Doak Campbell Rapp
Role in Matt Lyle’s House Party: Various. It is a sketch comedy show.
Previous work in the DFW area: I have done more than 30 plays and one film.
First theater role: My first role was Captain of the Guard in Jeff Swearingen’s absurdist Aladdin.
First stage show you ever saw: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at Dallas Children’s Theater.
What made you want to do theater: Easy to sum up: Jeff Swearingen.
Most challenging role you’ve played: It is a tie between Claudius in Hamlet and Jerry in Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story.
Special skills: Acting-wise, I am a good improviser. In life I am freakishly good at getting stuffed animals out of skill cranes.
Something you’re REALLY bad at: At the moment, chemistry.
Current pop culture obsession: Any conspiracy theory. My favorite is all the Disney Illuminati stuff. The truth is out there!
Last book you read: I reread the graphic novel of The Watchmen.
Favorite movie(s): Dead Poets Society and Donnie Darko. Interstellar has worked its way in there recently.
Favorite musician(s): I am way into music, so there is too much I would list. Top three would be Outkast, Marvin Gaye and The Beatles, but I recently discovered the Bassanova and dug it.
Favorite song: “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye
Dream role: I really like originating roles, like Saul Solomon in Stiff. Anything no one has done before.
Favorite play(s): Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things, Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story
Favorite musical(s): Man of La Mancha
Favorite actors/actresses: Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Rudd, Jason Bateman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams
Favorite food: Sushi. Any sushi.
Must-see TV show(s): Cosmos
Something most people don’t know about you: I really enjoy doing origami, and I’d like to think I am pretty okay at it.
Place in the world you’d most like to visit: Portland. I watch a lot of Portlandia.
Pre-show warm-up: There is a 7-Eleven by the theater where I usually perform. I like to walk there by myself with my headphones in and buy a Monster and a water. I try to match a playlist to the show.
Favorite part about your current role: It is amazing to actually get to work with Matt Lyle after having acted in three of his plays: The Boxer, The Chicken Who Wasn’t Chicken and Hello Little Human Female.
Most challenging part about your current role: Comedy takes a lot more precision than people realize. There is like a math to it. It is about beats and timing and keeping your actor mind calm and thinking even if you are being outwardly crazy.
Most embarrassing onstage mishap: In Jeff Swearingen’s Ultimate Holiday Experience, I wore this Russian military uniform, and the fly on my pants broke onstage. It was wide open for an entire scene, and I knew it. Of course it was the scene where I had to rap and do a hip hop dance.
Most memorable theater moment: You know when actors come out and greet people who stick around after a show? Well, what I loved was after doing Zoo Story, seeing the look on people’s faces who didn’t know anything about it beforehand, and other kid actors who had no clue such plays exist. The way they looked. Like their entire world had just been rocked, when they would come up to talk to me.