Tiffany Little Canfield
Telsey + Company, New York
Broadway: ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,’ ‘Tarzan,’ ‘The Addams Family,’ ‘Rock of Ages’
With Peter Parker [in "Spider-Man"], it’s interesting because he’s sort of the anti-superhero. He’s the nerd who becomes powerful against his will. When you think of casting a superhero, you’re thinking of strength and confidence if you think of someone like Superman or Batman. But this is actually the opposite of that. We’re looking for vulnerability.
Of course, the actor plays Spider-Man too, but he’s in a mask—for a limited amount of time while singing and dancing, and stunt doubles in full costume take over for additional tricks—and in terms of the acting range, you need someone who can then also be physically confident to fly all around the stage and do all the extensive physical work they have to do. We did flying auditions and looked for expression within the body. A lot of the harness work is strength-based for agility and comfort in the air. That’s strength, but it’s also balance and being able to hold yourself so that you can continue to act. And luckily in a musical, you have the music, which does a lot to convey emotion.
Those defining elements of who Peter Parker is are crucial. But does that mean how tall or how short he is? No. Hair color? I’m not as concerned about that. That’s up to the creative team, to figure out what are they going to make him physically look like, which I have no interest in. I’m looking for the essence of Peter Parker. He’s a very complicated hero. Read the rest of this entry »