Meet Adam O'Byrne, who plays Valentine Coverly in Arcadia

Name: Adam O'Byrne
Role: Valentine Coverly

Adam O'Byrne
Arcadia runs through June 16.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.

What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
I like to have a cup of Lady Grey tea before the show and a chat with my dressing room roommate, Nick Pelczar [who plays Ezra Chater], after the show . . . occasionally we toast our work with an adult refreshment.

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
Walking to work. I live in L.A., so just being able to walk this city is wonderful.

If you could live during a different cultural period, what period would it be and why?
I'd like to visit a lot of different periods: Elizabethan England and Ancient Greece, to name a couple. But I like living in the here and now!

What was your favorite discovery during the rehearsal process for Arcadia?
I was happy to discover the nuances of the Val/Hannah relationship. How they communicate, the depth of the feelings between them, and the growth of their professional partnership. Carey [Perloff, the director,] was very clear in wanting this relationship to be unique in the play, and I think we've done that.

(from L-R): Rebekah Brockman (Thomasina Coverly), Jack Cutmore-Scott (Septimus Hodge), Adam O'Byrne (Valentine Coverly), and Gretchen Egolf (Hannah Jarvis) in A.C.T.'s production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, directed by Carey Perloff. Photo by Kevin Berne.

What is the most difficult aspect of speaking with an accent? Do you use any fun tricks?
For me, the accent comes pretty naturally, but I still have to drill it to the point that I never have to think about it. If I'm thinking about how to say specific words, then I'm not doing my job of playing the scene. I'm a mimic when it comes to accents. I like to find an accent that does something for me artistically and then adopt aspects of it for my character.

What is your favorite part of working on a Stoppard play?
The words. Best thing about good writing is that if you get stuck as an actor the easiest way out is to just say the next line. A great playwright will always take care of you. I feel very taken care of in this role.

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