HUNDRED DAYS is an uncensored, exhilarating and heartrending true story about embracing uncertainty, taking a leap, and loving as if you only had 100 days to live. With opening just a few days away, we had a quick gab sesh with the remarkably talented Royen Kent, who portrays Shaun Bengson…
Royen — what are you all about?
I’m a gay ol’ goofball and a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. I’ve always had a passion for the arts, and ever since I was young I took any opportunity to perform. Most recently, my passions for makeup and wig design led me to become a drag queen! (My drag name is Jenn der Fach.)
What drew you to Hundred Days?
Because of my talent with lots of musical instruments, I’ve done many shows where the actors are their own band or orchestra, so that was my way in. I got hooked by the uniqueness of the story, as it’s based on true experiences, and the themes are deeply serious. Death! Grief! Trauma! Commitment! Punk rock! It’s all there.
You are playing Shaun Bengson. What’s it like portraying a real person?
It’s a pretty intimidating struggle between making the role your own and getting to the roots of Shaun’s truth and mentality. Mostly out of fear, I honestly haven’t done much research on the real Shaun. But the beautiful, expressive text so lovingly crafted by the Bengsons and Sarah Gancher tells me that he is a big, cuddly teddy bear/ baby seal/ hybrid person. Getting to that truth inside myself and then lining it up with my costar Emilie Modaff has been my main focus (and also such a joy).
Is there anything about the show that you’re most excited about?
The songs are just gorgeous. Some are driving and engaging, others are heartbreaking and fraught, and others are transcendent and effervescent. Altogether they make something weird and wonderful. I’m obsessed!
Why should people see the show?
What we as a cast and crew want most for our audience is for them to feel comfortable leaning in and being baptized by the powerful message of this story. What’s great is that this message is applicable to all our lives: we can choose to rebel against fear and death by giving love anyway.
Describe yourself in three words…
Genuine, cuddly, hungry
Describe Hundred Days in one…
Come get raucous at HUNDRED DAYS! Our first preview audiences were spectacular, and we can’t wait to continue sharing this incredible piece of music and theatre! Regular performances begin Saturday, March 14. The show runs Wed-Sat at 8PM, Sun at 5PM. Tickets are available HERE!