Q&A With Jesus Christ Superstar’s Rudolph Searles III
Rudolph ‘Tre’ Searles is a familiar face on the Ordway stage, having appeared in the Broadway Songbook® series, The Pirates of Penzance, A Christmas Story, The Musical, and more. This month, he returns to the Ordway as the apostle Peter in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to chat with Tre about his favorite roles at the Ordway, his Superstar character, and more.
You’ve been in quite a few productions at the Ordway – what are a couple of your personal favorites, and why?
Searles: Definitely The Pirates of Penzance. It was really fun getting to play a Pirate and be kinda wild and crazy and then switch and be one of the Mounties who were very regimented and orderly. Plus we got to sword fight! A Christmas Story, The Musical is up there as well. It was my first show at The Ordway and I just have such fond memories of that time.
In Jesus Christ Superstar, you play the role of the apostle Peter. Tell us a little bit about your character – what aspects of Peter do you relate to, and which do you find challenging?
Searles: I would describe Peter as vibrant and fiery. He’s also very loving which is something I relate to. The part I find challenging is how impulsive he is. He’s the act first, ask questions later type, whereas I tend to be a little more cautious.
When were you first introduced to Jesus Christ Superstar? Why do you think it continues to resonate with audiences?
Searles: I was first introduced to this show in college. I heard “Heaven On Their Minds” and was immediately obsessed. There’s just something compelling about telling this story through rock music. The use of contemporary music I think makes it much easier for people to connect to it.
What are you most looking forward to about this new production, directed by James Rocco?
Searles: I’m just excited to get to work with him again. Every time I’ve worked with him I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to see his vision for the show and I’m thrilled that I get to be a part of bringing it to life.
Jesus Christ Superstar will perform July 18-30 in the Ordway Music Theater. Tickets are available on the Jesus Christ Superstar performance page.