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Petersen Talks About The Stage

By Deborah
December 19, 2006 - 4:49 AM

By now itís common knowledge that William Petersen has taken a brief hiatus from CSI, where he plays Gil Grissom, to return to the stage. He recently shared the reason for his passion for live theater and gave some insights into the character he is currently playing live.

Petersen grew up in theater. Television work came late in his career. His recent return to the stage came out of his desire to get back to where he came from. He finds a great thrill in theater, enjoys being able to tell a story straight through from beginning to end and believes live theater is the best format for storytelling.

On stage Petersen plays the character of John Plunkett in Dublin Carol. Plunkett, an alcoholic undertaker, faces his past on Christmas Eve. He hasnít seen his daughter in 10 years, when she shows up to ask a favor him that pertains to her mother. Plunkett fights with the request because he feels he isnít qualified to do it and isnít qualified to be around his once-family. Petersen remarks that Plunkettís self-loathing is pretty high, but he also has a high degree of self-honesty. The character fights a good fight and has hope. The story contains a powerful Christmas message.

Petersen also shares his perspective on the success of the CSI franchise. At the time the original CSI came out, the O.J. Simpson trial had happened and there was a lack of understanding of forensic science. Petersen thought the show would attract a niche audience, but never anticipated the world-wide appeal.

To listen to the nine minute interview online, visit Here & Now. As an added bonus, listeners are treated to excerpts taken directly from Dublin Carol, in which Petersen may be heard using an Irish accent.

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