For Oscar Ceville’s latest role, he says part of the appeal was getting to play a “bad guy with mustache and all.”
Ceville, a Panama native who’s been in Washington for a decade, says playing Dr. Jorge Ramiro Mendoza in Arena Stage’s current production “Destiny of Desire” has been rewarding.
“Several things attracted me to this project,” he says. “The fact that it was written by Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Karen Zacarias, the amazing all-Latino cast, the great theater Arena Stage and the play itself.”
Ceville says the piece is a telenovela-inspired play, a popular storytelling form in Latin America.
“It has been an amazing experience to bring this art form on stage and feel the reaction of the audience immediately.”
“Destiny of Desire” runs through Friday, Oct. 18 at Arena’s Mead Center for American Theater (1101 6th St., S.W.). The play opens on a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico when two baby girls are born, one into a life of privilege and one in poverty. A former beauty queen swaps the two and the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes that grow into one destiny. Show times and tickets at arenastage.org.
This is Ceville’s Arena debut. He’s been in several productions at Gala Hispanic Theatre and has also appeared at local theaters such as Synetic, Scena, Constellation and more. He’s a company member of Factory 449. By day he works as an environmental specialist at the Organization of American States working on “identifying challenges and opportunities for sustainable development through the monitoring and evaluation of environmental cooperation projects and programs.”
He lives in Dupont Circle with his partner, Arnaud.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Fifteen years. Myself.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Those who are the face and voice of LGBT rights groups.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Any place where you can sit outside and have food and drinks with friends. As far as bars go, I’m partial to JR.’s. It’s been a big part of the LGBT community for years and the staff is always friendly.
Describe your dream wedding.
Fun with a lot of dancing.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
What historical outcome would you change?
The invasion of Panama.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Will and Jack’s kiss on ‘Will & Grace.’
On what do you insist?
Rosé is making a comeback.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I’ve been sharing photos and reviews of our show “Destiny of Desire,” a heightened and passionate telenovela-inspired comedy, it features intense drama, subversive comedy, outrageous plot-twists, passionate relationships, with music and dance. The show runs through Oct. 18th at Arena Stage.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
People should make their own decisions.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Keep the movement going — we’ll get there.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My family, but also for a Bacardi and Coke.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That all we do is party.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Time to Leave,” “Just a Question of Love” and “Love Songs” are three brilliant small French movies. Also, the Canadian movie “C.R.A.Z.Y.” and the German movie “Free Fall” are great. “Far from Heaven” with Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore is another.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
In D.C., waiting for a table.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
An Oscar for Oscar, but I’ll settle for a Helen Hayes.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Because it’s international, political, artistic, cultural, entertaining and bike-friendly.