In the Spotlight: Tim Seale, starring in Theatre Downtown’s ‘Prelude to a Kiss’

Sara James and Tim Seale in rehearsal for “Prelude to a Kiss.” (Photo/Lee Green)

In “Prelude to a Kiss,” Theatre Downtown’s show that opens July 11 at Encore Theatre and Gallery, Sara James and Tim Seale play Rita and Peter, who fall in love, get married and face a supernatural event.

The play opened on Broadway in 1990 starring Alec Baldwin and Mary-Louise Parker (Birmingham’s Ashley Crow replaced Parker on Broadway). The film version starred Baldwin and Meg Ryan.

The Birmingham production, directed by Carron Clark, stars Seale, James, Jade Simmons III, Alex Williams, Penny Thomas, Bates Redwine, Lee Green, Debbie Smith, Terry Hermes and Jack Heidt.

Seale took a few moments to tell us about himself and the play he stars in.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

 6’2”, 190 lbs. Sagittarius. I like long walks on the beach … just kidding. I grew up in the Birmingham area but I’ve really only been involved with local theatre for the last 5 years or so (minus a couple of COVID years) This will be my third show with Theatre Downtown. 

What’s your first memory of being on stage?

 Actually, it was kindergarten. We did a production about the Letter People. I was Mr. “R.” I liked to rock ‘n’ roll. 

What’s your favorite role or show you’ve been in?

I’ve been blessed to work on some amazing shows with some incredible people. I’d say my favorite show was probably “Small Mouth Sounds” by Bess Wohl. Directed by Jonathan Sweatt. The cast that I worked with was so brilliantly talented, and Jonathan is a super director. What made it different was that the story was about a group of people who were on a retreat but were not allowed to speak. So, we had to rely on body language and facial expressions to convey emotions and create situations. It was challenging but beautiful. 

Who is your favorite composer?

Danny Elfman.  Don’t laugh.

Tim Seale.

Do you have a favorite song from a show?

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel.” For personal reasons.

What’s a performance on stage or screen that sticks out to you as an audience member?

Gary Oldman in the movie “Immortal Beloved.”

What’s a role you hope you will play or wish you could have played?

Oh, I’m not arrogant enough to think I could do any of them justice. Haha.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

I play with a basketball. It calms me. I kept one in the dressing room the entire run of the last show I was in. 

What about “Prelude to a Kiss”? What made you want to do this show?

I loved the script and the character. It didn’t hurt that the cast is made up of some of the most beautifully next-level talented people you could ever work with.

What is your role in the show?

My character is Peter. He’s a little awkward and socially inept, and he meets this beautiful woman who is unlike anyone he has ever been around. He instantly falls in love, and they have a whirlwind courtship and then that’s when things get a little crazy.  I feel so incredibly blessed to work with such amazing talent. Everyone is just incredible, and the director, Carron Clark, is wonderful. She has a way of pulling the best out of all of us.  I couldn’t be Peter without her.

What can people expect from the show?

It’s funny. It’s romantic. It’s a beautiful story, and people can expect great performances.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

I’m a grandfather. Her name is Rosalie and she’s gorgeous 

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to all kinds of music depending on the mood, and I love to sing. I have zero singing talent, but it makes me happy. 

What’s the last book you read?

“Vicious,” by Kevin O’Brien. I’m a big mystery/thriller buff. I think I’ve read 10 or 11 of his. If you get the chance, check him out. 

What’s next for you?

I’ll probably take a break, but who knows. It’s like Al Pacino in “The Godfather” Just when I think I’m out …

“Prelude to a Kiss,” a production of Theatre Downtown at Encore Theatre and Gallery, 213 Gadsden Highway, Suite 108, July 11-27.

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