Get to Know the Cast of IRONBOUND: Arusi Santi is Maks
Martyna Majok’s IRONBOUND tells the story of Polish immigrant Darja and the men in her life over a span of 22 years. Associate Artistic Director Callie interviews actor Arusi Santi, who plays Maks, to hear more about his MOXIE debut:
Callie: What is your favorite thing about Maks?
Arusi: Maks is a beautifully complicated character. He is a dreamer, a lover, a fighter, a nice guy, a jokester, he can also be mean and hurtful, and having all these contradictions are a joy to play with. This is such a good play! Martyna has made it really easy for us because it’s all there on the page.
Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered in working on this new play?
Arusi: I never thought I would have so much in common with a Polish man! I was born and raised in Mexico, so I knew going in that we shared the immigrant story, but I had no idea how deep this connection went. Maks and I share this reality of being an alien in a strange land. We share this loneliness and this need to belong. I’ve always been a big fan of Chopin and have found his music very close to home. Somehow the emotion in his music felt very familiar. So who knows, maybe Poland and Mexico aren’t so far from each other as I previously thought.
Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?
Arusi: My biggest challenge has been learning how to play harmonica. Moxie was awesome and they got me a harmonica teacher, Jordan Morita, so I’ve been working with him and practicing a lot. And I love playing harmonica now! It’s become one of my favorite instruments.
Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?
Arusi: It’s an unapologetic immigrant story. There’s no sugar coating it, romanticizing it, or fetishizing it, it just is what it is. And in in that brutal honesty there is such heartwarming beauty. In the world we’re living in, where immigrants are being abused, vilified, and dehumanized, I could not imagine a more relevant play.
Ironbound begins performances September 17! Don’t miss Arusi as Maks!