Day Off Diary: AS YOU LIKE IT's Ato Blankson-Wood
For many performers, after a long 8-show week, their one day off is time to rest and recharge. This week, we caught up with Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play) from The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park presentation of As You Like It to spend an afternoon with him. Get to know a bit more about Ato in his #DayOffDiary:
Hometown? Silver Spring, Maryland.
Where might we find you on your day off? At Riis Beach or in Fort Greene Park.
What got you into acting? I think at a “core memory” level there was a performance of Bye Bye Birdie that my older sister did in high school that really woke something up in me.
What was your first ever role? I played Johnny Appleseed in the second grade musical.
If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing? Interior Design. I love making a space feel like home
If you could describe your experience with As You Like It in just one word, what would it be? Home
Who are you jamming to on Spotify right now? Beyoncé all day!!!
What are you binging on TV right now? Just finished Rap Sh!t on HBO Max.
Read any good books lately? Reading a lot of plays right now. I just finished Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner by Jasmine Lee Jones. I’m also reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer.
Favorite coffee joint in Manhattan? What’s your order? I don’t drink coffee and I don’t do Manhattan unless I must. 😆 Brooklyn through and through! I am partial to a berry smoothie from Baya Bar in Fort Greene.
Pickles on your burgers? Yes please.
Pineapple on your pizza? Absolutely not.
What flavor of cream cheese on your bagel? No cheese, for everyone’s sake.
What is one show you are dying to see on Broadway right now? Into the Woods
Favorite musical of all time? Pippin
Dream Roles? Leading Player in Pippin / Coalhouse in Ragtime / Hamlet / Aaron The Moor
First SITP memory? SITP was my first professional gig with HAIR back in 2008. My favorite moment from that production was when the skies opened up and it rained on us as we were singing “Let the Sunshine In”!
Favorite part of returning to work on As You Like It? This community of incredible humans.
You can catch Ato in As You Like It, which is now playing at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tickets are free; for more information, click here. For more photos, visit Theatrely on Instagram. All photos by Rebecca J Michelson/Theatrely.