PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
What’s the one role/show you’ve always wanted to work on that you haven’t yet?
Hagrid/The Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I had the opportunity to audition for both roles this past Fall and now I want to perform the roles in that show in the worst possible way! That honestly would be a dream come true!
What current production, besides one of your own, are you most excited about?
Lottery Day at The Goodman most definitely! Ike Holter is a modern American theatre visionary, and I strongly encourage people checking out his work whenever they can.
If you couldn’t be in theater, what career would you have chosen?
Probably an archeologist or paleontologist of some kind. The first Jurassic Park movie had a profound impact on me as a kid and after I saw it I was convinced I was going to study dinosaurs when I grew up. Then I found out the “paleontologists” and other “scientists” in the movie were actually actors named Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum. So I decided to become an actor instead!
What quote or saying do people spout but is really complete BS?
“The customer is always right” People who believe this usually have never worked in customer service. I could tell you some horror stories about some customers who were not only wrong but also caused me to loose a few I.Q. points while I listened to them try and validate their viewpoints.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Aloysius – More or less because it’s a fun name to say
What will finally break the internet?
Netflix suddenly and unexpectantly shutting down with all its content taken offline with the company keeping everyone’s subscription money. The collective scream from people binge-watching their favorite shows would probably cause the world to explode.
What well-known fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?
Any character from the Twilight series of books/movies. I think I would enjoy talking to a tree more.
What is a play or musical that you cannot stand (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?
The Rover by Aphra Behn. I know many of my theatre contemporaries really enjoy this play but I just can’t. When I first read it I struggled to get through it because I just could not force myself to invest in any of the characters. I thought that sentiment might be different when I first saw it performed live years ago. Nope! I still could not have cared less.
What is a play or musical that you love (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?
Adding Machine: A Musical. I had the opportunity to perform in this musical a few years back and it was one of the most rewarding and challenging pieces of musical theatre I have ever taken on! I have a deeply rooted connection to this musical, and an affinity to the the people who worked so hard to put that production together. Bing bing wrists forever!
What are you reading, watching or listening to right now?
Currently, I am reading my way through “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King, finishing Season 2 of “Luke Cage” on Netflix (I am beyond disappointed this show got canceled), and listening to Gary Clark Jr. (“This Land” and “Pearl Cadillac” are AMAZING songs).
JONAH WINSTON can currently be seen in The Mercury Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” as the voice of Audrey II. Past credits include Trekkie Monster in the Mercury’s Avenue Q, Little John in The Cleveland Playhouse’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood , Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), the Maître d’ in The Merry Widow (Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Newt Lee/Riley in Parade (Writers Theatre). Television and Voice Over credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Senor Wolley, Skittles, Kool-Aid, and Nestle. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Jonah holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Theatre Performance and Vocal Music from the Butler University Jordan College of the Arts, as well as a Master of Letters Degree from the Flinders University Drama Center in Adelaide, South Australia.