Meet the Cast – Shawn Murray

What’s your name? 

Shawn Murray.

Who are you playing? 

I am playing Steve Heidebrecht.

What town are you from?

I’m from Middletown. 

Is this your first time at Hole in the Wall Theater? 

No, I performed in a show called The Road to Aracea back in February of 2020.

And we’re both still unsure what that show was about?

Super unsure. Oh yeah, really, really fun performance. A lot of stuff that tested me as an actor. Overall narrative is lost on this guy.

Oh yeah, it was a beautiful show.


How did you get into theater, and what is your background in theater? 

My background in theater is, I went to Southern for theater back in 2002 when I graduated. Up until the very last month of my high school existence, I was planning on going to school for English, didn’t really have an aim. Found myself in the senior class musical, as many do, and never wanted to give it up from that point.

I did a lot of community theater in the years I was at Southern. I took some time off and came back and did some Shakespeare in the Park stuff with West Haven Arts Council. Eventually formed my own theater company called Connecticut Compass Theater Company for a little while. And then I found myself just really loving the community theater aspect of the state and just bouncing around being happily not tied down which just kind of fits with Steve Heiderberg

Describe your character in a non-spoilery way. 

Non spoilery ways… Steve Heidebrecht is kind of the embodiment of a toxic, masculine fella that kind of finds himself manipulating his way around the world and doesn’t seem to ever want to portray anything truly genuine about him, which is a challenge.  Objectively he is a bad guy, but not the bad guy.

If you could give your character advice, what would it be? 

Change almost everything about yourself intrinsically. Be an entirely different person. Take some steps back and look at how you get what you want, and evaluate if those things are earned or deserved. Yeah, I give advice to a lot of people, and as far as Steve is concerned, he’s one of those fellas that I would consider unworthy.

He would hear it, and he would go, “right, right, right. Anyway, here’s the thing about me”. So, yeah, Steve, with all due respect, here’s some advice you’ll never hear. Be better. Okay..

Why do you think this show got a Pulitzer Prize for Drama? 

It’s remarkable how many conditions can be examined with this relatively tight cast and it doesn’t feel forced or rushed, but to unpack the amount of emotional turmoil that these people go through in the course of this three hour show, it’s almost like you’re watching a remarkable six season drama in the course of this play.

It really does an incredible job of pinpointing insecurities and flaws and how we let those things wreck us and ruin us. The people in the show really just kind of beautifully bounce those things off of each other.

Do you have a favorite book?

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 100%. I really just love the ridiculous verbosity that Douglas Adams explains mundane shit with. As far as examining the human condition, echoing what I got going on here.

Hitchhiker’s Guide does a great job of farcically doing that, but also being genuine at the same time.

Do you have a favorite poem?

I gotta say, I don’t. And… Not for lack of enjoying poetry. I just never internalized poetry in the same way I do movies or books.

Do you have a favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise? 

I really do enjoy a nice bourbon on the rocks. It’s super simple. And I could enjoy sipping on one of those once a week, every week for the rest of my life.  

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I was the spokesbaby in a commercial for the now defunct Railroad Salvage stores as a wee tot.

Is there anything else you’d like to say? Other ventures, shoutouts?

When you’re watching this show, absorb it in a way that you can allow yourself to consider it not only as entertainment, but as a cautionary tale.

A lot of the human conditions that are unpacked here can sort of truly act as a therapy session for people, and if you allow yourself to see things that are red flags from an outside source, allow it to improve your own life.