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Placer County supervisor finds new role on Auburn stage

Kirk Uhler stars in ‘The Interviews’
By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler is changing gears from elected official to actor in a new play starting Friday. Uhler jokingly said he half-expects a tomato stand to spring up outside the Auburn theater. Uhler has the lead role in “The Interviews,” a comedy written by Brian Jagger that debuts this weekend with Placer Community Theater in Auburn. The Granite Bay supervisor will be onstage for most of the play as his character is unexpectedly forced to complete a series of job interviews under a pressing deadline. While the play is apolitical, former state Sen. Tim Leslie has already bought a ticket and at least one of Uhler’s fellow supervisors could make an appearance in the audience. “Supervisor Jim Holmes said ‘Every other Tuesday I have to listen to him talk – why pay $18,’” Uhler said. “Then he bought a ticket.” Uhler mused he’ll be watching to ensure no more than one supervisor is present in the audience on any one night – to prevent a Brown Act violation. For playwright Jagger, bringing in Uhler as the star of his play wasn’t an easy decision to make – although he liked what he saw when Uhler auditioned. Jagger’s day-job is district director for Uhler – a real-life role he’s played for the past two years. Jagger said he knew Uhler – who has pinch-hit for talk show host Tom Sullivan and appeared in a BBC documentary – as a dynamic speaker and was happy to discover an equally impressive actor. But the idea of casting his boss left him skeptical until other Placer Community Theater board members attending Uhler’s audition said he was perfect for the role and it would be crazy not to give it to him. “They were right and he has done a fantastic job in bringing my main character to life,” Jagger said. “At this point, I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.” Jagger, whose own political career includes a run for state lieutenant governor as a teenager in 1996, is making his theatrical debut with “The Interviews” as playwright and director. It’s a story that draws on his experiences, tall tales, and imagination to create a series of characters Uhler’s Gary has to contend with. Jagger, 30, started in theater as a pre-teen in an Auburn production of “The Prince and the Pauper.” Since then he’s been in a list of shows that includes “Twelve Angry Men” and last year’s “Exit the Body.” He also has a bit part in an upcoming public service message video for Placer County Child Support Services. Uhler, 41, has been in commercials, including a TV spot for Cache Creek Casino. A member of AFTRA, the actor’s union, Uhler also was a principal player in the BBC documentary “The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.” That production was shot locally. The rest of the cast of 12 is a combination of familiar faces to Placer Community Theater audiences and some newcomers. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings from Feb. 27 to March 7. There are also 2 p.m. matinees March 1 and March 7. Because six of the originally scheduled shows are sold out, two more shows on March 14 were added Thursday. Admission is $18. Students and seniors are $15. The matinees are also $15. Dessert and beverages are included with the ticket. The venue is Theatre Pamelot, 540 Wall St., in Auburn. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.