Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Spotlgiht On...Courtney Powell
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Education: Bachelor of Creative Arts (International Studies) in Drama/Music Performance. Postgraduate in Secondary Teaching (Drama/Music)
Select Credits: Off-Broadway- Crab House – A New Musical (Ruth, Joe Kiely Productions), Central Park The Musical (Tour Guide #6, Times Square International Theatre Festival); UK tours/ Edinburgh Fringe Festivals- Crab House – A New Musical (Ruth), Sugar & Vice – All The Men We’ve Never Slept With (Sugar), Princess Cabaret (Cinderella, Tumbleweed Productions). EDGES: A Song Cycle (Woman #2, Lighthouse Theatre), Personals (Kim, Lighthouse Theatre). 4.48 Psychosis (Actor, dir. David Koumans), My Fair Lady (Eliza Doolittle, The Marian Street Theatre). Backing/Recording Vocalist for "Australian Idol", Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Host of "Humphrey B. Bear Live!" (an Australian kids TV show)
Why theater?: That’s a really great question. Why theater? Why choose a career that is so fraught with uncertainties and unknowns? Why choose to compete with so many thousands of other people for that one role? Why choose the only thing in your life that you’ve ever been passionate about? Why choose the one thing that makes you feel like you’re contributing something, that makes you feel worthy? Because you have to. You must. I must. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been certain about in my entire life. I choose theater, because it is the closest I have ever been to complete, true happiness. And you sometimes get to wear wigs. Definitely an incentive. Ha!
Tell us about Sugar & Vice: Sugar & Vice – All The Men We’ve Never Slept With: In 2008, I wrote All The Men I've Never Slept With, as a one-woman-and-her-piano show. It chronicled ten different guys that I had been with, but never slept with, each with their own song. In its original state, I wanted the show to showcase the adventures of a twenty-something virgin, and the weird stuff/guys I encountered along the way. But after realising that who the hell would pay money to see a show about a frigid twenty-one year old, I decided the show needed some sp(V)icing up! After some serious cross-continental skyping with Brydie, we found that combining my traditional views on sex (the Sugar part), and Brydie's enviable sexual adventures (the Vice part), would prove a far sexier show! We added new songs, a few surprises for the audience, and the rest is history!
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that isn’t self-indulgent, and that is being performed for its audience, not just for the sake of being performed. I feel that then is when theatre is at its most powerful - when the audience has been considered. My close friend Linnea Larsdotter. We worked on the Off-Broadway production of Crab House together, and she’s easily one of the most dedicated, proactive, and talented performers on the circuit. She always has her head in the game, and is such an inspiration. She continually gives me advice and support, which is absolutely priceless. And Joe Kiely, the composer of Crab House, and one of my best friends in the world. His perseverance in all areas of the creative arts is unparalleled, and he is the most talented composer/performer/creative all-rounder I know. He knows how to write for the stage and screen, and in a way that truly captivates his audience. I can safely say that his is a name you will be hearing about in the not-too-distant future.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Velma Kelly. That is my dream role! Well, to be honest, any role in Chicago would be incredible. And let's be honest, who wouldn't kill to play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde?
What’s your favorite showtune?: It's not a classic showtune, but I love "Live In Living Color" from Catch Me If You Can. And I know they’re not really show tunes, but anything that was ever composed for "Smash", I love!
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to be directed by Michael Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). Stephen Schwartz would be a dream. Geoffrey Rush, Paul Rudd, Stephen Oremus, Leo DiCaprio. The list goes on!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself, and what would it be called?: Oh wow. Well, in a dream world, Kate Winslet. She is nothing short of spectacular. And what would it be called? "You Only Get To Do This Once". Because, well, you do!
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I recently saw Alan Cumming's Macbeth, and it’s one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long, long time! And Newsies – such a brilliant show.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Ben. And Jerry. Together. Straight from the freezer. With a side of The Property Brothers on HGTV.
What’s up next?: I’m currently on tour in Australia/UK/Europe for the summer! Then back to New York in September – because, you know, it’s “the center of the universe”.