Thursday, July 3, 2014
Spotlight On...Pascale Seigneurie
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
Education: BFA English, Fordham University as well as extensive dance and theater training in Beirut and NYC.
Favorite Credits: I very much enjoyed the last short film I acted/danced in. It was an artsy piece called "Shadows With Heat" (by Orit Ben Shitrit) in which I played the hallucination of a deranged man.
Why theater?: I enjoy writing theater pieces because it's quite the power trip to make people say whatever I want them to say (my plays are usually based on real people). The process of creating a whole universe that you have total control over for a few pages is both thrilling and humbling. In terms of performing, I've enjoyed dancing, doing impressions, playing characters etc... since I was a little girl. Whether through ballet, school plays or even just my role as the class clown I always liked entertaining people and making them laugh. Also, I must admit, I love being the center of attention.
Tell us about In Passing?: In Passing tells the story of a dying homosexual composer, Bernard, who struggles to prepare for his fate by crossing items off his “To Die” list with the help of a newly hired eye-candy personal assistant, Sebastian. While the opening scenes may suggest Bernard is seeking one last sexual experience with Sebastian, despite the latter’s heterosexuality, it soon becomes clear that he simply yearns for any type of companionship so he may begin the terrifying process of weaning himself off his medication. Through the composition of his final symphony, Bernard struggles to match the musical genius of his father, a celebrated composer who passed down his fatal affliction but not his talent to Bernard. This tragi-comic exploration of the fear of death and the struggle to cling to youth -- or a youth -- will evoke pathos as well as a wry appreciation for the nobility of human frailty.
What inspired you to write In Passing?: The story is (very) loosely based on something my boyfriend went through while working as a personal assistant. He would tell me all these crazy things about his boss and he presented things in a theatrical and interesting way (he’s also a performer) so I decided to start working from there. Then I just magnified some things, tweaked some other things and exaggerated the heck out of the whole situation until I had a play!
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like all kinds of theater except when it gets too over the top experimental and you just have an actor burping on stage in mime makeup or something. And it's supposed to represent some deep human struggle. Other than that I'm open to many different kinds of theater but I do have a soft spot for Neil Simon type comedies. As for what inspires me, I'd say eavesdropping! People have surprisingly funny or deep exchanges in public places and it's exciting to take notes and then turn it into something later.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Norbert Leo Butz. We'd have so much fun!
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Alan Cumming's MacBeth is the last show that I REALLY could not shut up about.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Tina Fey, maybe. I don't know what it would be called though, I have a hard time with titles...
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: My mom's lemon bars. Her cheesecake too. And her chocolate chip cookies. I have no self control whatsoever when it comes to those things. And you wouldn't either.
What’s the most played song on your iPod?: “The Freaking FCC” by Seth MacFarlane (it's a Family Guy musical number that is both hilarious and brilliantly written.)
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Maybe a lawyer. Or a politician. So still some kind of showy profession where I get to talk a lot.
What’s up next?: I will be performing in a play by Sarah Sakaan called Ana Asli Suriyah (I Come From Syria) with Polybe+Seats, a Brooklyn based theater company. The play will be going up in Beit Jeddo, a site specific venue in Bay Ridge Brooklyn from August 9-26.