Monday, January 12, 2015

Spotlight On...Julia Campanelli

Name: Julia Campanelli

Hometown: I’ve lived in NYC long enough to call it my hometown. I think I was born here in a previous life.

Education: University of Maryland (theatre) and The New School University, NYC (film)

Select Credits: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk NY); Cornbury: The Queens’ Governor (Theatre Askew); The Seagull (East River Park Amphitheatre); And It Spins Twice by Alex Roblan, Benefit of A Doubt with Carol Kane, The Comings And Goings Of Average People with Mackenzie Phillips, directing the site-specific Macbeth on LES for Shelter Theatre Group.

Why theater?: It’s the only place being a drama queen isn’t frowned on. I think. I may be wrong.

Who do you play in Villainous Company?: Joanna Clay, the fastest cat in the jungle.

Tell us about Villainous Company: 3 female sociopaths in a game of intrigue and a war of wills.

What is it like being a part of Villainous Company?: Wonderful! The company is great. It’s a great, tricksy script, and director is delightful. My cast mates are so good it’s intimidating. I really had to up my game to play with them.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre about strong, independent, intelligent women speaks to me, which is why I was drawn Villainous Company. Playwrights like Sarah Ruhl and Moira Buffini inspire me because they write these types of characters. Ann Hamburger’s En Garde Arts did some site-specific productions directed by Tina Landau and Ann Bogart that blew my mind. Literally, my head left my body. It was messy, but worth it.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Mr. Macbeth, Hecuba, Tamora, Lady Bracknell (let’s take it back from the men). Juliet, or any ingénue. I was never an ingénue. Too tall.

What’s your favorite showtune?: I’m not a musical theatre person, but I do like A Little Night Music, and West Side Story, because of the stories they’re based on, and of course the music is so brilliant.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to have worked with Mike Nichols. He inspired me to become a director.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I am developing a screenplay about myself. In high school I broke the gender barrier in sports in the United States. The role I would play would be writer and director. I’m stuck on the title, though. I’m open to suggestions.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Wow. So many. I would love to have seen an original Globe production in Shakespeare’s time. Moliere in his last performance, dying on stage (that’s how I want to go). John Wilkes Booth at his last performance. (talk about theatre as politics!) Sarah Bernhardt in anything, Laurette Taylor in The Glass Menagerie, Charles Ludlam and Everett Quinton in Camille. The original production of The Trojan Women; (Imagine Euripides’ notes to actors -  “I love what you’re bringing to the role, but it’s a comedy!”)

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Villainous Company, Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time, Tamburlaine Parts I & II.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Seeing 2 plays or 3 films in a day.

What’s up next?: In 2015 I’m directing three concert staged readings for my theatre company, Shelter Theatre Group: a gender-reversed Romeo and Juliet, on the same weekend VC opens (multi-tasking!), an all-male version of The Maids, and a gender-mixed version of Hamlet. After VC closes I go into pre-production on a short film I wrote and will direct and act in, based on one of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets, called “116”. I have a horror film project with director Jeremiah Kipp in development that we hope to shoot this year. And I have another film I’m developing based on Jocasta and her relationship with Oedipus, placed in modern day New York City. Again, I’m stuck on the title. Do you think ‘Motherf**ker’ is too literal? Spoiler alert, definitely.