Saturday, August 15, 2015

Spotlight On...Hannah Beck

Name: Hannah Beck

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Education: BA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College

Select Credits: The Cherry Lane Theatre, the Soho Playhouse and the Mint Theater. TV credits include "Redrum", "Lost Tapes" and "Celebrity Ghost Stories". I also recently wrapped production on an indie thriller that will be making its way around the festival circuit this fall.

Why theater?: Because it’s alive and visceral.  It’s magic. There is nothing like the feeling you get right before you walk out on to the stage for that first moment of the play. Your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is banging in your chest, your mind is going a million miles a minute. “Don’t drop that line. Remember to cross right, not left on page 6. Did I put my shirt on backwards?”) And then, out of nowhere, BAM, you hear your cue and it’s like free falling. You step on stage, and everything else falls away.  There is nothing but you, your cast mates and the electric energy of a live audience hanging on your every word. Absolutely nothing like it.

Who do you play in The God Gaffe?: Patricia McCallister, a conservative talk show host, who is loosely based on Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Tell us about The God Gaffe: When a popular conservative talk show host inadvertently insults a young homosexual guest on air, she and her producer are forced to confront an uncomfortable Hollywood double standard, as well as each other (inspired by Elisabeth Hasselbeck's departure from The View.) That’s the “official” version or the log line, if you will. But for me, the play is really about the relationship between two people who, despite being on opposite sides of the political spectrum, love each other and are struggling to navigate the complexities that come with that.

What is it like being a part of The God Gaffe?:  I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such a solid group of talented professionals who push me to be at the top of my game every day. We also have a lot of fun together, which I think is important for any creative process. I think we all have high hopes for this play.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Anything that is well written and well acted resonates with me.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Ophelia and Desdemona. I love the classics! I don’t get to do them nearly as much as I would like to.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Hmm… can I answer what my favorite song is instead? It’s not a show tune. It’s “With or Without You” by U2. Best. Band. Ever.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: When I saw Doubt at MTC, I knew that Doug Hughes was someone I would love to collaborate with. David O. Russell is another; I just love his films and the female characters that inhabit them.  I would love to work on a BBC period drama -- those costumes! Dame Maggie Smith! All those wonderful Brits! What’s not to like?) And I would love to work with Mandy Patinkin – he just seems like such a nice human. Derek Cianfrance, Alejandro González Iñárritu --  and Spielberg of course. Also my three favorite actresses: Vanessa Redgrave, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet… And also Michelle Williams. And Gillian Anderson. And…who am I kidding? There’s tons more, but this paragraph is getting quite long.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:  I’d want to play me ;) It would probably be a dark comedy, and I kind of like the title, “Save It For The Stage,” something my mother used to say to me when I was a kid.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I’d travel back in time and see Brando’s opening night performance of A Streetcar Named Desire.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I secretly like to binge watch BBC shows on Netflix and PBS.

What’s up next?: A long weekend upstate to sleep, hike and go yard sale-ing to my heart’s content, then back to business.

For more on Hannah, visit