Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Spotlight On...Sean O'Shea

Name: Sean O’Shea

Hometown: Ithaca, NY

Education: Meisner Trained Actor & BFAs in Theater and in Music

Favorite Credits: Co-Writing & Directing The Devil Tree, and Acting as Jesus in Godspell and Tunny in American Idiot

Why theater?: Why not? I grew up performing on stage, and constantly singing. I stopped doing theater briefly during high school to pursue the sports thing, but my heart was always in performance. After graduating St. Bonaventure University, Class of ’11, I studied the Meisner Technique at the Actors Workshop of Ithaca before moving to NYC in 2013. I love theater and film (as well as music) and look to pursue these passions to their fullest. The dream is to be able to live off of my art and inspire others.

Tell us about The Devil Tree: It’s a good ol' fashioned ghost story with modern horror flair. "Friday the 13th" meets the film version of "Clue" meets "Wet Hot American Summer". A camp counselor tells his campers a ghost story with fun and scary results.

What inspired you to write The Devil Tree?: My girlfriend Samantha Kahn (Co-Writer) told me about a horror themed short play festival that was accepting submissions, and told me I should submit something. I had a couple of unfinished screenplays, but no completed theatrical scripts. I started constructing a story inspired by a legend from my summer camp, changing various details of course, and after several looks over my shoulder and offering her advice and ideas, Samantha joined me and we spent the next few nights finishing the script. It premiered at The Players Theatre on MacDougal St, and won “Best Play” of the week, by audience vote. Sam and I have plans on writing an anthology series based around The Devil Tree and its many legends, as well as a film adaptation.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: What inspires me as an artist and person is passion. Whether it’s a drama or farce, I want to see real, tangible, relatable characters. The consequences always need to be real and believed.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Adam Green (Writer/Director), Robert Englund (Actor), and Kane Hodder (Actor).

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I really loved Fun Home and Hand to God

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Someone who gives off a 90’s vibe. Someone attractive, fun, and awkward, yet cool. I really have no idea about the title, it would have to depend on the main adventure of the film. I’ve been on a few adventures in my time.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I’d love to see the original Glass Menagerie or any of Shakespeare’s works!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Taco Bell. Love it. No shame.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I will be entertaining and trying to inspire others until I die.

What’s up next?: I’m currently directing a sold out musical titled Furniture: the Musical written & composed by Natalie Lifson and Jeffrey Schmelkin, about the lives the furniture items in a college freshman’s dorm lead. Think "Toy Story", but with furniture, and for adults. It’s going up as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the end of July (27th, 29th, and 31st). My first time directing a musical and such a large cast, twelve people! The Devil Tree is going up at the beginning of August (2nd, 4th, and 5th) as part of Manhattan Rep’s Summer One Act Festival Competition. After that, aside from working on the next part in the Devil Tree series, I’m looking to focus a bit more on my acting and get in front of the camera and on stage again!

For more on Sean, visit www.facebook.com/therealseanoshea and www.facebook.com/seanosheamusic. For more on The Devil Tree, visit www.facebook.com/thedeviltreeplay