Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Spotlight On...Stephanie Janssen
Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin
Education: BA, Middlebury College; MFA, NYU
Select Credits: Just finished a new play, All the Days at the McCarter. Some other faves: Clive at The New Group, Ivanov at CSC, Death of a Salesman on Broadway, The Umbrella Plays at the NY Fringe.
Why theater?: I love storytelling, I love the idea of live performance provoking thought and deepening empathy and growing our understanding of ourselves and our world, I love being a part of a collaborative community
Who do you play in No End of Blame?: I play an idealistic artist named Ilona who gets caught up in the people and politics around her.
Tell us about No End of Blame: Hard to summarize, I think, but ultimately it’s a play that asks questions about an artist’s responsibilities – to his/her work, to his/her society, to him/herself, to the people in his/her life. It’s made up of beautiful language, and sharp humor, and big ideas. And it’s wonderfully unexpected, I think, scene to scene always surprising, both in events and style. Keeps us all on our toes, that’s for sure.
What is it like being a part of No End of Blame?: It’s always so great to work with PTP. I get to do work that’s challenging on every level, get to work with old friends, colleagues, mentors, get to meet and work with student actors from my alma mater – it’s really special and really fun.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like a broad range of theatre, I like that there’s room for so much diversity in the theatre, so many different voices, approaches, styles. I’m excited and inspired when I see a deep commitment to the work at hand, and if that’s there, I’m open, I’m interested, I’ll listen. It sounds general I suppose, but it’s really not a given, you know when it’s missing, you feel it. It makes all the difference.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: I’m too superstitious to answer that question publicly. Like blowing out birthday candles – I keep those wishes to myself.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Probably impossible to pick a favorite, but we have been listening to an awful lot of “My Shot” around my house these days, because my 14 month-old is obsessed with it. Which reminds me of another favorite, “Children Will Listen.”
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: That list is too long! I will say that I have a deep longing to work at all those great downtown powerhouses – New York Theatre Workshop, SoHo Rep, The Public… institutions and communities I have so much admiration for, it would really be a dream to work at any of them.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: If anyone gets to play me in a movie I think it should be me, obviously! And it can be called “Wrong for the Role (The Story of My Life)”
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original production of A Streetcar Named Desire
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Small Mouth Sounds! Loved the first incarnation, so glad it’s back.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I try not to mix guilt and pleasure.
What’s up next?: Auditioning, and writing the screenplay for my upcoming film, “Wrong for the Role (The Story of My Life)”