Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Spotlight On...Victoria Frings
Hometown: San Francisco
Education: University of Pennsylvania, BA in Environmental Studies and Science, Technology and Society Studies
Select Credits: An Enemy of the People (Broadway, MTC), Constellations (Old Globe), Tales From Red Vienna (MTC), Martin Luther on Trial (FPA at the Pearl), Pride and Prejudice (Baltimore Center Stage), Stitches and Marie Marie Marlene (To-By-For Productions).
Why theater?: Growing up in San Francisco, theatre is what you did when you realized competitive sports weren’t for you anymore. At least that’s how I saw it. I walked off the basketball court one day, disturbed by how seriously everyone was taking the game (it was 5th grade guys!) and signed up for a Shakespeare camp. Why did I continue theatre, even after getting an environmental studies degree? Because I loved the community it cultivated, because I felt happiest when working on a play, and because I am the type of person who gets weighed down by how horrible the world is, and I feel better when I actively am contributing beauty to it.
Who do you play in Mechanics of Love: Faizi
Tell us about Mechanics of Love: Mechanics of Love is a play that is deceptively simple. It redefines genre. It forces actors to stretch in all kinds of interesting ways. It is about love and loss, memory and instinct. It is about choice and finding your place in society. It is about selfless and selfish love, about the people who try to figure everything out and the people who prefer not to. It’s about first love, marriage love, love for children, about love being who you are standing next to for most of your life, and the inevitable, shattering loss of that lifelong companion shadow. It is about all these things and more. And it is deeply, subtly and gut-wrenchingly funny. I obviously need to work on my elevator pitch!
What is it like being a part of Mechanics of Love?: It is thrilling and terrifying, which is as it should be five days into rehearsal. The cast is perfect, open and inspiring, and I trust our director, Elena, unreservedly. When she responds to a script with her singular passion and insight, she could Elena me into doing anything. And yes, I’ve made her name a verb, and this is not the first time I am using it as such.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that needs to be theatre. Theatre that is courageous and inventive. Theatre that embraces the form and aims to expand the form. Theatre that is honest. If I leave an experience thinking that story had to be told that way, in that space, with those people, and I am compelled to talk about it afterwards, to see something in a new light, then I feel in dialogue with theatre. Laughter helps too.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Something that has yet to be written. Also Nora in A Doll’s House.
What’s your favorite showtune?: "My Man", as sung by Barbra Streisand in the film version of Funny Girl
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mark Rylance, because it would be an education and I've heard he's very kind. Ivo van Hove, because he's taking risks and shows a certain amount of loyalty to his actors.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Ruth Wilson, "Precious Afflictions"
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Original production of Streetcar Named Desire
What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Object Lesson, created and performed by Geoff Sobelle. It’ll be at NYTW next year, so see it!
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Dark chocolate, string cheese and 90s romantic comedies.
What’s up next?: Mechanics of Love will play at The Paradise Factory, September 8-24. Visit www.tobyforproductions.com for more info, and to purchase tickets.