Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Spotlight On...David Stallings
Hometown: Galveston, Texas.
Why theater?: Theater is who I am. I started acting at the age of 5 in Community Theater and by the time I was 11, was doing Summer Stock in Regional Theater.s The craft and tradition of Theater is in my blood.
Tell us about Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell: This play is a comedy with heart. It follows some powerful women in the afterlife who are all struggling with the concept of change and how they can continue to evolve even after the great deeds, loves, and circumstances of their lives have past.
What inspired you to write Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell?: So many things. My mother for one is a strong influence in my writing. She was a single parent in the South who struggled to raise 2 boys without much help. When I was 14, she gave me the novel "Tess of the D'urbervilles," and always was an influence on my love of literature. Then of course there was college. I took a philosophy class where the male professor said that, "Women do not make good philosophers because they pay too close attention to detail." This really upset me, so the next course I took was "Women in Philosophy" with an amazing female professor. I learned about Heloise, Anaïs Nin, Sappho--it was one of my favorite classes. And of course, being a theatre person, I wondered why most of our existential comedies are dominated by male characters. We have Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, but I wanted something with women. This had been my thought for years. Then one day I was reading Delta of Venus on the Subway and the entire play just hit me at once. I blushed and laughed and went home and started writing.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Magic speaks to me. I don't respond to Theater that mimics film. I embrace Theater that allows itself to be Theatrical and alter form.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Sam Mendes is certainly an idol. Also Mark Rylance, Maggie Smith...I like the Brits.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Fun Home, I loved the Public's Troilus and Cressida this year, Curious Incident is stunning.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I imagine a young Vivien Leigh and the film would be called, "Everything will be fine if you listen to me" or "Fleeing the South."
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original Macbeth
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: This is tough...I rarely allow myself to feel guilt anymore as it dominated my life as a closeted gay boy in the South, but I guess Guacamole?
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: an alcoholic.
What’s up next?: I am acting in Eric Ehn's new play, Clover at La MaMa in December.
For more on David, visit www.stallingswrites.com. For more on Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell, visit www.mtworks.org.