Monday, January 9, 2017

Spotlight On...Stuart Fail

Name: Stuart Fail

Hometown: McHenry, IL.

Education: MFA in Writing for Theatre, Film and Television from UCLA.

Favorite Credits: As a director: Orphans, Hurlyburly, A Life in the Theatre, The Artificial Jungle, Independence, Twelfth Night, Fiddler on the Roof, Burn This, Keely and Du

Why theater?: It's an immediate art form for the audience and artists. The visceral experience in theatre is powerful as it delivers the story via a conduit that connects the audience with the emotional action on stage.

Tell us about Consider the Lilies: Paul is an aging, alcoholic artist who engages in reckless behavior much to the disappointment of his agent, David. As David tries to return Paul to his former glory, Paul spends most of his time trying to get David to fall in love with him. David loves Angela, who has become pregnant from another man. The volatile relationships lead to a tragic ending.

What inspired you to write and direct Consider the Lilies?: It is somewhat autobiographical, and when the friend passed away, I felt inspired to write the play. I embellished to create a fictional piece. But I also wanted to show real people who live real lives who often are marginalized in society.  I wanted to direct it to explore the characters with actors to see the growth of the play firsthand. I am directing as well as writing in general, as I love to do both, and have MFA's in both directing and writing for Theatre, Film and Television.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Any kind where the playwright writes inspired stories and actors can involve me to the point of a cathartic experience. Writers who love and care about what they do, because it shows in their work.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Other playwrights I respect so I could learn from them. Unfortunately, many of them have passed away. As a director, I'd love to direct many different actors and playwrights--the list is long.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Too many good ones.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Austin Pendleton.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: A Streetcar Named Desire.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I'm a foodie. Italian and Japanese primarily.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be?: A chef.

What’s up next?: My play The Book of James will be at Manhattan Repertory Theatre January 31st and February 5th.

For more on Consider the Lilies, visit