Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spotight On...Summer Broyhill

Name: Summer Broyhill

Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Education: Bachelor of Music, Florida State University and an Internship with Georgia Shakespeare Festival

Select Credits: A whole lotta Hairspray (Broadway/National Tour), Independents (FringeNYC '12), and some awesome regional stuff: Jane in the post-Broadway regional premiere of Tarzan, Cathy in The Last Five Years at Virginia Stage Company, Kate in Kiss Me, Kate opposite Davis Gaines.  I've been pretty gosh darn lucky. 

Why theater?: You know when someone's having a revelation onstage, or reaching some hilarious or heartbreaking emotional climax and you somehow feel like they are connecting you to God, like a divine light is reaching down through them, then out to you, grabbing your heart and making it beat a little faster?  An epiphanic moment.  An a-ha moment, as Oprah would say.  I live for that.

Tell us about Killer Therapy: A ruthless assassin seeks rehabilitation by way of an overly apologetic pacifist therapist who is on her way to spin class.  They debate life's most polarizing questions of morality using push-ups, roundhouse kicks, and a mutilated orange.  Though Killer Therapy opens on a fairly wild concept, the themes are universal and incredibly relevant: must we be weak in order to connect? Must we be violent to be strong? Does being an "uncompromising" person oblige you to compromise values? And most importantly: what happens when even your therapist is unravelling?"

What is it like being a part of Killer Therapy?: Brandt created a piece that, like any good piece of writing, leaves itself open to a lot of discussion and interpretation.  What was lovely about the process was that even though I came in reading things in it that he did not intend, he didn't ignore these things.  We embraced them and let them help imbue the piece with more colors that will probably elicit more questions.  That and Katie Lindsay is pretty much the greatest director ever.  She has this magical balance of being able to coax powerful moments out of actors while having a great ear for comic timing.  Sometimes comedy and truth feel like star-crossed lovers: when they are together, it's fireworks and orchestral swells, but the two kids never can seem to sneak out of the house for long enough to be in one place.  Katie's like the friar.  Katie marries them, hoping for a better world. 

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I love theater that is transformative, that shows that we are capable of rebirth, of rising from the ashes.  I love theater that makes me laugh while I cry, that says I am not alone, that describes perfectly the moment when. I love theater that makes me believe in miracles. 

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Millie in Millie, Vanda in Venus in Fur, Melody in Be a Good Little Widow, Nina in The Seagull, and Julie Jordan in Carousel.

What’s your favorite showtune?: "Finishing the Hat" maybe.  I know that's so typical.  I also really love "Brigadoon".  Like, really.  "Come to me, bend to me"?  I swoon.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
I want to do a Pete Mills musical with Pete Mills.  I want to work with Alex Timbers.  I want to speak the words of Amy Herzog and Bekah Brunstetter because I want to be as witty and insightful as they are.  And I want to be mentored by Young Jean Lee.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
Samuel L. Jackson.  He has always been my first and only choice.  As for the title, I dunno. 
Bad Ass Vegan Motherfucker"?  Can you say Motherfucker on this site? 

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Cupola Bobber's The Field, The Mantel pretty much rocked my world. Peter and the Starcatcher was the greatest thing I think I've ever seen on Broadway.  Belleville at NYTW was horrifying and thrilling.  And I loved Jake Lipman's Tongue in Cheek company's production of The Mistakes Madeline Made this spring.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:  I feel like people always say either "sugar" or "bad tv" or some combination of the two in regards to this question.  I feel guilt about neither brownies nor Rupaul's drag race (I mean, except to the extent that I feel guilty about western excess generally).  What do I feel guilty about?  Spending ten dollars on juice at Organic Avenue. What on earth is wrong with me??

What’s up next?: A renaissance of wonder.  I feel it.