Saturday, August 10, 2013

Spotlight On...Hollis Scarborough

Name: Hollis Scarborough

Hometown: Ft. Worth, TX

Education: BFA Musical Theater from The University of Oklahoma

Select Credits: A whole pile of new pieces in development that you haven't heard of yet but hopefully will someday. A bunch of regional gigs including but not limited to I Love You, Because (Marcy, American Heartland Theater), Hairspray (Brenda, Penny cover, Fabulous Las Vegas), Footloose (Ariel, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma), Godspell (Day by
Day, Casa Manana)

Why theater?: One of my earliest memories is standing in front of this upholstered wall in our living room. The fabric was pleated and it looked like a giant curtain. I remember wishing I could pull it back and have a stage to play on all day long. It's just always seemed inevitable. But seriously, Professional Make Believer is a pretty incredible gig. Is
there anyone who wouldn't want that?

Tell us about Death and McCootie: Death and McCootie is a 1940's farce about a really bad private investigator who makes a bet with The Grim Reaper (did you know Death is a notorious gambler?) in order to save his soul. Literally. Calamity ensues! I play Agnes Brown, an intrepid reporter for the Chicago Tribune and general gal about town. The script is an awesome combination of relatable ridiculousness and stylized witty banter and I think the audience is going to want to hang out with us after the show. Our director Michelle Bossy is the Associate Artistic Director for Primary Stages and she's the real thing, such a pro, and the cast is made up of some of the funniest and kindest people I've worked with. Oh and it's co-written, co-produced and co-stars my husband, Percy. So my opinions are totally unbiased and completely reliable.

What is it like being a part of Death and McCootie?: To say that my household has been eating, sleeping, and breathing Death and McCootie is a laughable understatement. Add to that the frenetic pace of a farcical script and the farcical schedule of putting up a Fringe play and we're all just holding on to our pants. We laugh a lot and chew the scenery and go out for drinks. I imagine the laugh quotient is going to decline and the drinking quotient will increase as we approach tech this week...

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love the theater so I almost always have a great time whenever I find myself in an audience. I'm finding as I get older though that the kind of work that inspires me, the kind of show that has very little space in this industry in the wake of our economic crisis, are the plays and musicals that are first and foremost driven by honest human interaction and beautiful storytelling. Even if that show might be described at first glance as "small" or "simple". Now one might argue that any show that has a person onstage is going to be driven by that character's basic wants or needs. I've just come to really respect that there can be as much importance and excitement in stillness as there is in flash. I'm inspired by hard workers, honest actors, strong leaders and kind people.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: The 8 year-old girl that grew up listening (via my record
player...ahem) and screlting along to the London-cast album of Les Mis says any female role available. Honestly though, I'm dying to play the role that will take my career to the next level, within whatever show it happens to be. This is not meant to sound pitiful, but I'm ready to give up a couple day-jobs.

What’s your favorite showtune?: That's a really long list but I love “Cockeyed Optimist” for it's sweet melody and hopeful lyrics.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Aaron. Sorkin. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him could you please pass my name along? I keep up with current events, I can talk really fast and I get every last one of his musical theater references. We could be forever friends.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Me, right? I get to play me? Oh fine, if it gets butts in the seats they can cast Emma Stone. It's title depends on the day: “Take Your Crazy Elsewhere: True Stories of a 30ish Actress Trapped in Ripley Grier”; “Serving the 1%”; and “Let's Stay Home, Eat Nothing But Carbs, and Never Stop Watching TV (Why Marriage Rules)”.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Theater:  Pippin, Peter and the Starcatcher, Matilda, The Assembled Parties. TV: "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards" (I'd like to give Netflix a congratulatory butt smack), "The Newsroom", "The Good Wife", "Scandal", "Suits". Movies: "Pitch Perfect".

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: See the title of my autobiographical RomCom above, 7-11 Coke Slurpees, sweet tea, or anything in the fab four: crunchy, salty, creamy, starchy...AKA Disco Fries.

Ife you weren’t working in theater, you would be________?: Country Music Singing Superstar. I might still try to do that. TBD.

What’s up next?: Percy and I are going on vacation! We're headed to London for a few days to see one of my best friends STAR on the West End in Top Hat and then to Paris for some culture and an obscene amount of puff pastry. It's all tres fancy. Then it'll be back to the NYC audition-grind.

For more on Death and McCootie, visit,,