Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spotlight On...Shelby Hightower

Name: Shelby Hightower

Hometown: Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Education: BFA in Acting from Boston University '14

Select Credits: Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House, Rebel in Columbinus (Boston University). Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts)

Why theater?: I like to believe I am helping people remember that they are not alone. There is so much division and separation in the world, but I still fiercely believe that the human experience is universal. We, as a species, live this life together. I don't think that should be forgotten.

Who do you play in The Twelfth Labor?: I play Donna, the youngest sister in the Praeter family.

Tell us about The Twelfth Labor: The play is incredible. It's exactly the kind of play I love – a character driven drama that has unfathomable depth. I was tempted to stay in Boston after school because I had some paid gigs lined up, but when they offered this part to me, I couldn't say no. It just lights my fire. It's about a family living on a farm during the Depression. Our dad is a POW in Japan and so we must all suffer the consequences of that. Come see it! I can't do it justice here.

What is it like being a part of The Twelfth Labor?: It's a gift. I think everyone really believes in this show and it's palpable in the rehearsal room. There's passion!! Who could ask for more? Plus, the amount of fun we have together just as people is amazing. We laugh A LOT  :)

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre like this speaks to me. Honest, gritty, dirty, REAL character driven pieces are what get me going. I also have a slight obsession with the main man, Billy Shakespeare. And mostly life itself seems to inspire me as an artist. My own life as well as the billions of others. I think it's so beautifully and tragically odd that we are all Human life fascinates me.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Um... a thousand!! Of the ones I could actually be cast as now, I would have to say Pace in Trestle at Pope Lick Creek. I love her spunk.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Whoa, that's hard. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita has been stuck in my head all week, so it's that one right now.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Meryl. I know – cliché. But Meryl.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think Evan Rachel Wood would play me and it would be called “The Earth is Her Home.”

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I saw it in London when I studied abroad and it's awe inspiring. The technology alone blew my mind, but the story is so beautiful, the characters are deep and delicate, and the direction was sharp and inventive. Over-all great experience, so i've been raving. (The book is great, too.)

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Okay, I looked. It's Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor". I listen to it to fall asleep so it often plays through the night.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: ALL day... mmmmm

What’s up next?: I just got here! I'll be auditioning, exploring the city, and settling in. I work at a steel rack company, so I'm looking to get my welding license as soon as possible. It's exciting!!!!