Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spotlight On...Stephanie Barton-Farcas

Name: Stephanie Barton-Farcas

Hometown: Born in Colorado, raised in Oregon. Travelled the world (literally).

Education: BFA in Theater, CAL-ARTS and a DBA in Business, Somerset University, Belgium.

Favorite Credits: Directing SubUrbia, Red Noses, 1984, Buried Child, The Little Prince, Stumps, Displaced.  Acting in Elizabeth Rex, Wit, The Swan and many film roles.

Why theater?: I love the immediacy of it and the symbiosis between actors and audience. The audience is a character in theater in a way it is not in film and I am addicted to that relationship!

Tell us about Red Noses: It’s a great play written by Peter Barnes about a pandemic and the world recovering from it. It is the blackest of comedies (a lot like life sometimes is a black comedy) and has so much that is relevant to 2015 audiences!

What inspired you to direct Red Noses?: The play parallels so much in our society now, our fear of epidemics (Aids, Ebola, Measles), the relationship between church and state, the haves and the have nots, and it parallels our company now in it’s `15th season of being the first fully inclusive theater company in NYC history (scary but true!). Much as the group of clowns in the play band together to change their world it paralells what this company has done in 15 years of producing theater. This play has something to both enlighten and offend just about everyone and I love that about it!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that makes people think and argue. I always like mixed reviews best, because it means someone is thinking about what we did.  I think theater should change the audience, the actor, the director – everyone. I would rather an audience come out of a show I directed arguing about the show than have them say, ‘Meh, it was ok.’ OK is not theater. Theater makes you think and changes perceptions about something! I am inspired by those who try and fail, those who are different, brave, outspoken and risk-takers.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Wow, so many folks! Basil Twist and their puppets, I worked a long time ago with the RSC in college and would love that again. I want to expand to work on a larger scale to come- bigger stages, more experimentation so wherever that takes me is where I am headed. Helen Mirren, Jane Alexander, Bill Nighy, James Earl Jones – I have seen them all onstage and would love to work with them!

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I have't seen it but I still recommend it –See Helen Mirren now while she is on Broadway, run and see her in person and live! Are you kidding? If I wasn’t in rehearsals I would be there in a second!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The younger me, who was mouthier and didn’t give a damn, Jennifer Lawrence has it made. If it was an older me then Jodie Foster- both are tough but can laugh at themselves and I think or hope that is one of the things about me which is good.  What would it be called? Hmmm, "Catalyst"? people tell me I am a catalyst, but then if we titled it that it would have to be a science fiction film. In space no one can see you act ......

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original The King and I. Can you imagine seeing that? Wow. Or the original A Chorus Line.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Reading a brand new Stephen King book and tuning the world out.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I teach privately and I think I would teach more and I am slated to write a book here in 2016 or so.  And more audiobook recording- I am working on my 6th book now.

What’s up next?: Some workshops of 4 new plays by Vincent Sessa either this fall or next spring. Then a year hiatus starting June 2016  in Hawaii doing some directing and collaborative work there (I am trying to get some cross travel/pollinization happening between Hawaii and my folks in NYC so that will have my energy for 2016 through June 2017. I want to be closer to bicoastal but also shoot for a more global, pan-Asian type of platform for us to work in and collaborate with. We’ll see. You never know till you try!