Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spotlight On...Alisha Spielmann

Name: Alisha Spielmann

Hometown: Minneapolis MN

Education: St. Olaf College, Northfield MN

Select Credits: Jane in Jane the Plain by August Schulenburg; Tracy in Sans Merci by Johnna Adams, Clem in Blast Radius by Mac Rogers, Ruth in Dear Ruth by Norman Krasna, Janis in Native Speech by Erik Overmyer, Rebecca in Producing Juliet by Tina Cesa Ward.

Why theater?: Two quotes come to mind: one by Oscar Wilde: “I regard the theatre as...the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” And the other by Stella Adler: "The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation."

Who do you play in The Butter and Egg Man?: I play Jane Weston, described by George Kaufman the heroine of the story who works as a stenographer and "office girl" at Lehmac Productions Inc. in New York City.

Tell us about The Butter and Egg Man?: As Retro Productions describe it: "The Butter and Egg Man follows our hero, Peter Jones, a likable Mid-Western boy, as he navigates the sometimes exasperating and always exciting world of Broadway.  Written in 1925, it is a hilarious satire about a seemingly simple country boy who comes to New York to break in to theatrical producing under the misguided idea that he will double his money.  But the young man may be smarter than he seems – will he be able to turn a “flop” in to a “wow”?"  (And as I like to describe it, it's like the musical The Producers, but the straight play version of it and written before the musical version.)

What is it like being a part of The Butter and Egg Man?: It's like getting to have playtime and hangtime with some of the funniest and talented people I know.  I'm pretty sure I haven't been to a rehearsal yet where I haven't cracked up laughing at something someone did. Usually Brian Silliman.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that is present. Theatre that is sexy. Theatre that is bold. Theatre that challenges "the norm". Theatre that is surprising and magical.  Theatre that takes me to another time and place and I can still connect with what it is trying to say about now. Theatre that even after months from now I still think about and want to talk about. Theatre that tells the stories that need to be told today. I'm inspired by artistic risk takers.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Always the next one... ;)

What’s your favorite show tune?: "Finishing The Hat" & "Summertime"

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I wish I had a chance to work with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: ...Wait, so you're saying I can't play myself??? ;) Probably Reese Witherspoon, though more than likely we wouldn't be able to get her, so I guess I'd probably have to go with Nat Cassidy in the made for TV movie "#Spielwinning"?

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Definitely the premieres of A Streetcar Named Desire & The Glass Menagerie; and basically anything happening in downtown NYC theatre world between the 50's & '60's.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Salvage by August Schulenburg (though unfortunately by the time this gets out it will be closed), Hamilton (though I have yet to see it myself, so if anyone wants to take me that would be great, thanks!)

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Cheeseburgers, doughnuts, and technology.

What’s up next?: I'l be working on a film with Inappropriate Films called "The Moose Head Over the Mantle" as well as developing and workshopping new plays with Flux Theatre Ensemble on our annual Retreat! ...And that's all I'm allowed to publicly say at this point… ;)