Monday, August 17, 2015

Spotlight On...Matthew Stannah

Name: Matthew Stannah

Hometown: Nairobi Kenya

Select credits: Romeo and Juliet (play), "Cardinal Matter "(film), "Steel Town" (film), Girl Without Wings (play) Cowboy Mouth (play)

Education: The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Why theater: There is nothing like it! The thrill of performing in front of a live audience is unlike any feeling. Everything is in that moment. There are no takes or second chances! You are in the moment, so you better be truthful and live it!

Who do you play in Virtuous Mongrels: I play Matthew

Tell us about Virtuous Mongrels: Virtuous Mongrels is a new play written and directed by Yaya Zeevi, that has become very dear to me. The play takes place in my homeland (Kenya) and delves into the lives of 6 characters, who either belong or have found refuge on this land, while torn away and fighting for their motherland. Despite their religion, or color of their skins, they all relate to and love Kenya, and throughout this story of love and quarrel - the love and fight for the land always comes out on top. The power of the African soil is one like no other! But is love enough to make it home? Or do our pasts or the pasts of our ancestors affect what we want to make home!?

What is it like being part of Virtuous Mongrels?: I am very excited to be part of this Elephants X-ing Production, and to share the stage with such an international, diverse group of actors, who are all now based in NYC. I have never done the FringeNYC, and feel very honored to be part of it. Virtuous Mongrels is very dear to me because it is a story about my country! A place I have a very deep love and respect for. It's not everyday you can tell a story about your home, in one of the best festivals in NYC:)

What kind of theatre speaks to you? Who inspires you as an artist: I love experimental theatre! Theatre that shakes and awakens audiences to new ways of thinking. Theatre that has you leave different than when you walked in! My mentor is Frank Langella. He has taught me so much, and I am grateful for all he has done for me in my path.

Any roles you are dying to play: Lago in Othello- I play a great villain

What's your favorite showtune: “Memphis Lives in Me"

If you could work with anyone, who would it be?: Viola Davis, Tom Hardy!

Who would play you in a movie and what would it be called?: probably Jeremy Renner ( because people say he looks like me), it would be called "The White African"

If you could see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Fences

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Show For Days!

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: roller coasters

What's next: my company Red Soil Productions is in the works with the new play and film. Details to be released at the end of the summer!