Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spotlight On...Stephen Friedrich

Name: Stephen Friedrich

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Education: BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Drama Program

Select Credits: Recurring as Demetrius with the New Place Player's Midsummer Night's Dream, just finished filming "Kidnapping of a Fish" a short film by Philip Ramos, and "Beth & Charly", a new webseries.

Why theater?: My mother always knew the importance of keeping me and my siblings constantly immersed in art. I spent a lot of my childhood going to see theatre growing up in Charlotte. But, after years of watching, sitting in the audience just didn't cut it. I wanted to dig in and LIVE in these incredible, enticing, beautiful worlds. Ever since I started at the age of 12 I haven't been able to stop.

Who do you play in SCHOOLED?: I have the amazing opportunity of playing Jake Corban, an ├╝ber talented writer who is dating our protagonist, Claire.

Tell us about SCHOOLED: For me, SCHOOLED is all about the balance of having a healthy ego and indulging in a destructive self-importance. These three characters are all at different points in their creative life, but it's when those three perspectives collide that we really start cooking.
The hunger and need to become more, to be better, and to ultimately succeed is being eaten away at the base by the overwhelming insecurities that all the characters in this show are faced with. When the facades fall away and we see these people for what they really are we realize that, as healthy as the relationships may seem, they're actually poison for each other.

What is it like being a part of SCHOOLED?: This experience has far surpassed any expectations I could've had. There's a real team effort going on from every aspect of this show to produce the best, fullest, and most truthful story told. With such a small window of time to break down, work on, and build back up his show, I am just stunned with how far we've come.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: At the heart of everything that I love about the theatre, I always find myself being so captured by the works of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The work that's captured by their films is constantly finding its way into the classic texts of Shakespeare. For that reason, I'd say I'm drawn to those older shows that really give artists the ability and permission to create those heightened realities.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: My first role in a real theatrical production was Robin Hood at the age of 12... So slipping into some green tights(fingers crossed) would be quite the endeavor now that I have some facial hair and have outgrown the castrato-esque pitch that my voice was at back then.

What’s your favorite showtune?: I'm not a big musical theater guy, I guess I wish I had more knowledge of musicals.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Stanley Tucci

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Probably Justin Long.  It would be called "The Man-Child Who Confused The World"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would have loved to see Alfred Molina in RED.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: SCHOOLED. Really awesome Fringe Festival show that has a cast of three extremely sexy people, nobody should miss it.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: If I could stay on my couch and play video games, drink beer, and eat pizza every day until my body fused with the fabric of my couch… I totally would.

What’s up next?: I think I'm going to take the next couple months of my life after the show closes to pursue my lifelong goal of being a restaurant server in Murray Hill. Fingers crossed.