Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Spotlight On...Whitney St. Ours

Name: Whitney St. Ours

Hometown: Greater Baltimore, MD

Education: I hold a degree in English Literature from Drew University.

Favorite Credits:  As a director: "That's My Time" (web series) & Good/Bad/Ugly (staged reading). As an actor: Cora in The Iceman Cometh, Carol in The Glory of Living, and Vicky in Last Night at The Carmine

Why theater?: Because it's temporal and constantly evolving. Because in it's most fundamental state theater only requires truthful human exchange and a someone to bear witness.

Tell us about Venus In Fur: David Ives script is a pas des deux of wit and will that can only be mastered by two very talented, dedicated actors who approach the script work with equal parts intensity and humor.  Venus in Fur tells the story of a playwright (Thomas Novachek) who is searching for the ideal woman to play the lead in his adaptation of the 18th century novel "Venus in Fur". Without spoiling anything- let's just say he gets way more than he bargained for in Vanda- a late audition arrival who won't take no for an answer.   The show is funny, sexy, and relentless. But you should come see it on July 20, 21, 22 at The Bridge Theater and decide for yourself!

What inspired you to direct Venus in Fur?: I got on board because of the actors involved, mostly. Caroline Kelly Franklin and Enzo Cellucci are both powerhouses and their chemistry is explosive. The show itself is interesting to me because it's fairly new, so there is plenty of room to reimagine it without going so far as to interrupt the original intent. Our production doesn't diverge too far from the original, but we have made some non-traditional choices that I personally believe work with the script and make our rendering unique.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: As an audience member I can go in for almost any type of theater or art as long as it is conceptually clear and thematically relevant. I am equally thrilled by seeing a Kenneth Lonergan play on Broadway as I am by having water squirted on me at The Flea. As for who inspires me, director and all around good person Jill DeArmon is high on my list. I aspire to be as creative and clear as she is in her choices as a director. Who else? Off the top of my head: Betty Davis, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, and Lucy Roberts, my AD who is always the most intelligent, generous, and least egotistical person in any room.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Joaquin Phoenix, undoubtably.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I recommend that if anyone has a chance to see Ty Segall on tour they must. It's not a play but he is awesome and his shows are totally theatrical. Also the Samantha show on radio WFMU. She has a way of taking you on a track by track journey that I find interesting and inspiring.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:  I have no idea. If I had any say in casting it would be an unknown actor. I think the title would be, "She Didn't Know When to Shut Up".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Kevin Spacey in Iceman is the first thing I can think of.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Billy Joel.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Terrified and sad a lot.

What’s up next?: Next I'm on stage in a Fringe Festival show which is very exciting- I'll be playing Anna in You Don't Matter.

For more on Venus in Fur, visit Facebook.com/venusinfurNYC. For more on Whitney, visit www.whitneystours.com