Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Spotlight On...Haley Sullivan

Name: Haley Sullivan

Hometown: Carrollton, VA

Education: The Governor’s School for the Arts, Theatre Department,  and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Acting.

Favorite Credits: Viola in Twelfth Night, Ruth in The Matthew Portraits, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth: The Prophecies, and Jess in Canuck Downunder

Why theater?: There is no greater feeling than bringing people together through the most human moments and feelings in our lives, and unlike any other art-form, theatre does it live, right in front of you, and for a moment, you can believe that what is happening before you is real.  It’s one thing to connect to a character and their journey through a page, it’s another thing entirely to see them breathing and living before you.  It’s very special to see your favorite story told with you in the same room.  And, selfishly, I love being able to bring that story to life for someone.

Who do you play in Canuck Downunder?: Jess

Tell us about Canuck Downunder:  It’s a really special story.  It’s based on something that really happened, which always gives the experience a lot of weight and heart.  Inherently it means something different to be playing real people.  It’s the story of a young woman who suddenly looses her brother to a drug overdose, and who’s forced to grieve that death almost entirely through the use of technology.  Really, it’s about the way we are able to connect emotionally across the world thanks to social media, but also how there are no boundaries, no safe places, and how easy it is to exploit something like death these days.  It’s about abandonment, the ways people cope with loss, and
It’s also about learning to let go - which is, I think, pretty universal.

What is it like being a part of Canuck Downunder?: Honestly, it is such an honor.  Everyone involved is so committed, so professional and so full of heart.  I don’t think we can ask for much more as artists than being involved in a project that tells an important story, which is written well, directed well, and acted well.  It’s also just so much fun - everyone laughs a lot.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:  Any theatre that strives to start conversations about what’s really happening in our country and our world.  I’m particularly drawn to theatre that tells the stories of minorities, women, the LGBTQ community.. people who’s stories sometimes get buried and should be brought to life.  Generally new plays.  My hero at the moment is Kate McKinnon, but always Viola Davis and Cate Blanchett.  Just so much respect for their work.

Any roles you’re dying to play?:  I’d love to play Kim in a play called The Other Thing written by Emily Schwend. It’s basically a feminist ghost story, which is about all I could ask for in a play.

What’s your favorite showtune?:  If I had to pick?  “Take Me or Leave me” from Rent.  I couldn’t tell you why other than it’s just so much fun to sing.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I really want to work with Saoirse Ronan.  She’s just someone I admire so much - but the list of people goes on and on.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:  It’d probably be called something related to gender equality and I’d love to make a cameo like Peter Jackson did in The Fellowship.  Just a creepy dude eating a carrot.  Something really bizarre and hilarious.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Hamlet.  There was a production of Hamlet I was dying to see and I didn’t - and I’m still heartbroken that I missed it.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Disney.  As a whole.

What’s up next?: Next, I’m hoping to get my own play on it’s feet and read out loud.  It’s something I’m very passionate about and it’ll be my first play worked on  by anyone other than myself, so I’m very excited!