Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Spotlight On...Justin Phillips

Name: Justin Phillips

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Education: William Esper Studio, St. John's University

Select Credits: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Macbeth, The Christians, Dreamgirls, The Laramie Project, Sweeney Todd, A Raisin In The Sun, but I cd only whisper.

Why theater?: Why NOT theater? A good quote would work nicely here but I only know the over used ones. To me theater is the one and only art form that I can truly say changes me.

Who do you play in The Curse of the Babywoman?: Nimrod Rodham Rodman

Tell us about The Curse of the Babywoman: The Curse of the Babywoman is kind of exactly what it sounds like. Without giving anything away, it’s a story about a town shrouded in secrets and peril. It's up to the town's newest and unexpected visitor to solve its deadly mystery. A classic tale of horror, humor, and fantasy. Heavy on the humor. Nimrod is the big bad villain of the story! It's his mission to save the town from more death and destroy all Babywomen. Obviously in a hilarious way.

What is it like being a part of The Curse of the Babywoman?: Non-stop laughing. We can't stop laughing at each other. This play is truly an ensemble piece and the characters really demand a certain level of fearlessness.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that dares to push any and all buttons, that crosses the boundaries of what traditional theater has given us. The biggest source of my inspiration is a culmination of all the playwrights, directors and actors I've admired over the years. The characters they've brought to life and all the stories that were told are huge influences. Finding a little bit of myself in all of those characters and stories inspires me to be a little more honest with each role I have the opportunity to play. Plus all my teachers and fellow students from the Esper Studio.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Belize or Louis in Angels In America. Eventually MLK Jr. in The Mountaintop. I would also love a shot at Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon. I think it would be hilarious to have a black Cunningham.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Speaking of The Book of Mormon, "Man Up". God knows I love a good mash up of tunes already sung into one huge exciting act one finale!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Brandon Jacob-Jenkins

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Kenan Thompson. "When's It My Turn??"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Caroline or Change/Angels In America/ the original cast of Ragtime.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Shuffle Along! "Stranger Things" on Netflix!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: A social media app called Peach. It's only the newest, hottest app out right now…

What’s up next?: Finishing the run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee here in NYC!