About Contact Us Items filtered by date: April 2011
Items filtered by date: April 2011
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 09:59

10 Questions With... Lee Patton Chiles

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Patton Chiles began her career in theater playing The Young Nun in a Missouri Repertory Theater production of Morning Star, a role for which she thankfully would no longer be considered. She moved to St. Louis and was immediately cast at the Theatre Project Company, a company that turned out a generation of wonderful theatre artists, many of whom are still working in St. Louis. Patton worked as an actress for many St. Louis companies, including the dearly departed TNT and the St. Louis Repertory Company.   While working at the Muny Student Theatre Company, Patton became an accidental playwright. (They asked her what she thought would be an interesting play for children. She told them, and they asked her to write it.) 

In 1991 she became Co-Artistic Director of a radio theatre company known as Holy Roman Repertory Theatre Company. The company was not Roman, Holy or a Repertory. It was a company that used theater to tell historical stories using only verbatim quotes for dialogue, surrounding that dialogue with the music from the time period. Patton and her Co-Artistic Director, Larry Roberson, transitioned the company from a radio company to an Equity theatre company, changing the name to Historyonics Theatre Company. 

Having written well over fifty plays, in 2005 Patton began to work more with Cecilia Nadal’s company, Gitana Productions, whose mission is “Global healing through the Arts.” Patton is Adjunct Faculty at Washington University and St. Louis University, where she teaches Acting One, Public Speaking, Script Analysis, and Approaching the Arts. Students from both St. Louis University and Washington University have been involved with Gitana’s theatre productions.

Kevin Kline Award Nominations

2011: Outstanding New Play or Musical: Eye on the Sparrow: The World Within St. Louis (Gitana Productions)

2010: Outstanding New Play or Musical: My Heart is Always Shaking (Gitana Productions)

2009: Outstanding New Play or Musical: Complacency of Silence: Darfur (Gitana Productions)

2006: Outstanding New Play or Musical: Dancing on Air (Historyonics)

10 Questions: 

1.  What is your favorite theatrical memory?

As an actor or a director? There really are way too many favorite memories for me to have an actual favorite "favorite memory". My most memorable moment as an actor was when I first walked out on stage as Sister Mary in SISTER MARY IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU. The Archbishop at the time forbade St. Louis Catholics to see the show, so of course it was sold out!

2.  When did you know you were going in to the theatre?

It was the first time I got a laugh on stage - I think my sophomore year in high school.

3.  What does St. Louis Theatre mean to you?

The first thing that came into my head when reading this question was "Life's blood". I have lived in St. Louis longer than I have lived anywhere else - though I did not go to high school here. Amazingly and gratefully, I've made a living and raised two children working in St. Louis theatre. How lucky is that?

4.  What’s in your fridge right now?

Soy milk. Soy sauce - Wheat Free. Tofu. Apples. Eggs. Bananas are on top of the fridge. Makes you want to come right over for dinner doesn't it?

5.  What was the first car you drove?

A little powder blue Chevrolet something. A Covair I think?

6.  What’s the last book you read?

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff - should be required life reading.

7.  What’s your favorite St. Louis restaurant?

Easy - Mai Lee.

8.  If you weren’t in the theatre, what would you be doing?

I would be doing whatever the universe assigned me to do - it would involve people and storytelling somehow.

9.  What is the most played song or artist on your iPod?

NPR. Talk radio all day every day, much to my children's irritation.  I don't even have an iPod.

10.  What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure?

I have no idea. I suppose I'll have to create one now.

Published in Ten Questions With…
Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:27

10 Questions With... Kirsten Wylder

kirsten_wylder_headshotI started in St. Louis theatre back in 1995 when I became co-founder of The NonProphet Theater Company. I have since been honoured to work with the best of the best and the cream of the crop. I have performed with The NP’s, The Orange Girls, The New Jewish Theatre, HotCity and HotHouse, Mustard Seed, ACT Inc, ECHO, Shakespeare Festival and several others. I have shared the stage with some of THE most talented actors in the world and been directed by true visionaries. Being a part of the current community has been very exciting. Watching the growth and local support warms my soul and gives me hope. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

It’s wonderful.

Kevin Kline Award Wins 

2010:  Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play: Wonder of the World (The Orange Girls)

2008:  Outstanding Ensemble in a Play: Women's Minyan (The New Jewish Theatre)

Kevin Kline Award Nominations

2009: Outstanding Ensemble in a Play: Primal (SATE)

2008: Outstanding Ensemble in a Play: You Can’t Take it with You (Stray Dog Theatre) 

10 Questions:

 1.  What is your favorite theatrical memory?

Onstage: that’s tough. I truly have many. I’ve shared the stage with some pretty remarkable actors. “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” was a great one. So much talent –true comics- in that show. I had a blast. And “Wonder of the World” was pure joy. So was “Crumble” with ECHO.

Off stage: there are many there as well. There are some actors here in town that have gifted me some amazing moments as an audience member. Michelle Hand tops that list. She blows me away. Every time.

2.  When did you know you were going in to the theatre? 
I was always involved. Since I was six, I have been performing in some capacity. But in 1994, I went back to school to major in theatre. I’ve never looked back. It feeds me -- literally and spiritually.

3.  What does St. Louis Theatre mean to you? 
It’s home.

4.  What’s in your fridge right now? 
Berries for Lola, margarita makings & beer for the big girls in the house, Greek yogurt, pet food, soy milk, tomatoes, hot dogs, turkey breast slices and I’m sure a science experiment is hiding in there somewhere.

5.  What was the first car you drove? 
That I drove? Legally? That’s difficult to say. Illegally? A 1964 ½ baby blue Mustang with a black ragtop. So awesome.

6.  What’s the last book you read? 
I just finished re-reading “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” (the Play) and am currently reading “The Portable Dorothy Parker” that my daughter bought for me.

7.  What’s your favorite St. Louis restaurant? 
My house. I love cooking and am pretty darned good at it.  I also really enjoy Everest Cafe & Bar on Manchester in the Grove and Wasabi Sushi (either location)

8.  If you weren’t in the theatre, what would you be doing? 
I’d probably consider either going back into teaching or back into restaurant management.  Or being a Sugar Daddy’s arm candy.

9.  What is the most played song or artist on your iPod? 
Right now Sara Bareilles, OK GO & the Beatles. But usually it’s just on shuffle.

10. What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure?
Cadbury Creme Eggs. Seriously. I’m addicted. It’s a good thing “they’re only here for a short time.” 

Published in Ten Questions With…
Thursday, 05 May 2011 09:30

10 Questions With... Jeffrey M. Wright

jeffrey_wright_headshotJeff has performed with many theatre companies across the St. Louis area, including New Jewish Theatre, The Orange Girls, Stray Dog Theatre, and New Line Theatre.  Favorite recent roles include Jamie in The Last Five Years, Pippin in Pippin, Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods, John Hinckley in Assassins, and Rob Gordon in the regional premiere of High Fidelity. Jeff is very active in the local cabaret scene as well.  His solo shows, A Night With Mr. Wright and The Dance, played to sold out audiences at the Kranzberg Arts Center in 2009 and 2010.  Jeff has been a featured performer at the Kevin Kline awards for the past several years.

10 Questions:

1.  What is your favorite theatrical memory?

There are really too many favorites to list, as each show generates so many experiences and memories. One of the most memorable (and hilarious) for me, was the older gentleman who followed me offstage after a scene in The Last Five Years with New Jewish Theatre. I was making a quick costume change, and he stood next to me to advise me that I wasn't playing to house left enough. Really?! I sang most of the next song directly to him.

2.  When did you know you were going in to the theatre?

My parents have photos of me walking around in a corduroy jacket with a toy microphone, pretending to perform, when I was 2 years old. But it was over 20 years later before I actually set foot on a stage. Once it happened, I knew I was hooked.

3.  What does St. Louis Theatre mean to you?

The vibrancy, diversity, and quality of the work that is going on right now in St. Louis is amazing. I love that there are so many opportunities for local actors, directors, and designers to collaborate together. Working in St. Louis theatre has also led me to develop so many lifelong friendships with such a talented and fun-loving group of people.

4.  What’s in your fridge right now?

Mostly liquids - bottled water, orange juice, Bud Select, steak sauce… Some random other things like lettuce, salsa, yogurt, etc. The freezer has some frozen meals and leftovers. And ice.

5.  What was the first car you drove?

The first car I drove was my uncle's 1980-something hatchback of some sort - he taught me to drive in a parking lot when I was 11. The first car I owned was a 1996 Jeep Cherokee.

6.  What’s the last book you read?

I honestly can't remember the last true novel that I read… I usually have an assortment of scripts, magazines, and newspapers, etc. that I'm reading at any given time. I guess the last "book" was a home study continuing education course that I completed for my daytime work - I'm a registered physical therapist.

7.  What’s your favorite St. Louis restaurant?

Another question for which it is hard to find only one answer… Definitely depends on the cuisine, but if I can only choose one place, I'd go with Onesto as my current favorite. I can walk there, which I love.

8.  If you weren’t in the theatre, what would you be doing?

Probably what I am still doing, which is healthcare management and marketing for a large local medical center. I got into that industry before I really discovered theatre and music. It's amazing to me how participating in both professions really offers a sense of balance in my life.

9.  What is the most played song or artist on your iPod?

The most played song is "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. The most played artists range from Elton John to Sheryl Crow to Tom Wopat.

10. What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure?

Probably watching re-runs of old 1980s sitcoms on TV…

Published in Ten Questions With…

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