WBEZ | Stacy Stoltz http://www.wbez.org/tags/stacy-stoltz Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Take-charge Stacy Stoltz in 'Assisted Living' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/take-charge-stacy-stoltz-assisted-living-95454 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-11/assisted living.jpg" alt="" /><p><p> <style type="text/css"> <!--{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%0A%20%2F*%20Font%20Definitions%20*%2F%0A%40font-face%0A%09%7Bfont-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%0A%09panose-1%3A0%202%202%206%203%205%204%205%202%203%3B%0A%09mso-font-charset%3A0%3B%0A%09mso-generic-font-family%3Aauto%3B%0A%09mso-font-pitch%3Avariable%3B%0A%09mso-font-signature%3A50331648%200%200%200%201%200%3B%7D%0A%20%2F*%20Style%20Definitions%20*%2F%0Ap.MsoNormal%2C%20li.MsoNormal%2C%20div.MsoNormal%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09margin%3A0in%3B%0A%09margin-bottom%3A.0001pt%3B%0A%09mso-pagination%3Awidow-orphan%3B%0A%09font-size%3A18.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0Atable.MsoNormalTable%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09font-size%3A10.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0A%40page%20Section1%0A%09%7Bsize%3A8.5in%2011.0in%3B%0A%09margin%3A1.0in%201.25in%201.0in%201.25in%3B%0A%09mso-header-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-footer-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-paper-source%3A0%3B%7D%0Adiv.Section1%0A%09%7Bpage%3ASection1%3B%7D%0A%2D%2D%3E--></style> </p><p>We’ve all been there—or will be someday. We develop a bad case of creeping middle age and a closely related sense of diminishing options. We’ll never fly on the flying trapeze, never get that advanced degree in fiber arts. Hell, we won’t even learn how to knit. Even worse, as we begin to doubt our own reserves and capabilities, we’re often saddled with the care of aging or otherwise dependent relatives.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/assisted living.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px; " title="Jordan Stacey and Stacy Stoltz in 'Assisted Living'"></p><p>In a nutshell, that’s 39-year-old Anne Kelly in Deirdre O’Connor’s unexpectedly hilarious <em>Assisted Living</em>. It’s an understatement to say Anne is starting to feel the strain of a decade living with and caring for a mother with dementia. Meanwhile her ne’er-do-well younger brother does little or nothing.</p><p>Yet Anne is not going gentle. In fact she’s light-years from the stereotypical self-sacrificing spinster.</p><p>“It’s fun to be angry and act badly—and let the audience feel why,” says Stacy Stoltz of her role in <a href="http://www.profilestheatre.org/">Profiles’ world premiere, recently extended</a> a second time.</p><p>“I find Anne easy to relate to,” Stoltz adds. “She’s not apologetic about her behavior. She’s angry and frustrated and behaving badly, yet I’m able to show her vulnerability in a way everyone can understand. There are a lot of opportunities to show why she’s so cornered and desperate—and fighting. It’s the kind of role many playwrights don’t write for women.”</p><p>Like Anne, Stoltz says, “I’m not really able to control my emotions. I’m an open book.” For all her characters, she says, “I use my personality, which I guess has a lot of jagged edges.” When she played Roxanne in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-21/getting-nosy-shawn-pfautsch-cyrano-92261">House Theatre’s <em>Cyrano</em></a>, for example, she aimed to make her more than “just a pretty, spoiled princess.”</p><p>Anne’s complexity makes it easy to understand why her mom’s new caregiver, a lovable young loser named Levi, is attracted to this “sexy librarian.” At the performance I saw, at a crucial point in their relationship, the audience burst into cheers and applause—a tribute to Joe Jahraus’s unsentimental yet sympathetic production and to the deft work of Jordan Stacey as Levi.</p><p>Stoltz, who has faced her own challenges with family, says, “I feel very connected to Anne and to the story we’re telling, and I want to keep growing with it. There’s always something more to learn—some new avenue to explore.”</p><p>A member of both the Hypocrites and the House, Stoltz has been married to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/peter-pans-matt-hawkins-takes-flight">actor-director-fight choreographer Matt Hawkins</a> since 2007. They met in 2002 at a Collaboraction party, and though the attraction was apparently instantaneous and mutual and the two talked, Hawkins didn’t immediately ask Stoltz out. So, in a move worthy of Anne, “I grabbed him as he was walking away and asked <em>him</em> out,” she says.</p><p>In 2010, playing Stella and Stanley Kowalski in Writers' Theatre's acclaimed <em>A Streetcar Named Desire</em>, the two were famously hot for each other. “We loved working together,” says Stoltz, who adds that she also collaborated with her husband on <em>Cyrano</em>, for which Hawkins did the bang-up fight choreography.</p><p>“With <em>Streetcar</em>, there’s a strong physical relationship, obviously. And being physical with Matt, as an actor, I trust him 100 percent. He knows the choreography, and he has such control. I felt I could relax.”</p><p>“Sometimes it just felt so easy to connect—because part of it was real,” Stoltz says of their experience in <em>Streetcar.</em> “I can’t wait for another opportunity to be onstage with Matt again.”</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/take-charge-stacy-stoltz-assisted-living-95454 Getting nosy with Shawn Pfautsch as Cyrano http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-21/getting-nosy-shawn-pfautsch-cyrano-92261 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/cyrano.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>“Every night before the show we do a fight call, we do a music call, and then we do a nose-color call, where I get worked on for about 15 minutes.”</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/cyrano2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 315px; " title=""></p><p>You never really think about the ramifications of noses until, well, you have to. Shawn Pfautsch, 33, is now playing the nasally well-endowed, and challenged, Cyrano in <a href="http://thehousetheatre.com/">House Theatre’s swashbuckling adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic</a>. He had to think about noses. A few days at the beach, for example, wreaked havoc on the match between Pfautsch’s real face and fake schnoz. Hence the nightly color adjustments.</p><p>“In rehearsals, I wore a store-bought practice nose,” Pfautsch says. “We had to make sure that none of the fight choreography or any of my various and sundry stage business would get in the way. And we wanted to make sure I could breathe out of it, because those swordfights are strenuous and I didn’t want to get to the end of a fight and pass out.”</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/cyrano.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 266px; height: 400px; " title="">“We were very particular in what we wanted,” he adds, “and Ora [Jewell-Busche, who does makeup at Lyric Opera] was amazing at giving us that. We wanted something that looked like an extension of my own nose, we wanted something that wouldn’t fall off. We went through three or four iterations till we found one that was the length we wanted. She builds a new nose for me every week.”</p><p>“I suppose if I were a Method actor,” Pfautsch says, “I would have put one on and gone to a bar to see what people would say to me.” He’s not, I guess, and he didn’t—but I would have paid to be a fly on the wall there.</p><p>Pfautsch—a House founding member who went to school at Southern Methodist University with <em>Cyrano</em> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/peter-pans-matt-hawkins-takes-flight#">director Matt Hawkins</a>—says that his character’s simultaneously confident/insecure mindset is “a natural place for me. I think it’s one reason Matt cast me in the role.”</p><p>Still, Pfautsch adds, “I was a little bit apprehensive about what Cyrano’s ‘panache’ is and what that means. Matt and Stacy [Stoltz, Hawkins’s real-life wife—and Cyrano’s love interest, Roxane] both assured me from the beginning, ‘Don’t worry about inventing what that is, because you have panache.’ But it’s still always something in the back of my head.”</p><p>Pfautsch’s portrayal balances arrogance and sweetness on a knife’s edge, a balance that wasn’t easy to attain—especially in the crucial first scene, which concludes with what he calls Cyrano’s “fight and write” feat. “We went through about a dozen iterations of that scene!” he says. “We started with this jovial, ‘I have status so I don’t need to raise my voice’ version of Cyrano. But late in the process, in previews, we decided to juice that first scene and make him a much more—for lack of a better word—‘loud’ presence.”</p><p>After <em>Cyrano</em> closes, Pfautsch says, “I have my storefront-theater dance card punched until May.” First up, in November, is a reprise of his mandolin-strumming role in <a href="http://www.the-hypocrites.com/2011-12season">the Hypocrites’ remount of <em>Pirates of Penzance</em></a>.</p><p>Pfautsch also officially has his writer’s hat back on (his 2007 <em>Hatfield &amp; McCoy</em>, produced by House, was nominated for a Jeff award). He’s one of three playwrights who’ve been asked to adapt <em>Moby-Dick</em> for the stage and to workshop their scripts next spring.</p><p>“I am a huge Melville fan,” he says. “Honestly, what draws me to [<em>Moby-Dick</em>] is that no matter how hard I try to explain the why and how of my interest in it, I get caught in the labyrinth of its depth.” Harpooning the Great White Whale: something Cyrano might have attempted if he’d been a sailor, not a soldier.</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 14:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-21/getting-nosy-shawn-pfautsch-cyrano-92261