Q & A with Artistic Director, Cast and Stage Manager of San Diego Actors Theatre’s ‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

San Diego Actors Theatre presents a site-specific theatrical production of Edward Albee’s THE ZOO STORY, October 28 -November 12, 2017 (Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2 p.m.) at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills, San Diego. Of note: 2018 will mark the sixtieth anniversary of The Zoo Story.

TICKET LINK

More info: CALL: 858-268-4494

or VISIT  San Diego Actors Theatre

Watch the Promo Video:

Hope you enjoy this Q & A with the Artistic Director & Cast

San Diego Actors Theatre’s ‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

BY

Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Patricia Elmore Costa
Director
‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

Patricia Elmore Costa (Producer/Director)

SJF: Please tell us about San Diego Actors Theatre
PEC: When I founded the San Diego Actors Theatre in 1985 with a lot of help and support from my late husband and many theatre artist friends, I was one of only 2 women directors in San Diego.  Directing in legitimate theatre has traditionally been a male-dominated profession.  When I founded the SD Actors Theatre, I put that out of my mind and just went after what I wanted to do.  Thirty-two years later, however, I see that there still is gender inequality.  A woman director needs to persevere, be strong, and quietly fight for what they need and want in the theatre.  Chip chip chip at the glass ceiling.
SJF: Why did you choose to direct  TZS?
PEC: I’ve always loved this play.  I admire Edward Albee.  Themes and language are philosophically intelligent and provocative of thought and emotion.  Simple and economically viable to produce –I Hope.  In the natural park setting as the setting in play.
SJF: Any challenges with directing this show?
PEC: I enjoy directing.  It has gone beautifully well.  It is always about the director’s choice in casting.   I’m working with two talented pros.
SJF: Favorite moments/scenes?
PEC: My favorite moments in the play are when these two actors are at their most vulnerable.  That is the strength of the play – when we are able to see man’s humanity and sometimes man’s inhumanity to man.  There is a lot of that in our political climate and political culture.  Man and woman need to do better each and every day.
SJF: Best shows you have directed or best roles to date in your career?
PEC: Best shows directed – Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing was my professional directorial debut in SD.  Performed in some good roles in The Miss Firecracker Contest & The Perfect Party.  Have really enjoyed roles played in many staged readings SDAT has produced over the years.  Directed a staged reading of Dinner With Friends recently that was beautiful.
SJF: What don’t we know about you
PEC:  I’m currently in grad school for another degree.  Was an associate with the Sisters of Providence order for a short time.
SJF: Dream role or show to direct?
PEC: Dream Role:  Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf – told you I liked Edward AlbeeLady Macbeth & Hamlet.  Every show I work on is a DREAM ROLE as a performer or Dream Show to direct!
SJF: Advice to other directors, new directors etc.
PEC: Advice – collaborate is key.  Makes everyone happier.
SJF: Pet Peeves
PEC:  Pet peeves – not listening.  Monologists in social conversations.  Lack of empathy or compassion.
SJF:  Inspirational quote?
PEC:  Inspirational quote from a Nigerian priest at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France –  “try to do better” and another favorite is  “your life is not about you.”
SJF: Anything else?
PEC:  I’m crazy about my 2 handsome, smart, and talented sons – Matthew and Nicholas.  They are the LIGHT of my life.
Byron La Due (Jerry)
‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee
Byron LaDue (Jerry)
SJF: Why did you choose to audition for  TZS?
BLD: Patty texted me to do what I thought was a reading of Zoo Story. Turned out to be live, in the park and playing the crazy guy.
SJF: Any challenges to your role?
BLD: Lines, lines, lines.
SJF: How do you identify with your role personally?
BLD: How?   I never answer questions like this. I’ll use one of Jerry’s Lines. “I have no feelings about any of it that I care to admit to myself.”
SJF:  Favorite moments/scenes
BLD: The whole thing is a gas. Fred as Peter getting all worked up over a bad thing to call Jerry. All he comes up with is, “You’re a …..Bum.” Cracks up me and Jerry.
SJF:  Best roles to date in your career
BLD: Paul Gauguin in The Musical Paul Gauguin
SJF: What don’t we know about you
BLD: I collect Motion Picture Soundtracks beginning with Hercules with Steve Reeves in the early 50’s.
SJF: Dream role?
BLD: Harold HillMusic Man
SJF: Advice to other actors, new actors etc.
BLD: Don’t give up your day job.
SJF: Pet Peeves?
BLD: Actors who don’t learn their lines.
SJF: Inspirational quote
BLD: “I won’t ask of myself to become someone else, I’ll just be me.”
Fred Harlow (Peter) ‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee

Fred Harlow (Peter)

SJF: Why did you choose to audition for  TZS?
FH: I really didn’t audition. Patricia called me last year to do a staged reading and it snowballed from there.
SJF: Any challenges to your role?
FH: Listen like I’ve never listened before.
SJF: How do you identify with your role personally? How?
FH: Peter doesn’t like to make waves. He also follows the rules, however tell me the rules and I’ll find the loopholes.
SJF: Favorite moments/scenes
FH: Favorite moment must be the ending, it should appear that it comes out of the blue.
SJF: Best roles to date in your career
FH: That is a difficult question, it’s like asking my favorite movie. I love all of the roles I’ve played and can’t single out any one of them.
SJF: What don’t we know about you?
FH: My cell phone is just a cell phone. I don’t text, tweet or post pictures of my dinner or cat.
SJF: Dream role?
FH: If I could sing it would be Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. What a story, what a journey!!!
SJF: Advice to other actors, new actors etc.
FHL Have fun at auditions. It’s your time to play and have FUN! If you need to get nervous save that for opening night but never for an audition. Believe me they can smell fear.
SJF: Pet Peeves?
FH: People who don’t use their turn signals. Trust me it’s not a sign of weakness.
SJF:  Inspirational quote
FH: If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Josh Guicherit
Stage Manager
‘The Zoo Story’ by Edward Albee
 Joshua Guicherit (Stage Manager)
SJF: Why did you choose to stage manage  TZS?
JG: I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved in San Diego theatre, I knew it was a role I was capable of filling and I appreciated the team that worked on the piece.
SJF: Any challenges to stage managing?
JG: There are many challenges of stage managing and few rewards, so I’ve been told. For me the most difficult part is simply keeping track of everything all at once.
SJF: Favorite moments/scenes
JG: My favorite scenes involve Byron, playing Jerry, making strange noises and accents. I laugh every time he does his dog-eating-food impression.
SJF: Best shows you have been part of as actor or technical staff in your career
JG: My favorite show as an actor was probably playing Don Armado in Love’s Labour’s Lost.
SJF: What don’t we know about you
JG:   You probably don’t know that I once volunteered for the Special Olympics and got to stand in for the singer performing the iconic song “Let It Go” from Frozen.
SJF:  Dream role or show to act in etc.?
JG: My dream role is Iago from Othello.
SJF: Advice to other stage managers etc.
JG: It’s a lot of work. Just take everything in chunks and get to know what your director wants. The rest changes with every show. Find a way to relax at the end of the night.
SJF: Pet Peeves
JG: Chewing with your mouth open.
SJF:  Inspirational quote
JG: Do whatever makes you happy.
SJF:  Anything else?
JG: There’s always something else isn’t there?
Thanks to Patricia Elmore Costa, Byron LaDue, Fred Harlow and Josh Guicherit
Hope to see you at THE ZOO STORY!
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