Five Question Friday

Stephen Henley is a local actor with a BA in Theatre & Dance. He currently works as a manager/server at an event business downtown. He was last seen in “Dog Sees God” at STLCC-Meramec and is currently lined up to be in “Evil Dead” at Stray Dog Theatre this fall. Let’s talk!

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Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
My first “step” into theatre was my freshman year of High School where I got to portray Zombie #2 in “Dark Deeds at Swan’s Place”. It was everything you can imagine it to be.

Q: What is the best piece of career advice that anyone has ever given you?
I don’t remember exact words, but a former director consistently informed me that it is ok to become comfortable in a role, but to remember to evolve at the same time. It’s good to be consistent for every audience, but as an actor, it is even more satisfying to constantly challenge yourself and to add a bit more each and every performance.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
In Rocky Horror at Stray Dog this past year, I had the task of carrying off Brad during one of the later numbers. I am a relatively small guy and Brad was larger, so carrying him was already tough, on top of singing at the same time while making sure not to fall off the stage. One of the nights in our 2nd week, I completely tumbled down a ramp leading backstage and dropped Brad, all while rolling my left ankle. It hurt a lot and swelled to the size of a baseball. Minutes later, I had to endure the pain in heels while performing the remainder of the show. Despite having to wrap my ankle for the next few weeks, the show went on.

Q: What is your dream role/show?
Gabe in Next to Normal, hands down. Such a powerful show. Bare: A Pop Opera is another one at the top of my list.

Q: What is your current guilty TV pleasure?
I don’t watch much TV, but currently I switch between Grey’s Anatomy or Schitt’s Creek.

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.

See her work at gracemaustin.com.

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