Here’s a new face to the STL/Rolla area theatre scene- hello Alex!!
A.S. Freeman is the Artistic Director of Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, MO where he recently directed On Golden Pond. He holds an MFA in Directing from Western Illinois University. Favorite directing credits include: Peter and the Starcatcher (WIU), The Tempest (Scioto Society, Inc), and When Johnny Comes Marching Home (off-off Broadway). Upcoming is directing The Sunset Limited at Bluff City in Hannibal. More info on Twitter @asfreeman.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
I played Gilbert Blythe in a community theatre production of Anne of Green Gables. It was also my first experience with someone leaving a production and moving up in roles – I was originally cast as Moody McPherson, and when the guy playing Gilbert dropped out, I was the next man up. A very quick lesson in how saying “yes” as often as possible can lead to great things.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
Be kind. At all levels, this industry is so small. No matter what market you’re working in, the difference in talent between people is so small, that it comes down to who people like to work with so much of the time. Being kind to everyone not only makes you the person everyone wants to work with, but I’m also a firm believer that whatever you put out into the world comes back to you many fold. I want kindness coming back to me.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
I worked in outdoor drama for 9 summers, so most of my best mishap stories involve a horse or a thunderstorm…sometimes both. Nothing quite emphasizes the unpredictable nature of live theatre quite like working out in the elements or working with animals. But really, and this is going to make the costumers not want to work with me: I’m very skilled at ripping my pants on stage.
Q: What is your dream role/show?
As an actor, the dream right now is Hamlet. As a director, the dream is finding those shows that perfectly match up entertainment value, a powerful message, and that continue to surprise you each time you encounter them. Shows that are like Great Comet, Come From Away, and Violet all come to mind.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
I have been binging The Black List lately. James Spader surprises me in almost every episode. I also love Gotham and have a lot of catching up to do.
Thank you Alex- looking forward to seeing what is next on your plate!
Grace Austin is the head of the Theatre Department at East Central College. Here she is pictured with one of her biggest inspirations and her original 5QF, Will Bonfiglio.
See her work at gracemaustin.com