Queen of the Day
By Megan O’Connor
Brelby Theatre Company is all about positivity and building up our artists and we are especially dedicated to promoting our female artists and as such we have Brelby Artists nominate one new woman every month for us to treat like royalty. The power of women as actors, designers, writers, directors, creators, and people in general cannot be overstated! We at the Brelby Buzz are so excited to have our former reigning Queen, Kim See, interview a brand new Queen of the Day! Voted by our community of Brelby Artists, Stephanie Spencer has been chosen to reign supreme today! Stephanie is a collaborative artist at Brelby preparing to debut her second mainstage show with Brelby taking on the role of Olive Ostrovsky in the upcoming musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Brelby patrons will remember her in our first show of the year, Peter and the Starcatcher. Read on to learn more about Stephanie, including her performance background and general love of art (including coloring!), and what her Hogwarts House is…
Kim See: First off, let me offer a congratulations for being a true Queen, Stephanie!
Stephanie Spencer: AHH! Thank you so much!
KS: I am so happy to be part of something so lovely and uplifting as this!
SS: It’s truly an honor!
KS: You emit sunshine and light every time you walk into a room, and are always willing to help out friends and make them laugh.
SS: Oh my goodness, you are so kind! It’s definitely a goal of mine!
KS: Thank you for being you! So first thing’s first: What made you get into theatre in the first place?
SS: Theatre has been a part of my life from the get-go. My mother is a phenomenal pianist and music director, my father is a percussionist with an amazing voice, my brother is an actor/composer/drummer with talent beyond belief, and my sister is an amazing musician (and a teacher, which, let’s be real, takes an enormous amount of performance skill). To put it short, I have an incredibly talented family and theatre has been a part of the air I breathe for as long as I can remember, haha.
KS: How long have you been performing?
SS: Hmmm… performing as in acting in shows? I took dance classes when I was a kid and was rocking tap dance recitals since I was about 6, hahaha. It was on and off from then, from being the blue crayon in my elementary school musical to doing summer theatre in high school… But I guess I really started “seriously acting” when I started my college career.
KS: If you were to able to pick anyone to take their place for a full 24 hours, who would you pick and why? Of course this could be any time frame, no need to box in with present day.
SS: Holy moly, that’s a tough one… Umm, since we’re talking Queens, young Julie Andrews (during Mary Poppins) would be a big one for me. Julie has been a bit of a hero to me since I was young, I’ve always loved her work, I’ve read her autobiography, and I love so much about her. She definitely ranks up there with some of the other extremely influential women in my life, next to my mom and my grandma.
I’d also love to be Beyoncé and do one of her concerts… because Queen B….
Or, you know, I could be Trump for a day before the election and drop out of the race…. But let’s not talk politics.
KS: What about a dream role? Any chance of seeing you on Broadway soon?
SS: Aaahhhh! The dream role question!! I have so many of them (and I’ve been super lucky to tackle two of them in the past year.) Olive was definitely a dream role for me, so getting to work on this role in Putnam with this cast and this company has been an absolute dream come true.
But my dream roles vary from Rosalind (As You Like It) and Portia (Merchant of Venice) to Mary Poppins and Catherine (Newsies) and Bobby (Company) to Nina (Seagull) and – of course – Ariel. I mean, who DOESN’T want to be The Little Mermaid?
I have way too many dream roles…
Broadway is definitely the goal!!! It’s been my dream since I was a little girl, and I’m planning to be in New York before this year is over. Fingers crossed! (I’m looking at you, Zoe – Dear Evan Hansen) !
KS: Are you a cat or dog person? Or both? Or neither? There’s certainly so many options out there.
SS: I LOVE CATS. Don’t get me wrong, dogs are also wonderful. I really don’t discriminate when it comes to cute things. But cats are for sure my jam.
KS: Now that you are Queen, what would be your main decree during your ruling?
SS: So many difficult questions… I’d definitely want to do something that makes art as important to society as it should be. Art and education would get the funding that they deserve, and I’d do what I could to help (make is so aggressive) people, at the very least, witness art as much as I could. Like, Super Bowl? Nahhh, let’s have a Sunday where everyone gathers to see a play, watch a movie, go to the ballet or the symphony, peruse an art gallery, listen to some poetry… also, I’d make calories not count. Y’all can eat all the donuts.
KS: Mint chocolate chip ice cream or fudge brownie?
SS: Mint chip. Fasho. Gotta keep that hint of minty freshness.
KS: What keeps you motivated during rehearsals? They can be grueling, and everyone knows of the struggles during tech week. What keeps your sunshine going?
SS: I love that phrasing – “keeps your sunshine going”
Rehearsals can get tough, and sometimes in this profession it’s hard to avoid taking that personally. When the days get long and frustrations build up, I guess I just remind myself that I really am doing what I love. I get to be in a room with a bunch of talented people with the freedom to create – the freedom to make choices, to crash and burn and still get endless support, to go for it and enjoy when it works out. I get to dive into beautiful material with fearless individuals and just be an artist. I guess that’s a little cheesy, but it’s really what gets me through. I get to do what I love, and I never want to take that for granted.
KS: Do you grace the stage at other theatres around the valley, and what can we look forward to next from you?
SS: Before Brelby, I worked on Gertrude McFuzz in Suessical over at Desert Stages in Scottsdale, and before that I didn’t even live in the area! But lately I’ve been hanging out with Brelby, and it’s been nothing short of wonderful. As for what’s next, I’m not entirely sure. There’s talk of New York, there’s auditions I’m looking at, but at present, I’m putting everything into Spelling Bee. I definitely see Dogfight in Brelby’s season, though, so I’m keeping my radar on that for sure.
KS: Getting into character for a show can be tricky. What are your tried and true methods of nailing it time after time, like Cyndi Lauper?
SS: Music definitely helps me a lot. Throughout the process of a show, I do a lot of extensive research into the given circumstances (acting school vocab, heyyyy!) of my character, and I usually like to find either a song or a poem or even just a phrase/quote that reflects them, and I’ll either listen to it or just repeat it to myself before the show starts.
I also love to color. It definitely gets me in the zone.
KS: Are you a coffee, tea, or hot chocolate person? What liquid adrenaline fuels you?
SS: It depends… how tired am I??? Hahaha. I try to stick to tea as much as possible, but sometimes you just can’t beat a fresh cup of coffee or some sweet, sweet, Dutch Bros.
KS: Do you have any other magical or weird talents that aren’t well known? If so, would you ever consider performing in a talent show with them?
SS: Ummmm, I play a surplus of musical instruments, but I don’t know if I’d consider that as “not well known.” When I was a kid I did a flag twirling/color guard routine for a talent show… I think that was the last talent show I performed in, hahaha. Maybe I can still twirl a flag around?
KS: Which Hogwarts house do you belong to?
SS: HUFFLEPUFF!!! Puff pride for days, man.
All hail our new Queen of the Day! Get your tickets to see the upcoming Main Stage musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, opening March 10th. Don’t forget artists…bee sure to keep an e-y-e on the Brelby Facebook group for your chance to vote for the next Queen of the Day. #womenofbrelby #qotd