Stephanie Hsu trained as an experimental theatre artist and never expected to be on Broadway. But after making her Broadway debut last year as Karen the Computer in SpongeBob SquarePants, she is now starring as Christine Canigula in Be More Chill. Stephanie has imbued the musical’s passionate, seemingly self-actualized heroine, and “totem of truth,” with her own brand of self-described weirdness. We speak with Stephanie about the similarities and differences between experimental and commercial theatre, what playing Christine has taught her, why she enjoys originating roles, and more.
Hadestown is poetry, not prose, as its creators—director Rachel Chavkin and composer Anaïs Mitchell—will tell you. The musical, which is sung through, is an interpretation and theatrical translation of the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Persephone and Hades. It has been many years in the making. During each iteration the creative team made major changes and kept working on shaping the delicate piece, which is now on Broadway at the Walter Kerr. We speak with Rachel and Anaïs about the development process, staging poetry, finding the specificity in myth, and more.
In Halley Feiffer’s new play The Pain of My Belligerence, the story focuses on Cat (played by Feiffer) and her desire and difficulty at figuring out how to function in a world where the rules—created by men—don’t work for her. A theme in a number of Feiffer’s plays is coercive social forces and women who both recognize them and get trapped by them. As an actress and writer, her work also tends to focus on externalizing women’s interiority. We speak with Halley about the inspiration for her new play, the line between fiction and autobiography, critical responses to her work, and more.