Today, we shine the spotlight on Stephanie Renee Maysonave, who is one of the incredibly talented featured dancers in our upcoming mainstage production of Sweet Charity.
Stephanie is thrilled to be making her Hillbarn stage debut as part of this incredible production. A Bay Area native, Stephanie spent many years studying acting in NYC and London before heading back to the Bay where she has worked with Boxcar Theatre, Broadway By the Bay, Woodside Community Theatre and CalShakes. Though primarily a director, Stephanie enjoys returning to the stage for the right project. She would like to thank her incredibly supportive family and her amazing husband, Mike, for tucking daughter Penny in every night while she’s at rehearsals.
What inspired you to accept a role in Sweet Charity?
Well, that’s interesting because normally I do not act in musicals. I direct musicals but rarely find myself onstage in them. But in my work as a youth theatre director, I am constantly telling my kids to take risks and challenge themselves. So when Erica talked to me about auditioning, my own words were pounding in my ears and I figured I should take my own advice!
What do you think the audience will be discussing on their way home after seeing Sweet Charity?
The quirky and beautifully flawed characters. This show is filled with them!
When did you discover your love for the theatre?
When I was four, I asked my mom if I could be a cartoon. She signed me up for acting classes and I haven’t stopped acting since!
How did you get started in theatre?
I did all of the school plays when I was growing up but I truly believe I began really “working” in theatre when I studied at Marymount Manhattan College because for the first time I was doing things other than acting. I was able to learn the technical aspect of theatre and direct for the first time. The theatre world is so much bigger than what you see on that stage!
What do you love about performing on stage?
I love being able to be somebody else for awhile, or in this case, a few other characters. I love being onstage with really talented people who challenge me to listen carefully to every line because I’m always on my toes for something new. I love being a part of an ensemble of wonderful people who are all supporting each other while we work together to tell an incredible story.
What is your favorite and most memorable role you ever played? Why?
I played Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream in London as my thesis performance and that was one of the most magical theatre moments of my life. To be speaking the Bard’s words in London, playing an amazing iconic role like Bottom, was a highlight in my performance career and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity!
If you could pick one actor/actress to perform with on Broadway, who would it be?
Well, honestly, I would rather collaborate with Lin-Manuel Miranda on creating something new than perform on a broadway stage with anyone else.
Do you have any wacky rituals you do before curtain call?
I direct a youth theatre program and one of our students had to miss their big school dance to be in our show (as so often happens) so we decided to bring the dance to her. The whole cast partied down on stage right before we opened house and to this day I think it’s good luck to have a quick dance party before curtain.
What is one thing you are incredibly proud of?
I have been blessed to be able to help train many incredibly talented and wonderful performers and and their successes always fill me with immense pride.
What is one fact or fun thing or special/hidden talent that we don’t know about you?
I was conceived in the backseat of a Buick on prom night. 😉
Don’t miss your chance to see Stephanie Renee Maysonave, in Sweet Charity May 5-29, at the historic Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. Tickets available at hillbarntheatre.org