Our latest featured member has been quite the artist to watch over the last year, having enjoyed an impressive amount of acting work with some great companies. Teddy Spencer has taken the stage as Iago, Orlando, and Tybalt—and that was just since last summer! You can see his skills in action at the 2015 Theatre Bay Area General Auditions later this month.
|TBA Featured Member Teddy Spencer.
Tell us a little about your theatre work.
I was born and raised in the East Bay (Concord), but just recently returned to the Bay Area to pursue a professional acting career in the community I love. Since moving back to the area a little over a year ago, I've worked with the Arabian Shakespeare Festival, Capital Stage Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, SF PlayGround, San Francisco Playhouse, and the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. Regionally, I've worked with the Dallas Theater Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Ten Chimneys, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Theater at Monmouth, The Undermain, and Summer Repertory Theater. I earned a BA in both Musical Theatre and Psychology from California State University, Chico, and an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University. After graduate school, I spent a season as an acting intern with Milwaukee Repertory Theater. I'm an associate artist with the Arabian Shakespeare Festival, a company member of SF PlayGround, and a proud member of Actor's Equity Association.
What's one of your favorite shows that you've worked on?
I have been afforded some really wonderful opportunities since coming to the Bay. Getting to play alongside longtime Oregon Shakespeare Festival staple Dee Maske in 4000 Miles at Capital Stage was a joy. Spending the summer outdoors with Marin Shakespeare Festival in the beautiful Forest Meadows Amphitheater was a blast. But perhaps my favorite experience was my most recent: playing Iago in Othello with the Arabian Shakespeare Festival. Anytime you get to activate that language is special, but getting to play with the nuances of that text and character in an intimate space like the Royce Gallery with the rock-star cast we had was a dream.
What do you like about the theatre scene here in the Bay?
The people! When my partner, Lindsey Marie Schmeltzer, and I first moved to the Bay a little over a year ago, we were lucky enough to get invited to go play with SF PlayGround at Berkeley Rep. That was our first time performing in the Bay Area, and we were absolutely floored by the welcome and kindness we felt that night from the 40+ actors, directors, and playwrights involved, as well as the excitement and support from the sold-out audience. This was a defining moment for us in deciding the Bay Area was indeed the place we wanted to make our artistic home.
I also love the variety of performance you can experience here. In any given week, I can go see a kitchen-sink drama, a golden-age musical, a re-imagined classic, an improv comedy show, a burlesque/slam poetry mash-up, and a new work written by a local playwright. That's pretty cool.
Do you have a resource or piece of advice you'd like to share?
Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Be reliable. Make big choices. Make a mess. Breathe.
Anything coming up soon that you're excited about?
Yes! This March I begin rehearsals for the world premiere production of Max Understood, a new musical written by Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury, directed by David Schweizer, and produced by the Paul Dresher Ensemble. The story revolves around Max, a seven-year-old boy with autism, and will perform in the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center from April 16-26 in conjunction with World Autism Awareness Month. I think it is a vitally important story to tell, both on a societal and personal level, and I am excited to get to share it with the Bay Area.
Theatre Bay Area members: Creative. Committed. Community.