I often say that if I couldn’t be an actress I’d be a private investigator or a historian. Researching different lives, times and places is a delicious pastime and the more I dig into the history of the world, the more fascinating it becomes. I often seek inspiration in the rooms of museums, the crooked, story-heavy streets of Lower Manhattan, or buried in the pages of historical tomes. The lines that connect humanity through the ages are the lines in which I find my bearings.
My favorite book is “Les Miserables,” and my favorite line from a play is Martha’s from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, “(Your wife’s) never wunk at you; what a shame…” My favorite cocktail is a Manhattan or Rob Roy, perfect, with a twist.
There are several productions that changed my life. When I was 14, my drama class went to see the Kansas City Repertory Theatre perform King Lear. I was bored and nodding off for most of it until Edgar stepped onstage to begin his Bastard’s Speech. He stood in silence and clung to a tree as if in shock. In a low, terrible voice he began to speak. My blood ran cold as his trembling hands peeled off every stitch of clothing and covered his nude body with mud and dirt. It was and remains the most terrifying and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen on stage, paralleled only by Mark Rylance in the last 20 minutes of Jerusalem. I also have to add Clybourne Park to the list as it reaffirmed my love for theatre. It gave me hope.
Future dream: I would love to run a theatre company that produces transformative work, mentors young artists and feeds them home-cooked meals every now and then.
Something no one knows about me? I am deathly afraid of clowns.
Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy has worked with Resonance Ensemble, The WorkShop Theater Company, Gideon Productions, The Drilling Company, Abingdon Theatre, Emerging Artists Theatre, HB Playwrights Foundation, Midtown International Theatre Festival, the Estrogenius Festival, and more. Member DGA. www.shaunbfauntleroy.com