Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meet the DEAD SPECIAL CRABS Cast: Samantha Cooper

Samantha Cooper is tickled pink to work with this hilarious, talented group of artists. Recent credits include: Leah In Vegas (FringeNYC, dir: Kristin Skye Hoffmann), the award-winning Goliath (Culture Project, Wild Project, California tour); Worldwide Plays/Writopia Lab ‘13 & ‘14 (Theatre Row, June Havoc); Ok! Cupid! The Musical, Foreign Bodies (Women Center Stage/Culture Project); And Then They Came For Me (NCTC); Twelfth Night (BoCoCa Festival); The Killing of Jacob Marr (221 Films). Samantha received her B.A. from UC San Diego, and has trained at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, A.C.T., Circle In The Square, and the Lorenzo de’Medici school in Florence, Italy. Administrative Director/Company Member - Poetic Theater Productions. Founding Member - Brass Tacks Theatre Collective. For Toby, always. 
  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming world premiere production of Dead Special Crabs. What was your history with the piece before coming on board for the full production (if any)? Could you tell us a little bit about your last project? 
This run is my introduction to the world of Dead Special Crabs, although I have worked with many members of our hard-working team. The lovable Dan Kitrosser directed me in the Writopia World Wide Play Festival a few years ago, and I have been craving to be in something he has penned. The incredible Rosie Kolbo has stage managed the past three projects on which I have worked and I never want to part with her. And this past summer, the effervescent Kristin Skye Hoffman directed Kara Ayn Napolitano's new piece, Leah In Vegas, for FringeNYC. I played two challenging roles; the work was hard, fast, fun, and complemented by a very talented cast and crew. 
  • This is a road trip play, and the leaves are starting to change, so we have to ask: What’s your favorite place to go for a quick road trip getaway on the east coast? 
It's funny because Leah In Vegas was also a road trip play, although I did not partake in the road trip (and now I am - thanks, Dan - I finally get to hold the steering wheel!). My favorite NY getaway is Fire Island. I was lucky enough to spend my summers there as a kid. It is the only place I can fully relax (yes, relaxing is hard for me, hush) but hand me a Corona with lime and a beach chair and I'm good to go. 
  • What’s your favorite work by Edgar Allen Poe? You know you have one. 
The Tell-Tale Heart. 
  • And while we’re on the subject: Crustaceans. Friend or food? Allergies? Assuming you eat them, which is your favorite one to eat? Any restaurants we need to know about?
Crustaceans. Huge fan. Shrimp, crab, lobster with some lemon butter sauce...I'm hungry. Lobster is my true favorite and if you put it in a bisque, I'm yours. A great old-time favorite is The Oyster Bar in Grand Central. My dad and I go there when we're feeling particularly skinny and need to rectify that situation. 
  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
You know, during rehearsal, we keep bringing up certain films that are reminiscent of the comedic style of Dead Special Crabs. Clue is one of them, and we randomly break into quotes (which I do in my daily life, as well). So I think I finally have to come out and state for the record that Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean and the rest of that zany cast influenced my humor and timing more than any other ensemble of actors...with cast of Robin Hood: Men In Tights coming in as a close second. 
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Is it something you can tell us about? 
I am a company member of Poetic Theater Productions, and they are about to open Back, by Mickey Bolmer and directed by Andrew Willis-Woodward, at the cell on 23rd Street. I can't wait to see it; audiences are definitely in for a party. In November, I'm set to shoot a role in the film I Fell in Love with a Psychopath by Whitney Ellis.

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