Patrick Stewart apologizes for the delay in responding to the Bulletin Board questions and said "Thanks you one and all" for being so patient and for all of your support.
Unfortunately, he wasn''t able answer all of the questions, but hopes you enjoy reading the answers to the questions he was able to answer.
Stewart, best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the hit TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" stars as Prospero in Shakespeare''s "The Tempest" on Broadway. The engagement runs through December 31 at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City. The production, directed by George C. Wolfe, was a hit this summer at the New York Shakespeare Festival''s Delacorte Theatre in New York''s Central Park.
QUESTION FROM SHANNON NEVITT (SNTIGGER1): Dear Mr. Stewart,
I had the opportunity to meet you, however briefly, backstage at UCLA when you were previewing "A Christmas Carol" a few years back. Unfortunately, I was not able to see the show as we were in a technical rehearsal for "Dracula" in the little theatre at the same time. I know you had a question and answer session following the show and missed that as well - so now is my chance...I guess I''d better get to it.
I am an aspiring director who pays the bills by stage managing and crew work. I am, I''ll admit, a baby in the business and would like to get some good training that is not grad school. I have had no opportunity to study the classics and would like to remedy this. I currently live in Los Angeles, but I''m planning to move to NYC as soon as I can find a position that gets my foot in the door at a good theatre ( I just got my Equity card).
Would you have any ideas on training. I admire you work (in fact my first introduction to Shakespeare was a BBC production I saw you in). I would rather not go back to graduate school just yet and still have a lot to learn and I''m not sure which direction to look in search of ongoing education.
I ramble. In short: what is your training? and What are the best experiences you have had with directors? Who are your favorites and what do you expect from them?
Sorry for the life story...I''ll be thrilled with any response. Good luck with Prospero - I hope I am lucky enough to see it when I visit the big city soon.
My belief so far as acting and direction is concerned is that doing it is what matters most. I was trained at the Bristol Old Theatre School. Although it was only a two year course I am sometimes amazed at the number of years that actors train in the U.S. If you want to act, you should act as much as you can and that is the only way you can learn the skill. The same applies to directing. Get out there. Don¹t worry to much where it is and how much money your making. Doing the work is what counts. Good luck Shannon.
QUESTION FROM ANDREW J. BISANTZ (Alcindoro)
As is the case with most Americans, I was introduced to your work via Star Trek. While I am a big trek fan (and offer many congratulations on the legitimacy you have brought to the series as a serious work of science-fiction), my passions tend to lie along more musical lines. I remember reading some where that you are a big fan of opera. Is this accurate, or have I been misinformed? If you are, I would be interested to know what musical periods/composers you find most stimulating. I am a master''s student at the Cleveland Institute of Music in orchestral conducting, and will most likely be concentrating my career in conducting opera (and musical theatre - a rather unique art form which has brought me great joy and much work!). I know that you will have little time to respond to all these queries, but I would also be interested to know which art forms you feel have had the most influence on your artistic decisions as an actor. For example, I find painting to have great influence on my musical choices. The structure and manipulation of that structure in a great painting finds an easy relation (in my mind, at least) to many ideas in music. Thanks for your consideration of the above questions; I look forward to your responses.
Andrew J. Bisantz
Opera has come late into my life and like many converts I¹m now a passionate addict. I have been listening to a lot of French music in particular -- operatic in content . I¹ve grown particularly fond of Bertolt¹s opera the Trojans and recently Saint-Saents Cello Concerto which I found extremely moving and intense.
QUESTION FROM GRANSCOTT
I am a fan of the Owl''s--Sheff Wednesday. I understand you are a not only a fan but a player of note. Do you have a interest in a Premier League team if so which club do you support? Wednesday could use halodeck work to get to the top of the Premier any suggestions??
It is a pleasure to have a question about soccer. In my Huddersfield town SC, I watched them from the terrace as a child. It was a great thrill. Just 2 months ago I was the guest of the chairman of the club for a home game in their dazzling new stadium. Especially pleasing was that they had a very good win.
During the 70¹s I watched as a man of the United Games, I think Don Revie¹s team was the most brilliant that I have ever seen anytime, anywhere. There inspirational individualistic style and the tremendous unity of the team were indeed unforgettable.
QUESTION FROM FABRE (Preppie9)
Congratulations on your most recent work, "Jeffrey". I thought the movie was touching, funny, and thought provoking all at the same time.
I was wondering if you have any future plans for any similar movies, as we thought you were fabulous!!!!
When ³The Tempest² finish on December 31st, I should be returning to Hollywood, CA to begin work on an independent movie called ³Safe House.² It¹s a Brilliant screenplay and an exciting story. It¹s very different from ³Jeffrey² in that it¹s a psychological thriller.
QUESTION FROM JENNY PSAKI (Gorpsa)
I have seen your production of "A Christmas Carol" three times and loved
it every time. I also appreciated your work with the RSC for many years.
Knowing that you are both an Actor and Director, I am very curious to know if you felt yourself to be the Co-Director of "A Christmas Carol" or did you leave that job totally up to your Director? How much artistic input did you have on the show, other than your obvious input as an Actor.
Once again, I admire your stage work a great deal. Thank you.
There was no director in ³A Christmas Carol,² only myself. The work was adapted, revised, staged, and directed by me.
QUESTION FROM PAUL SUGARMAN (PaulSug)
Dear Mr. Stewart,
Your one man show of ³A Christmas Carol,² was one of the most exciting evenings in the theatre I have ever experienced and I am looking forward to seeing your Prospero.
What Shakespearean parts have you most enjoyed and what parts do you look forward to playing?
What texts do you find most helpful in working on Shakespeare?
Are you planning on doing more Shakespeare in NY in the future?
Following the success of ³The tempest,² I certainly want to do more Shakespeare in NY. I would be very happy if it was for George C. Wolf and the Public Theatre. There are too many roles I have not played and they include Macbeth, Lear, Falstaff and Richard III.
QUESTION FROM MIKE SHORE (73764,2043)
My wife and I were captivated by your performance in ³Every Good Boy Deserves Favour² at the Northrop in St. Paul (March 27, 1993). Is there a video record of any tour performance¹s in existence? If so, how could a copy be obtained? To be able to relive the performance would be priceless.
I¹m very proud of ³Every Good Boy Deserve Favour.² I¹m still hopeful we might record this production with all of our cast. The original London production was recorded by EMI but the recording went quickly out of print. I think it can still be found as a rare item in LP collections. As well as myself, on the recording are Sir Ian McKellen and Ion Richardson.
QUESTION FROM BOB LIFTIG (102224,10)
Is Patrick Stewart a stage name? If so, what is the actor¹s given name?
Patrick Stewart is the name given to me at birth. You may occasionally see an ³H² added in the middle. This was done because when I applied to the Screen Actor¹s Guild, there was already another actor with the name Patrick Stewart. I added Heweh as a second name to distinguish me from the other Patrick.
QUESTION FROM MARGARET RAINY
Please pass on greetings to Patrick from the members of his official fan club in the UK, the Patrick Stewart Appreciation Society, and tell him how much we all enjoyed his recent performances in Huddersfield.
PSAS members have come up with some questions for Patrick:
a. Do you ever see yourself doing longer-term theatre work in the UK again (more than just one night), or are all your plans aimed at New York from now on?
b. If you can, will you elaborate a little on the film you plan to do in January, about Alzheimer¹s Disease?
c. Is there any truth to the rumor that you¹ve been approached to play the villain in the next ³Batman² movie?
d. Given your interest in politics, would you ever see yourself ³doing a Glenda,² and giving up actin g to become an MP?
e. As Glenda Jackson has virtually ³vanished² from public sight since becoming an MP, whom do you think is better placed to have an influence on Society and promote social change...the backbench MP that no-one ever hears of, or the highly-visible actor, who may perform in plays with a strong ³social message² before audiences of thousands?
f. Have you, in personal life (i.e. not acting) any unfulfilled ambitions> (Apart, of course, from seeing Huddersfield Town win the FA Cup...!)
We wish ³The Tempest² a highly successful run on Broadway -- break a leg!
Hello Margaret. I was so happy to see you in Huddersfield & very grateful for your support.
I would love to do theatre work in the UK and though some have been offered, it¹s not yet been what I was looking for. The film ³Safe house,² which I begin in January, is not about Alzheimer¹s, but one of the dramatic threads in the film by which the character is in the early stages of the disease.
The only truth in the rumor that I would be in the new ³Batman² movie is just that, it¹s a rumor. I have no plans to do ³a Glenda² although politics have been an important part of my life from when I was a child. I have no interest whatsoever in making it a career . I¹m still enjoying this too much. I certainly think that if I have any hopes of having an impact in society, it would be as an actor or director than backbench MP
The only unfulfilled ambition: I want to live forever.
See you all soon.
QUESTION FROM DEJUANA SIMON (100430,654)
Dear Mr. Stewart:
I¹m sorry, I didn¹t write before to thank you for giving the time to see my son (Jason Davis). I know that seeing you increased my son¹s life, he so loved to tell everyone how he got to meet you and what you¹re really like. Meeting you and the cast was more important than when he met the President of the United States. Sadly, my son passed away in August 11, 1993.
The trip was so nice, he loved the Ship and my favorite picture is of Jason sitting in the chair. I just received the film from Starlight with Jason sitting in your chair and everyone around giving him things.
I can¹t put into words what the trip did for my son. You are his hero and he got to visit with you. It was like giving my son the moon
When we got home, he just sat in his room looking at all the things that were given to him. Everyone came to see him and his bounty THANK YOU for giving a dying young man his dream.
Dear Ms Simon:
I¹m so happy to hear from you but also, so very sad to hear that Jason died. I and all of the ³Next Generation² cast will never forget his visit to the set. Although it seems to you we were giving him so much, in fact, the opposite was more true. With his cheerfulness, sense of fun, mischieviousness and delight in everything around him (despite the severe handicap of this illness) he touched all of us so deeply. And I have not forgotten nor will never forget the short time he spent with us.
THANK YOU! for letting us share for a few moments in Jason¹s beautiful personality.
QUESTION: Everyone in New York was impressed with your performance in ³A Christmas Carol² for a variety of reasons, one of which was your ability to memorize so much acting material for one play. Do you have a specific approach to memorizing and would you be kind enough to share a few of the key ingredients you use to do it? Student actors are often left to flourish on their own and your approach would be greatly appreciated. (Do you act while you memorize, do you move around, or do you sit and just read?)
--Philip Stewart (HNVH08A)
PATRICK STEWART: Luckily I have never had any difficulties learning and remembering lines. As a matter of fact , I still have dialogues stuck in my head from many previous plays. In ³Star Trek: The Next Generation,² when I memorized my lines, I would learn them almost mechanically. The advantages to that and being in front of the cameras, is not to know the line real well thus creating some spontaneity.
In ³A Christmas Carol,² there were 43 pages of text I learned very accurately over a period of 4 month. I learned it over inevitable story telling. Yes, when I test my memory, I go for a long walk in the country and recite it out loud. That brings alarm to the most birds beast.
Hello Patrick! I am also a big fan of yours and I¹m pleased that you¹ve agreed to join us on the Bulletin Board for some questions and answers. My question is regarding your performance of ³Christmas Carol.² I have the CD recording and think it¹s wonderful. Are you planning on doing any more live performances of ³Christmas Carol² and if so, are you going to take it on the road to any cities besides New York? I would live to have the opportunity to see it sometime. Thanks.
--Flo Hawks (YQLW28A)
PATRICK STEWART: I have been considering doing a 6-8 city tour of ³A Christmas Carol² which would include San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington, with maybe St. Louis, Vancouver & Toronto
Although I missed the Central Park performance, I¹m eagerly looking forward to the Broadway version; we bought our tickets the day they went on sale. I¹d be interested in knowing something about the preparation you went through to prepare for the role. It¹s such a well known play that finding oneself a position in it that neither repeats someone else¹s nor displays change for the sake of change must be difficult. How indeed do you find a fresh Prospero when it can never be ³new to thee?² Thank you.
--Alan Kornheiser (XMCw00A)
This is the 56h time I¹ve been in ³The Tempest² -- three times playing Prospero. The first time I played Prospero, I was 15 years old. The other times, I played the role of Caliban, Stephano. I had 40 years to think of Prospero and my decision to do this time around was very much based on my life experience.
The fact that the role is well known makes it that much special. Because this is Shakespeare, no one actor can perform it the same way--there are so many interpretations. What¹s critical for me is that there is total spontaneity and immediacy about the way the language is spoken.
No question, just wanted to tell you that you what an amazing job EVERYBODY did in ³Jeffrey.² Without a doubt one of the best movies I have seen in ages. Congratulations to the entire cast. Well, I guess I do have a question. Since this movie seem to be in extremely limited release...when¹s it coming out on video so I can own it myself? (It only ran in Portland at an artsy theatre for 10 days.)
Again, accolades and standing ovations!
--Gretchen Berkey (DXZD70A)
Thank you. I¹m very proud of the movie ³Jeffrey² and very privileged to have been part of it. Yes, it was a limited run and I do believe it¹s still playing in some major cities . The video release is set in another 4 to 6 weeks time.
It¹s such a pleasure to see you online her! I have a question about your narration of ³Peter and the Wolf.² Is it new? And can you talk a little bit about it? Did you enjoy the project, and will you be doing any similar recordings in the future?
Also, will you be doing any Broadway theatre this holiday season? (It¹s become such a tradition, now...).
Thanks again...and I sure do miss you on ³Next Generation² each week...love ALL of your work!! Thanks.
--Diane Leva (QXGM21A)
Everything that I have just said About spontaneity applies to ³Peter and the Wolf.² Possibly one of the best ,well known, stories in the world -- I had to make it fresh. And being a child of the radio it was relatively fun.
I would love to do recordings of this type with or without recording. I¹m hoping in doing a selection on CD of Shakespeare dialogues. I hope I will be doing it in collaboration with a brilliant musician.
I hope Prodigy doesn¹t thin this topic is too prurient for a ³family² service, but I would like to hear your thoughts on why Prospero is so obsessed with his daughter¹s remaining a virgin until she was married. This seems a bit odd, especially considering that Anne Hataway was already pregnant when Shakespeare married her.
Is this some flaw in Prospero¹s character? or is this Shakespeare actually taking the view that teenagers should be chaste?
How did you Play this as Prospero?
Shakespeare was a playwright and we must not confuse a character¹s thought and feelings of what might have been. It is appropriate in that period a father would take a serious role in protecting his daughter¹s virginity . Hataway¹s pregnancy is irrelevant, all we have are the plays and the poems, we do not know what Shakespeare was really like.
Hi Patrick. I am, of course, a Trek addict, but I also loved your performance of ³A Christmas Carol.² It was extremely odd to hear Captain Picard speaking in the voice of a child! I do wish you would play at the Festival in Ontario. I wondered if ³Jeffrey,² because of it¹s controversial content, is being shown only in the major cities around the country. The only place I¹ve seen it around here (Michigan) is at the Royal Oak Theatre. Will it be opening more broadly? By the way, are you still scuba diving in Brent Siner Pool?
--Michelle Keene (TZGT84A)
I¹m glad you asked me about scuba diving, it¹s a topic I enjoy very much. Yes I¹m still diving and enjoying it. I look forward to being in the South Pacific soon. Brent was not able to complete the certification course and I hope one day that we could be diving buddies.
QUESTION FROM DEBORAH A. NORTHALL (email@example.com)
For a large part of your career you have been involved in long term
artistic relationships that provided the main source of your acting
jobs, with some additional projects outside that framework. You were
with the RSC for many years (25?), and then spent seven years in Star
Trek: The Next Generation. Have you just entered somewhat uncharted
territory with the financial and artistic independence that you now have
to pick and choose projects? Are there circumstances where you would
ever consider again becoming involved in a theater company, or a
potentially long term television project?
When performing in the theater, how much are you aware of the audience,
and can the audience have an effect on your performance?
Is it more exciting, challenging, and artistically satisfying to
perform before a live audience in the theater, as opposed to the more
controlled environment of films and television?
Do you find it more challenging and satisfying to take on a role that
others have played before, or to play a character that no one has
In a recent interview with Dick Cavett you were discussing the
emotional arc involved in your performance as Prospero, and you
commented that perhaps one reason for becoming an actor is the
opportunity to act out extreme emotions in a controlled situation, and I
think you said that you had not really thought of that possibility
before. Have you given any more thought to that aspect of acting?
In another recent interview, with Tom Snyder, you mentioned that you
were looking into the possibility of becoming a U.S. citizen while
retaining citizenship in the U.K. Has that possibility come any closer
to becoming a reality for you?
Is there any possibility of you performing in the Boston area in either
a play or in one of your one-man productions of "A Christmas Carol" or
"Uneasy Lies the Head?"
Thanks, and best wishes.
--Deborah A. Northall
I am hoping, in the years ahead, that I will find a unique balance between fillm& theatre work with directing and writing & producing thrown in. However, theatre commitments longer than 6 months are not practical. The audience in the live theatre play a very important role -- in each event they are the third element in which a performance cannot be performed -- the other two elements are the actors and the play. That is one of the reasons I find perfuming in front of a live audience exciting. I have no plans at the moment to appear in the Boston area.
QUESTION FROM TOM FLANAGAN (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sir, As a former military man, I do believe you to be the best Star Trek captain, but look forward to more works like "A Christmas Carol". My wife and I saw you last year at SUNY Purchase. Two question.
1. Will you allow us to see you again in A Christmas Carol??
2. Last year I waited in the rain for your autograph. I found that you slipped out of another door. How can I obtain your autograph. I purchased the Four Captains from QVC, but would like get a live signature.
Yours in good theater.
New York City
Originally, I had planned to perform ³A Christmas Carol² in Los Angeles, but with the transfer of ³The Tempest,² I had to abandon that idea. I do plan to revive ³A Christmas Carol² in the future though and I would like to do it in a city that I have never performed it in before.
Tickets to "The Tempest" can be obtained by calling 212-239-6200; outside metro New York, 800-432-7250
On the big screen, Stewart starred in the film adaptation of Paul Rudnick''s Off-Broadway play, "Jeffrey."
Stewart recently completed work in the title role of a contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde''s tale "The Canterville Ghost" for ABC and Hallmark Hall of Fame, which will air later this year. Stewart will then star as a ballroom dance instructor in the romantic comedy "Let It Be Me."
Stewart had another successful return to Broadway in 1994-95 with his Olivier Award winning one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens'' "A Christmas Carol." "A Christmas Carol" earned him a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performer and this year, an Olivier Award nomination as Best Actor and the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, when he presented the play at London''s Old Vic Theatre.