CUE & A: Gatz and The Village Bike Star Scott Shepherd on "Dance Moms," His Browser History and Remaining Present Onstage

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01 Jul 2014

Scott Shepherd
Scott Shepherd

Stage veteran Scott Shepherd, who stars opposite Greta Gerwig in MCC Theater's The Village Bike, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Shepherd has performed with the Wooster Group for over 15 years, in Cry, Trojans!; Vieux Carré; Hamlet; Poor Theater; To You, The Birdie!; North Atlantic and others.

He has also worked extensively with Elevator Repair Service, most recently in Gatz, a marathon staging of the unabridged text of "The Great Gatsby" that played at The Public Theater, in London’s West End and in 21 other cities around the world.

The actor has won two Obie Awards, for Gatz and Poor Theater.


Full given name: Sherrill Wayne Shepherd Jr. But I was always called Scott. This was an undocumented nickname until I legally annexed it to stop it causing me grief boarding airplanes and depositing checks.

So now the official name is Scott Sherrill Wayne Shepherd Jr., which problematizes the meaning of "Jr.," but that's life.

Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Raleigh, NC. Age 1-8, Charleston, SC. Age 9-18, Marietta, GA.
Zodiac Sign:Not a believer. Gemini. Earth Monkey.
What your parents did/do for a living: Dad was a government-employed civil engineer who considered several escapes including architecture, sculpture and car salesmanship before making his move into real estate, just in time to be vulnerable when the crash came in 2008. Hit hard by that but now doing well and enjoying his independence in St Louis.

Mom was home with us and somewhere along the way became an expert in health food. She worked in two or three stores of that description where she amazed me with her encyclopedic knowledge of all existing vitamin products and the complaints for which they should be recommended.

Siblings:One brother, 4.5 years younger. Devoted party and lake activity enthusiast.
Special skills:Slouching, avoiding intimacy, computer programming, foreign languages. And there's a hat-flipping trick I can do where it goes over the wrist in a surprising way and then presto! it's back in the hand again. I learned it with a frisbee. Mostly I do it with frisbees.
Something you're REALLY bad at:Forgetting humiliations.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Tyne Daly in Gypsy. My girlfriend took me. We were on a break from college. It was my second time ever in New York. She had grown up here. We bought tickets at TKTS in the World Trade Center, and I remember looking up at those buildings for the first time. I remember Tyne Daly being 1) great and 2) very far from where I was sitting. Like approximately one trade center tower away.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? First run of Hamlet, 1601. Then Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Twelfth Night. Oedipus Rex 429BC. The Wooster Group's Frank Dell's The Temptation of St. Anthony.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Radiohole's Myth or Meth. An Octoroon at Soho Rep. But these are no longer current. Sorry.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: I don't really know showtunes. But okay, "A Little Priest."
Some favorite musicals: It's not really my thing, the musicals. An old roommate of mine used to play the Angela Lansbury recording of Sweeney Todd a lot. I liked it. I liked The Book of Mormon. What about Einstein on the Beach? Can I put that one?
Some favorite modern plays: Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, Aliens by Annie Baker, House by Richard Maxwell.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Groucho. Bette Davis. Ron Vawter.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Kate Valk in The Emperor Jones
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Not fair. I cry stupidly at obvious sentimental stuff. Like I cry when the dad turns out not to be dead in that Alabama song "Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)."
You personal acting idols: Buster Keaton, Groucho, Bette Davis, Peter Sellers, Brando, Streep, De Niro, Mark Rylance, Wallace Shawn. Many others.
MAC or PC? Mac. I had a PC in college and later when I was a coder during the first internet bubble, so I'm not a bigot or anything, but my allegiance to Apple dates back to the Apple II+. If CALL -151 means anything to you, you know where I'm coming from.
Most-visited websites: I won't tell you. And I've erased them from my browser history.
Most played song on your iPod: "Slave" by The Rolling Stones
Last book you read: "Trout Fishing in America" by Richard Brautigan. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor. Now dealing with "Mrs. Dalloway."
Must-see TV show(s): "I Love Lucy," "All In the Family," "The Simpsons"
Last good movie you saw: "Un jour Pina m'a demandé." Sorry about that, but the English title isn't as good: "On Tour with Pina Bausch."
Some films you consider classics: Top-of-my-head list: "Throne of Blood," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Dr. Strangelove," "Band of Outsiders," "Where is the Friend's Home?," "The Godfather," "Jules and Jim," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Dance Moms." I've stopped, I promise.
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