Dinner Detective Regular and Kitchen Experimentalist, Stephen Gillespie, makes his OpenStage Theatre debut as Squire Trelawney in "Treasure Island"
Tell us about yourself! What theatre or other experiences did you have in this discipline before working on this show?
How did you hear about OpenStage?
I think it was through a friend who suggested I see Avenue Q. I went to see it with my cousin and we laughed ourselves silly. I knew I wanted to be a part of it when I had the chance.
How familiar were you with "Treasure Island," the book or the stage adaptation, before you were cast in this show?
Not familiar at all. Is this strange? Ha.
What made you decide to audition for this production?
I was in a show directed by Kate Austin-Gröen, and she had let me know about the auditions. Her directing approach felt kind, genuine, and inclusive. I wanted another show, and this was my opportunity. And I’m deeply grateful.
What was the most challenging part for you throughout rehearsals?
Well, getting sick and recovering. As I am writing this, I’m recovering from a full on lost voice. For the past three days I have used my voice minimally so I can be 100% for my fellow cast mates and our upcoming audience. This has been a challenge in that learning lines and music requires my voice, learning it again and again.
What was the most exciting thing you did in rehearsals?
Play. We get to play. We get to be in concert with other artists and move in the same direction.
What is your favorite scene or sequence in the show?
The first that comes to mind is scene 9, “Crew Hiring”. It’s been revealing my character’s way in the world, how Squire Trelawney is naive, playful, trusting, pompous and kind. He wants adventure, and doesn’t know how perilous it will be.
Which sea shanty sung in the show is your personal favorite?
Downed and Drowned.
If you couldn’t pick the one you play, who is your favorite character in the show?
Grey. The character just cracks me up. It’s an interesting character thread and it has me curious about how Grey became Grey. And Nicole plays the character brilliantly.
What is something you spend your free time doing, outside of theatre?
What is the importance of this show today? What do you hope the audiences get out of it?
It’s important to be grateful for what one already has, including relationships and community. It’s cliché, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it: the grass is greener, the treasure is better, on the other side. Is it? The story is being told from Jim’s perspective and probably we are all in her mind’s eye. She has a moment in the show where she thought she was betrayed, she wasn’t, in a way she betrayed herself. And at the end of the day, it’s only her in there. It doesn’t matter what’s on the other side, it matters what’s on the inside. Nurturing this is the true treasure.
What projects are you working on next? What is your dream role or dream show to work on?
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Adapted by Bryony Lavery
Directed by Kate Austin-Gröen
June 3 – July 1, 2023
Playing at the Park at Columbine Health Systems
Come see Stephen and the rest of the cast in "Treasure Island" June 3 – July 1!