South Pacific Profile: Stephanie Fillion makes her Summer Place Theatre debut
Stephanie Fillion is a medical insurance fraud analyst who has taken a lifelong love of musical theater to the stage for many years. The Glendale Heights resident is making her Summer Place Theatre debut as a nurse in this summer's production of South Pacific. South Pacific opens on June 7!
Stephanie is part of an experienced and talented ensemble cast that is excited about celebrating the 70th anniversary of South Pacific’s Broadway opening this summer. She shared her thoughts on her early love of theater and what it means to her to be in this production.
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QUESTION: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater?
STEPHANIE FILLION: My passion for theatre started at a young age, but mostly as an audience member. I loved musicals as a child and in middle school/high school my best friend would tape the Tony performances for us to find the new show we would be obsessed with (hello Wicked!). That whole time I would wish to be on stage with the actors but never had the courage to actually do it. Fast forward to college where I had a theatre appreciation teacher who finally encouraged me to audition and I made it! If not for her and the encouragement of many others this wonderful hobby of mine would still only be a dream!
Q: What was the musical that had you fall in love with musicals?
SF: When I was really young I remember watching Music Man and Oklahoma in music class. However, Wicked was truly the first musical that I became obsessed with. My best friend and I would switch off being Glinda and Elphaba as we sang along to the sound track and acted it out. We were nerds.
Q: What is the favorite role you've ever played?
SF: I have had many roles that I have loved. I played Agnes Evans in She Kills Monsters which was such a joy and challenge due to the stage combat it involved. I learned so much and am now looking for more training in stage combat! As for musicals, being in the ensemble for Young Frankenstein has truly ranked as a favorite. As an ensemble member we got to dance and improv our way through that show and it was a BLAST.
Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
SF: There are so many roles I want to play! Among them, I would love to play Katherine in Pippin as well as Heidi Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen.
Q: What is the most challenging part of bringing this story to life?
SF: Remembering to keep to the period of the show. As a nurses we get to interact in the background of the action but we have to remember that we are in the 40’s not 2019. Sometimes that can be difficult seeing as none of us lived during the 40’s!
Q:Do you have any performance superstitions?
SF: Not really! I just make sure to do a lot of self-care during tech week and show weekends to make sure I can be in the mental space needed to put on the best show possible! For me this means sleeping, working out, and keeping my apartment clean!
Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
SF: I have been told I look like Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler so maybe one of them? Maybe I should change my name to Amy…
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
SF: I work as an analyst at the National Insurance Crime Bureau on the Medical Fraud Team. Outside of that I am usually cuddling with my cat reading or watching Netflix or YouTube.
Q: Which character from South Pacific would you most like to have dinner with and why?
SF: I would want to have dinner with Luther Billis. He is the most fun out of everyone and I think it would make for an interesting dinner!
Q: Why should people come see this production of South Pacific?
SF: People should come to see this production for a taste of a good oldie! Roger and Hammerstein were popular for a reason and people don’t get enough of a chance to see their work these days. Besides that, the show is very relevant to today in dealing with issues of race and prejudice. These things still need to be talked about and what better way than through theatre?
Come see Stephanie and the rest of this incredibly talented cast when South Pacific opens on June 7.
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