We are pleased to give you another actor spotlight, this time on core company member Scott Campbell. This summer, Scott plays Sebastian (Tempest), Will Scarlet (Robin Hood), and Seyton (Macbeth). He has long been a resident musician at OSF, and this year, he took on the exciting new task of composing the original music for our first Family Theatre programming--Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music.
For the hard-core OSF fans, this is the guy behind those Greenshow parody lyrics you love. And just to make sure you get a full sense of his well-rounded self, he also spends his days building the sets.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Sings; writes; acts when provoked. I grew up in Buffalo, NY as quiet kid with a supportive family. Since graduating from the College of Wooster—and joining OSF for the first time in summer 2009— I have roamed the country working as a teacher, musician, actor, and writer. Somewhere along the line I picked up a master’s degree in Shakespeare, too many musical instruments to fit in my trunk, and the best friends that a guy could want. These days I study Interdisciplinary Theatre at the University of Wisconsin in the hopes that someone will eventually call me “doctor” non-ironically.
WHY COME ALL THE WAY FROM WISCONSIN TO PLAY WITH US AT OSF?
You only get so many summers. This summer, working with OSF means leaving a home and career 500 miles west on the I90. It’s a lot of distance, but you can’t think twice about these things when an offer comes around to work with this company. There aren’t many more beautiful ways to spend three months than contributing to a complete community of likeminded artists doing Shakespeare under an open sky. There is also a girl out here that breaks my heart every time she yawns…which she does more frequently than not.
YOU'RE A MUSICAL GUY. WHAT INSPIRED YOU AS YOU WROTE THE MUSIC AND LYRICS FOR ROBIN HOOD?
Inspiration is a funny thing. I read a poem my junior year of high school that read, “I write with writers in my head.” I remembered that line when I started this project, because writing this music felt like I was composing with all of my favorite traditional ballads ping-ponging around my brain. For context: I am really into folk and traditional music, to the extent that I am that guy whose iTunes playlist only gets requested at St. Patrick’s day parties and Rennaisance Faire campfires. Spending a few months with this music was an incredibly rewarding way to get back into conversation with all the minstrels—living and gone—that I love so much.
BEST ADVICE FOR THOSE HOPING TO GIVE UP THEIR JOBS AND LIVE WITH THEIR FRIENDS IN SHERWOOD FOREST?
I would offer the same advice that I give on the first night of the annual OSF Fight Club: wear clean socks.
BEST THING YOU'LL GET TO SAY THIS SUMMER?
“All of the hard days are gone.” I’m not sure that I’ll get to say it onstage, but I’ll at least be saying it in my head every time I arrive in the lagoon and remember our friend.
WORST THING YOU'LL HAVE TO SAY?
“Milan and Naples have
More widows in them of this business' making
Than we bring men to comfort them:
The fault's your own.”
It’s a brutal thing for Sebastian to blame his grieving brother for a tragic loss. As a guy blessed with three brothers of my own, I imagine that this one will take some effort.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE?
His cute mustache and ability to rock a receding hairline. In seriousness, Shakespeare has given me so much: personally, professionally, and artistically. More than anything else, I love the communities of artists, scholars, and patrons that congregate around his plays.
SHARE AN OSF ANECDOTE WITH US?
So, you know that OSF does spectacle and magic as well as anyone in the business (if you don’t know this yet, come check out either The Tempest or Macbeth this summer), what you may not realize is how much thought and labor goes into putting on great special effects in unpredictable outdoor theatre. In my experience, it usually involves someone—or many someones—hiding underneath the stage and waiting to make something unexpectedly appear for the audience. In the 2011 season, we produced Richard III, and had to face the logistical nightmare/opportunity of bringing all of Richard’s victim’s ghosts onto the stage. If you don’t know the play, Richard kills enough people to field a respectable soccer team.
I remember a sweltering first technical rehearsal for the show. We had finally rigged up the technical aspects of the effect: a trapdoor, a ramp, and a cart to manually push seating actors up towards the stage. As one of the operators pushing people up on stage, I was crouching in the dirt when the “ghost” actors came under the stage…and kept coming…and kept coming. At one point there were a dozen actors—men and women, young and old, big and small— covered in gauzy shawls and crouching together in the dirt, silently waiting to get pushed up onto the stage. The cart worked brilliantly; the lights and costumes were terrifying; the actors were great ghosts and better sports. I’ve worked in theatres in which no one was willing to get sweaty or dirty under a stage; at OSF, the ingenues, interns, and equity actors get on the cart, smile broadly, and make it work.