Actor Profile: Becky Stapf Creates Magic & Mayhem as Prospero in “The Tempest”

The Tempest is about a lot of things, including the complicated life of Prospero. We invite you to read on and learn a little more about our 2018 Prospero, Bloomington’s own Becky Stapf.

How long have you been acting?

In my junior and senior years of High School, I performed in our school plays and musicals. We were graced with a very gifted Drama teacher, and she inspired many of us.  However, it wasn’t again until my mid-fifties, when I found I had more personal free-time, that I was re-introduced to the theater, by attending an immersion workshop with the National Audio Theater Festival in Missouri.  Since then, I have performed regularly with Firehouse Follies Radio Acting Troupe at WFHB, and among other venues, all considered audio theater.

How did you get involved with MCCT?

About three years ago, I decided to stretch myself a bit and I would try out for a stage play.  My thought was civic theater in Bloomington would certainly have actors of various skill levels, so maybe I could get my feet wet there, and still be challenged by those around me.  When I heard MCCT was having open auditions, I decided I would give it a shot.

This show has some non-traditional casting. How do you think that affects the show?

I think it’s great!  I wouldn’t be playing Prospero if we didn’t!  Honestly, I think it strengthens a show, and certainly allows for the players to expand and broaden their horizons without being held within conventional constraints.

MCCT is Bloomington’s longest running community theater. Where do you see this show’s civic engagement?

Continued outreach to the community for sure.  I love that we, being a non-profit ourselves, still try to tie-in and raise money for other non-profits during our shows when possible.  Of course, I’d like to see MCCT become more profitable so we could expand our reach, and improve on our costumes and props, etc.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

That we are all human, each and every one of us, warts and all.  And, as human beings, if we don’t push ourselves beyond our comfort levels, we’ll never grow.

How have you been preparing for your role?

I’m lucky enough to live way out in the woods without many close neighbors.  We have a cleared field where I have a lounge chair, and I run my lines out there.  I can be as loud, or as crazy as I need to be, & no one to talk back; except my dogs who sometimes think I am playing with them.

What do you do when you aren’t performing Shakespeare?

Well, I’d like to think that I am a gifted landscaper, gardener, and housekeeper; but in truth, I am but one of the many in blue who strive to accept your mail over the counter, and see to it that it gets delivered to you every day.

Do you see yourself in your character at all? What has been your “in” to understanding their point of view?

That’s a good question, and yes, I do, as a matter of fact.  But mostly, I try to pull up the personalities & characteristics of loved ones, come and gone, and other folks I have met along the way.  As a child, I have always been an observer of facial reactions and body language.  That, too, helps a lot.

Come see Becky and the rest of the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park cast and crew May 31-June 3 at Waldron Hill Buskirk Park (formerly Third Street Park).

  • Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:00pm, with a pre-show performance of Tempest in a Teacup at 6:45pm.
  • The Sunday matinee is at 3:00pm with a 2:45pm preshow.

As always, Shakespeare in the Park is free!