Interview: Allison Standley

Photo by Danielle Barnum Photography

Photo by Danielle Barnum Photography

When My Fair Lady takes center stage Nov. 5 at The Village Theatre in Issaquah, actress Allison Standley will be under the hot lights. She’ll be the face behind the hats, lace, and makeup of the infamous character Eliza Doolittle. Standley, who earned her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Washington, has been studying Miss Doolittle for decades now. “If you’re like me and grew up watching Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in the film, you’ve been in love with the story your whole life,” she said. But who’s the woman in costume? Standley dishes on what she loves, on and off the stage.

Local Favorites

Restaurant Lot No. 3 in Bellevue
Coffee Shop Issaquah Coffee Company
Hike Annette Lake Trail. A swim in the lake at the top of the hike is a welcome reward.
Theatre Village Theatre! Also ACT, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Sound Theatre Company.

Rehearsal Essentials

Snack Gin-Gins ginger candy
Drink Carbonated water from my SodaStream (one of my favorite purchases ever) and Throat Coat tea
Clothing Lululemon leggings and a warm cardigan as I tend to run colder than most folks.
Beauty product Burt’s Bees Honey lip balm.
App Voice Record —Super useful for recording music rehearsals.

Beauty

Lipstick Black Honey by Clinique. We’ve been going strong since high school.
Shampoo Trader Joe’s shampoo and conditioner, and my homemade dry shampoo of cocoa powder, corn starch, and lavender essential oil.
Soap Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile soap. It wakes me up and clears my sinuses, too!

Inspiration Board

TV Show Friday Night Lights
Movie To Kill a Mockingbird
Music Alabama Shakes
Book East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Play Usually the one I’m working on, so, My Fair Lady. The Last Witch by Rona Munro and Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott are plays I’d love to work on.
Musicals Wicked by Stephen Schwartz and If/Then by Brian Yorkey are others I’d love to get my hands on some day.
Actress Currently: Scarlett Johansson. Always: Audrey Hepburn.
Actor Currently: Christoph Waltz Always: Sidney Poitier
Who inspires you? Frida Kahlo
Favorite quote “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” If you guessed Lord of the Rings, you are correct.

What’s been your favorite character to play?  Hands down, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Her spirit is remarkable. Also, Kate in The Wild Party (Andrew Lippa). In spite of being broken, she keeps living it up with both barrels.

Do you get nervous before a show? What do you do to calm your nerves? Sure, I get a little nervous at the top of the show for the first couple performances. I keep a bottle of lavender essential oil at my station to smell, I take a bunch of deep breaths, and suck on a Ricola lozenge (to prevent cotton mouth!)

Have you wanted to be an actress since you were a little girl? What drew you into this world? As a little girl, I had a list a mile-long of what I wanted to be when I grew up. While I won’t be a “monkey scientist”, cowgirl, dolphin trainer, archeologist, and fashion designer all in one lifetime, I can pretend to be them on stage. I was a shy, soft-spoken thirteen-year-old when my mom registered me for a summer theatre camp and that’s where I got the bug. Seeing the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera shortly thereafter sealed the deal.

What’s it like to be on stage, in the spot light, on opening night? It’s thrilling! After the hours spent in rehearsal, it’s exciting to share the story with the audience – your final scene partner. Also, it can be sweltering.

What do you usually eat for dinner before a show? Nothing extraordinary. Carbs and protein. I snack on peanut butter filled pretzels to sustain me during a performance.

Why should readers come see My Fair Lady? The music sweeps you off your feet, the story is charming, the play’s commentary on social and class distiction will encourage important conversation, the cast and creative team are top-notch, and Village Theatre always delivers.

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is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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