Stephen Duff Webber
As an actor, I have been performing at theaters all over the country and around the world for the last 25 years. As a member of the SITI Company since 1994, I have created roles and/or performed in 24 of the shows created by the company and directed by Anne Bogart, almost all of which have toured extensively. These shows include: Persians (at Getty Villa), A Rite (with BTJAZ Dance Co.), Steel Hammer (with Bang on a Can All Stars), Radio Macbeth (Macbeth), War of the Worlds (Orson Welles), American Document (with Martha Graham Dance Co.), Café Variations, Under Construction, Death and the Ploughman (Death), Freshwater (Tennyson), Antigone (Kreon), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), Culture of Desire (Henry Geldzahler), Hotel Cassiopeia (Astronomer), War of the Worlds Radio Play (Orson Welles), Cabin Pressure, Going Going Gone (Top), La Dispute (Azor), Hay Fever (Richard Greatham), Private Lives (Victor), bobrauschenbergamerica (Allen- originated by Will Bond), systems/layers (with the band Rachel’s and directed by Barney O’Hanlon), and The Medium (also in a role originated by Will Bond).
The venues that these shows have been seen in are some of the most renowned theatres in the country including The Kennedy Center, The Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, American Repertory Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville including 7 Humana Festivals, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Chicago’s Court Theater, The Magic Theater, UCLA Performing Arts, The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Joyce Theater in New York.
Off-Broadway I have performed at New York Theatre Workshop in Culture of Desire, at Classic Stage Company in Death and the Ploughman, at the BAM Next Wave Festival in War of the Worlds, Hotel Cassiopeia, and A Rite, at Women’s Project in Freshwater, at Dance Theatre Workshop in Antigone, Radio Macbeth, and Under Construction, at the Joyce in American Document with The Martha Graham Dance Company and in Continuos Replay with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and with En Garde Arts in Chuck Mee’s Trojan Women 2.0 directed by Tina Landau and done in an abandoned amphitheater in the East River Park in 1996. In 2013 I performed in the New York premier of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon at Playco directed by Ed Iskandar. At Actors Theater of Louisville I also performed in Betrayal (Robert) and Glengarry Glen Ross (Williamson) both directed by Marc Masterson. Other regional theaters I have worked at include San Jose Repertory Theater (Midsummer), Alabama Shakespeare Festival (Midsummer), Milwaukee Repertory Theater (She Stoops to Conquer), Portland Stage Company (Culture of Desire) and Stage West (Hamlet, Tempest).
Internationally, I have performed with the SITI Company at Dublin Arts Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Israel Festival, Teatroiberoamericano- Bogota, Maastricht Arts Festival- Holland, Melbourne Arts Festival, The Tbilisi Gift Festival, and twice at the Toga International Arts Festival in Toga-Mura, Japan.
In addition to performing, I have taught acting for the past 20 years. At Stage West in 1989 I began studying the Suzuki Method with Kelly Maurer and Will Bond, both of whom had been studying with Mr. Suzuki and his company of actors since the early 1980s. This method of actor training, invented by Suzuki and his company starting in the 1970s, is influenced by modern dance, martial arts, traditional Japanese forms and other sources and is a comprehensive physical and vocal training. At the Toga International Arts Festival I was able to study with Suzuki himself twice, once in 1991 at the so-called Master Class and once in 1996 while performing at the festival. I have been studying, teaching and training myself with the other members of the SITI Co. for over 20 years.
I first came in contact with Anne Bogart and the Viewpoints while teaching the Suzuki Training at the SITI Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs in 1994. Since then I have been working continuously with Anne and the SITI Company on the Viewpoints. I started teaching the Viewpoints at Saratoga in 1997 and I have worked with students on the Viewpoints and related topics all over the world and around the US ever since. In both trainings I teach, the central questions seem to be: 1- What is presence and how can we develop it? 2- What is the relationship between the audience and the stage? 3- What is my technique and how much mastery do I have over it?
I also have been studying singing with Jeff Halpern in New York for many years. In 2002 I had one of my happiest moments on stage when I sang a song written by Jason Noble and the band Rachel’s in the show systems/layers.
In addition to theater, I have an interest in social and economic justice, and in 2012 I was admitted to The City University of New York School of Law (http://www.law.cuny.edu/index.html). CUNYLaw is the premier public interest law school in the country and has been graduating lawyers serving human needs since 1983. I have recently decided not to pursue justice issues by getting a law degree right now, but continue to search for ways to be engaged as an actor and teacher.