BWW Interviews: David Foubert in HENRY VIII at STNJ
Henry VIII by William Shakespeare will be performed by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) starting on October 15th. Directed by Paul Mullins, this rarely-produced play is about one of history's well-known monarchs and the first two of his six wives. The play depicts a young Henry obsessed with producing an heir to carry on his legacy. This epic pageant play focuses on the tug-of-wars between church and state and husband and wife, culminating in the birth of England's future Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare's great patron and Henry's fierce and very female heir. Broadwayworld.com had an opportunity to interview David Foubert who will be performing the role of Henry VIII in the show.
Born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, Foubert currently lives in the Seattle metro area with his wife, Cheryl Platz. The couple recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Foubert is in his eighth season with STNJ and has performed in the company's productions of Around the World in Eighty Days, Love's Labour's Lost, and Taming of the Shrew among others. Foubert also has considerable regional theater, television and film credits.
Foubert recalled his very early interest in theater. In the fifth grade, he had a role in Up with People. He enjoyed performing and the sense of community and friendship that was part of this first experience. And, while this was a modest start to his acting career, Foubert went on to receive his BA in Theater from Central Washington University and an MFA from the University of Delaware's PTTP program.
When asked about inspirations in the theater, Foubert said, "I have seen every Cary Grant movie ever made. I have always considered him one of the acting greats." Another one of his favorite actors is Harrison Ford. As a personal mentor, he named Max Baker. Baker was a graduate student when Foubert was an undergraduate. "Max really opened up for me how powerful live theatre can be."
Foubert spoke about the challenges of performing the role of Henry VIII. "I am aware of the seriousness and gravitas of the role of Henry. The play is set early in his career before he was considered a tyrant and was regarded as very charming. This was before several jousting accidents debilitated him both mentally and physically. In many ways, I am portraying him as sympathetic in the face of turmoil. He is conflicted about his legacy, what is right for his kingdom and his love for Catherine."
Foubert spoke about returning this season to STNJ. "It is a great joy to be back. STNJ is my first home for theater and my second home for life. I received my equity card here and acted with Paul Mullins on The Three Sisters. I am so pleased to be able to work with him as a director. Paul spent the first week of rehearsal team building with the cast and creating a common language to move us forward. There is no real lead in Henry VIII so that the very talented members of the cast each have a great presence in the performance. STNJ is a great atmosphere and Bonnie Monte knows exactly how theater should be done."
Performances of Henry VII will begin on October 15th. Tickets start at $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Student rush tickets for all performances are $15, available a half-hour before curtain for with a valid student ID. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Photo: Courtesy of David Foubert