Friday, November 15, 2013

Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview, Part Three

In which we discuss documentaries, theater, and kids

I noticed a credit for the narration of After the Fall on your IMDB page. I was wondering how you got involved with that project.

Oh, that’s a good friend of mine who produced it. Really fantastic piece. She’s been involved in this story for years and years. Over ten years. It’s about these children who were in orphanages when (Romania) was still under communist rule. They (the authorities) ended up paying people to donate blood, and so you’d get repeat customers, sailors and prostitutes, trying to make fifteen dollars or whatever, and a lot of it was tainted with AIDS.

And then they used it in the public blood supply, and infused children who weren’t getting enough nutrients with this blood to sort of perk them up. It was a regular practice to give them infusions when they were malnourished. So scores of children in Romania contracted AIDS while they were in orphanages.

And she became sort of convinced that she wanted to tell the story. So she hired a film crew and she filmed and interviewed over seven or eight years, I think. And then she had somebody cut it all together, and then she asked me to do the narration for it. Which I was happy to do.

Was it your first voiceover experience, or have you done that kind of narration before?

I feel like I have. I can’t really identify what it was… (laughter) I’m not really sure. Nothing, I guess, that’s seen the light of day.

Is there any stagework in your future?

We’re starting a workshop tomorrow on a play that we’ve been developing for a while. So we’re going to go into the rehearsal studio for three days and workshop this play and get it into shape. But then I’m not really sure. Two of the four of us that are working on it just got Broadway shows, so it’ll depend on how long their shows go, I guess, before we’ll be able to get it up. Because we would all four like to do it together. But we’re at least getting the workshop done. 

We’ve done some public readings of it before, but the last one was a year ago, and now it’s moving on to its next stage. It’s just been kind of slow because we’ve not been able to be in the same town at the same time. So we scheduled out this time starting tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that because I love this script.

How about Jenny? Any joint projects you’re working on?

She’s actually one of the four actors in the play that we’re doing. She’s busy, doing great.

Have you considered doing theater in other areas? Say, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon, or anything along those lines? (interviewer’s note: I have a vested interest in this, as I live driving distance from this festival.)

Yeah. I would kill to work out there. I mean, I’ve stopped doing a lot of regional things because of kids, but that’s the only reason. When the kids are – I don’t know if I have to wait until they’re out of the house. But at least when they’re older, and don’t want to hang out with me anymore, then I will be back out going to places. Yeah, Ashland would be a great place to work. I would love to go back to Baltimore, even the McCarter in Princeton. Well, maybe not Baltimore (currently). I’d have to live there. But all the commutable ones, I’d really be up for doing.  

NOTE: One upcoming project Eric didn’t mention was the benefit screenplay reading for the Vermont Shakespeare Company, which takes place Saturday November 16th in NYC. Here are the details:

Reading of the screenplay "WILL" by Jon Glascoe

Saturday, November 16th
The Atrium
725 Fifth Ave
(between 56th and 57th Streets)
Doors open at 7PM
Reading begins at 8PM
$10 at the door
There will be snacks and a cash bar with wine specials!

All proceeds to benefit Vermont Shakespeare Company's summer 2014 season.

Jon Glascoe is a writer, producer and director who co-founded NYC's Cyprus Films in 1996. He now lives and writes in Vermont.

WILL tells the story of William Shakespeare. It is about the mystery of genius -- a mystery to the man who has it, as much as to those who wonder at it. But it's also an epic, a universal story of freedom and humanity in a tumultuous time when the modern world as we know it was being formed.

So if you’re in New York, go check it out!

Also, Eric is running in the Race To Deliver, an annual fundraising race he’s participated in for the past five years. It raises money for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that provides meals and delivers them to the homes of people who are unable to do leave the home because of illness. GLWD was originally created to serve those homebound because of suffering from the ravages of AIDS in the '80s, but they have grown to include many illnesses. Anybody who would like to pitch in and support us in the race and GLWD in their mission can do so online at  

To donate, go to: Under "sponsor a runner", type in Sheffer-Stevens. Let’s help his team reach their fundraising goal!

1 comment:

ltklo said...

Yes, performing at the McCarter Theater in Princeton would be wonderful. It's a great space and I'd be right there buying a ticket.

Thanks again so much for this interview.