FROM SCREEN TO STAGE

November 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Stockard Channing tells us how she’s kept her fans hopelessly devoted for over three decades. And now, in her new play, “Apologia,” she delivers yet another critically acclaimed performance.

Aired November 20, 2018.

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>> HERE WE ARE AGAIN.
>> BUT THIS TIME WE'RE SENIORS
AND WUR GOE'RE GOING TO RULE TH
SCHOOL.
>> AUDIENCES LOVE STOCKARD
CHANNING'S PORTRAYAL IN THE
MUSICAL GREECE.
ANYONE WHO FOLLOWED HER MORE
THAN FIVE DECADE ACTING CAREER
NOT ONLY KNOWS SHE RULES THE
SCHOOL, BUT ALSO THE STAGE AND
SCREEN AS WELL.
THIS TONY AND EMMY AWARD WINNER
IS NOW BACK ON STAGE STARRING IN
ROUND ABOUT THEATER COMPANIES,
PAPOLOGIA.
>> AS A DECORATIVE OBJECT, IT
SEEMS TO ME A LITTLE
DISRESPECTFUL.
AND OF THE ARTIST WHO CREATED
IT.
BUT THANK YOU.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO
WELCOME STOCKARD CHANNING TO
"METROFOCUS."
IT'S SO NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> GLAD TO BE HERE.
>> JUST YESTERDAY I SAW YOU ON
STAGE.
I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE
PLAY, BUT LET'S START WITH THE
TITLE, APOLOGIA.
I'M SURE IF YOU ASK TEN PEOPLE
ON THE STREET, NINE OF THEM
WOULD GET IT WRONG.
>> BASICALLY HER DEFINITION WHAT
SHE SAID ON STAGE, IT'S THE
FORMAL WRITTEN DEFENSE OF ONE'S
OPINIONS OR CONDUCT.
>> BUT NOT --
>> NOT AN APOLOGY, NOT TO BE
CONTUS
CONFUSED WITH AN APOLOGY.
>> THAT SETS THE STAGE SO WELL.
>> I THINK IT DOES.
SHE BASICALLY, IN THE COURSE OF
THE PLAY, YOU GET AN IDEA WHAT
HAPPENED TO HER AND HER SONS IN
THE PAST AND THEIR EVALUATION OF
THAT BEHAVIOR AND THE
IMPLICATIONS OF THE DECISIONS
SHE WAS FORCED TO MAKE 25 YEARS
AGO HAS ON ALL THEIR LIVES.
AND PROBABLY ALL THEIR
PERSONALITIES, TOO.
>> WHAT WAS IT THAT FASCINATED
YOU ABOUT THIS?
>> ITS COMPLEXITY.
I READ IT AND I THOUGHT THERE
WERE A LOT OF GRAYS IN THIS.
I THINK EVERYBODY HAS THEIR
POINT OF VIEWS, AND THERE'S ALSO
TREMENDOUS EMOTIONAL INTENSITY
THROUGH IT WHICH I THINK DOES
HAPPEN IN FAMILIES.
IT'S BASICALLY ALL ABOUT LOVE.
BUT IN THIS PARTICULAR SEMI,
HALF WEEKEND HOUSE ON HER
BIRTHDAY IN THE COUNTRY, IT HAS
EXPECTATIONS.
IT IS AMAZING TO PLAY THIS PART
BECAUSE SHE'S A KIND OF CAUSTIC
INTERESTING HUMAN BEING, AND
THAT TOUGHNESS THAT SHE HAS ALSO
I THINK IS FORMED BECAUSE OF HER
OWN PAIN ABOUT LOSING.
BUT THE SONS HAVE DIFFERENT
NEEDS THAT THEY FEEL WERE NOT
MET BY HER.
IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED
SITUATION.
BUT I THINK IT'S A TREMENDOUS
PAIN IN ALL OF THEM AND A
DESIRE -- IF THEY DIDN'T REALLY
ALL LOVE EACH OTHER, THERE
WOULDN'T BE A PLAY.
>> CERTAINLY IT LOOKS, AS I
MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION,
YOU'RE SOMEBODY WHO GROWS UP IN
THAT ERA.
>> YES.
>> THE '60s.
>> YES.
AND IT WAS A TERRIBLY TROUBLED
AND TURBULENT YEAR IN THE '60s.
>> SHE SAYS ANYTHING AND
EVERYTHING FELT POSSIBLE, WHICH
WE NOW REALIZE PROBABLY WAS A
MOMENT OF UNREALISTIC
EXPECTATIONS.
BUT FOR THOSE OF US WHO SORT OF
CAME OF AN AGE, IF YOU WILL -- I
MEAN, I WAS A LATE TEENAGER, YOU
KNOW.
AND SO EVERYTHING WAS WIDE OPEN.
AND NOT EVERYBODY TOOK ADVANTAGE
OF IT, BUT A LOT OF US DID.
SO, BUT IT'S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT
TIME, WHICH IS SOMETIMES
DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE
BECAUSE IT'S LACK OF MATERIALISM
BY NECESSITY SOMETIMES WAS
THERE, AND ALSO A KIND OF SENSE
OF CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY THAT WAS
DRILLED INTO US.
AND THERE WAS A REAL THOUGHT
ABOUT WHAT WAS OUR OBLIGATION TO
SOCIETY AND THIS, THAT AND THE
OTHER.
SO THAT FOCUS THAT WAS POSSIBLY
IN FOCUS AT THE TIME IS NOT
ALWAYS, YOU KNOW, AVAILABLE TO
US NOW.
BUT I THINK IN THE WORLD WE LIVE
IN NOW, THERE IS SOMETIMES A
LONGING FOR A CERTAIN KIND OF
CERTAINTY, LIKE WHO IS A HERO
AND WHO IS A VILLAIN, THIS AND
THAT.
AND I FIND WITH AUDIENCES, THEY
SOMETIMES GET A LITTLE
UNCOMFORTABLE AND DECIDE THEY
WANT TO MAKE UP THEIR MIND WHO .
IT'S NOT RESOLVED.
IT HAS AMBIGUITY WHICH IS ONE OF
THE THINGS I ADMIRE ABOUT IT.
>> LET'S TALK A LITTLE ABOUT
YOUR CAREER.
I'M ALWAYS CURIOUS ABOUT PEOPLE
WHO HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS ON
STAGE AND ON SCREEN.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT YOUR NEXT
PROJECT IS GOING TO BE?
>> I HATE TO BE LIKE I'M
PLUGGING THIS PLAY, BUT APOLOGIA
IN EFFECT IS CONSEQUENCE OF
SOMEONE HAVING TO MAKE A
DECISION.
WHEN SOMEONE SENDS YOU A PROJECT
OR TALKS ABOUT A PROJECT, YOU
HAVE TO SAY I'LL GO TO THE NEXT
STEP OR NOT.
SOMETIMES THEY WORKOUT
FANTASTICALLY AND SOMETIMES THEY
JUST TANK.
WITH ALL THE WILL IN THE WORLD.
AND SO WHEN YOU ASK ME ABOUT MY
CAREER, I'M VERY LUCKY TO BE
SITTING HERE TALKING TO YOU
BECAUSE I COULD HAVE HAD
ACCUMULATION OF DECISIONS, SOME
OF WHICH WERE MADE FOR ME, THAT
WOULD NOT END UP EXACTLY
FABULOUSLY.
BUT I'VE BEEN VERY LUCKY.
I'VE BEEN LUCKY TO BE INVOLVED
IN SO MANY PROJECTS THAT ARE
JUST -- I'M SO PROUD OF BEING
PART OF.
>> OFTENTIMES SOMEONE WILL SAY
TO ME, WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO
TODAY OR NEXT WEEK?
I TOSSED OUT YOUR NAME.
ONE PERSON SAID, OH, 60 DEGREES
OF SEPARATION.
>> YEAH.
>> THE ORIGINAL CAST.
SOMEBODY ELSE SAID, OH, WEST
WING.
I LOVE THAT.
THAT'S MY FAVORITE SHOW.
AND THEN INVARIABLY SOMEBODY
SAID, IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER
THAN "GREASE?"
OF COURSE NOT.
IN MANY WAYS WHAT IT DOES IS
ILLUSTRATE THERE IS NOT ONE
THING THAT PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER
YOU FOR.
>> NO, GOT TO KEEP ON GOING.
>> WELL, THE PLAY, AS I SAID,
IT'S WONDERFUL.
>> THANK YOU.
>> IT'S THAT COMBINATION, AS I
SAID, OF GREAT LAUGHTER AND
GASP-INDUCING MOMENTS, WHICH I
GUESS GOOD STORYTELLING --
>> YES, LIVE THEATER.
>> IT'S LIVE THEATER.
STOCKARD, IT'S A PLEASURE TO
TALK TO YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> WE ENJOY HAVING YOU HERE WITH
US.
AND THE PLAY, AS I SAID,
APOLOGIA, IT'S WONDERFUL.
PEOPLE SHOULD GO SEE IT.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.
>> THANKS.
>> BE WELL.
>>> APOLOGIA IS AT THE THEATER
UNTIL DECEMBER 16.
FOR MORE INFORMATION LOG ON TO
METROFOCUS.ORG.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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