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Personality Test: Actor Alan Stanford

| Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alan Stanford first came to the attention of area theatergoers in 2006 when he appeared as Pozzo in the Gate Theatre's touring production of "Waiting for Godot." Since then the Dublin-based theater artist's influence on the local theater scene has most often been felt, not seen.

In 2008, he began his association with Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, directing his adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play "Salome."

He returned in 2009 to direct his stage adaptation of "Jane Eyre" for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre and in 2010 as the director of "Betrayal" and "Celebration" as part of the company's Pinter Celebration.

During his long association with the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Stanford has directed his own adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice," "The Old Curiosity Shop," "Jane Eyre" and "Oliver Twist."

Beginning Aug. 4, Stanford will showcase his acting talents.

He returns to the stage as Lady Bracknell and Oscar Wilde in Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's production of Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," which plays through Aug. 27 in the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland with an all-male cast.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Liam Neeson, because he is Irish, eloquent, an old friend and looks the way I see myself, which is why I avoid mirrors when at all possible.

Childhood hero and why:

My English teacher in school. His name was Colin Ramsay. He inspired me to read, to talk and to act.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

C. Lady Gaga. What a looker!

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had.

I have never been a sentimentalist about things. I prefer to collect people and memory is the best diary.

I can't live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR, or laptop?

Cell phone. Next to the disposable nappy, it is man's greatest achievement. That I can sit on the Great Wall of China and talk to my agent in Ireland about a job I don't want to do is a miracle greater than the Loaves and Fishes.

My favorite reality show:

I hate reality shows. Shows should be done by professional entertainers. If I want to see non-professionals make fools of themselves, I go to the beach!

App I wish I could invent:

A girlfriend locator; for very obvious reasons

Favorite brunch food:

Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. Several of them.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

See previous answer. There are a couple of young ladies, but I am too much of a gentleman to mention them.

Something I would do over if I could and why

I would have been kinder to some people.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

Other. I generally hate sports but I do love Formula 1 racing and golf.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Sitting outside a cafe on the beachfront anywhere in the South of France.

Top thing on my 'Bucket List' to do before I'm gone :

Direct a movie. A proper movie. A big one.

In five years, I'd like to:

Be still breathing, laughing and working. Dating would be good, too.

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

Most things, really. I love any city that manages to re-invent itself. And I love any city that has such a dedication to the arts.

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Oscar Wilde (unfortunately, he is dead), Arthur Miller (same problem), Barack Obama (it's possible)

The role I haven't yet played but hope to:

Falstaff. He is one of Shakespeare's greatest creations. The epitome of the tragic clown.

My quirkiest inherited trait:

Having recently discovered that I was adopted (a surprise at the age of 61), I have no clue as to what I inherited and from who. I hope that it was my charm and my talent but I suspect it is my tendency to rotundity in the waistline.

One word my mother would use to describe me:


When I was 10, I wanted to be:

10 forever!

Exercise I hate most:

I hate ALL exercise. But I don't mind walking if I absolutely have to.

I'm deathly afraid of:

Living forever

The first stage play or musical I saw (when and where):

"My Fair Lady" in London with Rex Harrison still in the cast

The best stage play or musical I've ever seen:

There is no such thing as the best. I love all good theater and all good acting.

The worst advice I ever received:

My acting tutor in drama school told me that he felt I should seriously consider a career in stage management or lighting design. He felt I had no future as an actor.

In high school, I was:


The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Harold Pinter, although I don't think many people actually became friends with him. He sort of tolerated us.

The movie that always makes me cry:

"Brief Encounter." Not for the story which is fairly pedestrian; but for the quality of the acting which is of its time and for all time.

If I wasn't an actor/dancer/director/choreographer, I'd be:

Possibly a gardener. I always loved gardens and planting and watching things grow.

My first job:

My first professional stage job was weekly summer rep in Frinton in Essex on the east coast of England.

Life would be better without:


I never travel without my:

Laptop. I always feel naked without it.

People would be surprised to know that I:

I am actually quite gifted with my hands and I can turn my skills to most things from cooking to carpentry.

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