ACT­ING OUT Off­stage friend­ship pro­duces on­stage magic

GA Voice - - Out Spoken -

Melissa Foul­ger and Steve Yockey never re­al­ized they would be col­lab­o­rat­ing a decade later af­ter work­ing on “Iphi­ge­nia,” their first project to­gether at 7 Stages in 2004. The close friends, both of whom are out, have formed a strong pro­fes­sional bond. Yockey’s thriller, “The Thrush & the Wood­pecker,” opens this week­end at Ac­tor’s Ex­press (in reper­tory with his drama “Black­berry Win­ter”) with Foul­ger—who has di­rected more than 30 shows lo­cally—at the helm. Georgia Voice caught up with Foul­ger in ad­vance of the show’s open­ing this week­end.

Georgia Voice: Tell us about the show. Foul­ger:

There are three char­ac­ters. Brenda (Stacey Melich) is the mother to Noah (Matthew Busch). He has been kicked out of school, and they are deal­ing with that. A woman (Kath­leen Wat­tis Ket­trey) re-ap­pears in their life—a mys­tery to Noah—and causes a lot of trou­ble in typ­i­cal Steve Yockey fash­ion.

When did you first read the script and how has it changed since then?

I got it about a year ago when I was ap­proached to work on it. Steve did a de­vel­op­ment process at the Ex­press a few years ago. The the­atri­cal­ity he is fa­mous for is much more clear and con­cise and the re­la­tion­ships have evolved and are much cleaner. Those are the big­gest things I’ve no­ticed.

When did you two meet?

Gay di­rec­tor Steve Yockey thrills au­di­ences with lat­est pro­duc­tion, ‘The Thrush & the Wood­pecker.’

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