Fynsworth Alley: 10 Questions with Barrett Foa

Originally published on Fynsworth Alley. 

10 Questions with Barrett FoaHow did you get your start in the business? What brought you to New York?

I was born and raised in New York. I went to the University of Michigan musical theatre program. When I graduated, along with everyone else I came here to make it big.

What did you think of Godspell before you were cast in the show? How did this production change your idea of the show?

Actually, I’ve never seen it. I owned the recording and knew some of the songs, but I definitely had pictures of flower children and face painting, hippy-dippy stuff. It was refreshing to revisit it and make it our version of hippy-dippy.

Godspell is the kind of show where the cast really shapes a lot of the action. What was the rehearsal process like for you?

We stripped the script of all of the old jokes. We had our first read-through, and I’ll never forget it, because it was the most boring thing ever. It was Jesus talking for ten pages, with someone saying a line here or there or telling a small parable. We were all falling asleep, it was just atrocious. Then we broke the script down into the separate parables, we sat in a circle and said, “Okay, this parable about the Pharisee and the Tax-Gatherer, what could this be?” We thought, “This could be an infomercial, this could be a football game.” “Football game! All right, someone go out into the hall and make this a football game.” So Chad Kimball jumps up and says, “Hello everybody, and welcome to Synagogue Stadium…” And then Tim would jump up and it would just go on from there. It took about three days just to do the first one, but then we found a rhythm and it just clicked.   Continue reading