Q & A: Stephen Woosley of MadLab

From the November 22, 2012 edition

Stephen Woosley has been with MadLab Theatre since 2004 acting, writing, directing and doing whatever is needed. While he’s very involved with MadLab and considers it “his home,” Woosley also manages to find time for a side project, O. G. Productions, and doing improv with Fake Bacon Productions. Woosley said not sleeping much makes this all possible.

Thankfully, Woosley found some time to talk about his many ventures, what’s next for MadLab and making time for obsessing over his favorite sports teams … even if they’re not winning right now.

I’m a board member for going on six years and I’m an ensemble member as well. It’s a leadership role. It’s a lot of writing, acting and directing to be involved as much as possible. I keep telling my girlfriend the cheesy “The Dark Knight”-line that “I’m whatever MadLab needs me to be.” As much as I’m in a lot of shows … MadLab makes a concentrated effort to start bringing in new, younger people. I’m happy to step aside.

I did theater in high school and then I didn’t do anything for 15 years. I decided to give it a shot and once I got to MadLab, there was so much opportunity to write, direct and do all these different things. I was like, this is my home.

Comedy seems to be more of my thing. I do improv with Full Frontal Nudity at MadLab. I also do stuff with Fake Bacon. Critics think I’m better at comedy, and they’ve gone out of their way to note that a couple times. [laughs] I’m OK at the drama, but I think most people consider me a comedic actor. With my friends I’m kind of the wisecracker.

I also have my own side group O.G. Productions. We just finished our Halloween show and we’re doing our Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July shows [next year]. There is kind of a MadLab tree that started, and we’re one of the offshoots. There tends to be two or three projects going on at once. I like having multiple projects … you just get firing, firing, firing. It fuels me to have that many things going.

I’m pretty fanatical about sports. This year I’ve tried to make time for whenever the Philadelphia Eagles games are playing. I went to Philly last weekend to watch them, watched them lose. It was a very disgruntled crowd. Actually, they were just depressed by the end of the game.

MadLab just announced our new season. We’re doing more full-length shows. We’d been doing a lot of shorts and now I think we want to sink our teeth into something big. We’re still going to do Theatre Roulette, the shorts series, but we’re going to change that a little too. We used to pick 12 scripts and split them into three nights. This year, we’re working with all local playwrights and we’re going to feature one playwright for a whole night of shows. The other two nights will be just like always.

Two years ago, we got the building at MadLab and it was like landing on the moon — we’re here! The next two years we did what we do, cranking out shows. Our focus now is upgrading our technical stuff to enhance that audience experience.

Photo by Meghan Ralston