Sun07272014

Community

Local actress plays lead role in Albee play opening in San Francisco


Courtesy of Athea Lazara Photography
Los Altos Hills actress Taylor Brock rehearses her role as Stevie in the upcoming production of “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” with co-star Richard Aiello.

The music of a melancholy tune Taylor Brock heard as a child during a Broadway production of “Oliver!” captured her heart.

When the actors performed “Where Is Love?” the Los Altos Hills resident knew she was destined for a career onstage

Brock’s mother and father were thespians who met while auditioning for a play on Broadway but eventually pursued other occupations. After a childhood in Buffalo, N.Y., Brock followed suit, forging a practical professional path for a young women of the time – nursing.

“They didn’t encourage me at all,” Brock said of her parents’ response to her interest in acting.

Only after working as a nurse, marrying and starting a family did Brock rediscover her love of acting – an artistic medium that seemed to be “in her blood,” she said.

With the support of her husband and two children, Brock works full-time as an actress, spending much of her time in Los Angeles doing guest spots on TV shows and in San Francisco performing in the theatrical productions.

Stepping onstage

When Brock steps onstage at San Francisco’s Phoenix Theatre next month to play a wife dealing with the upheaval of unexpected revelations in her picture-perfect family in Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?,” she will add another intriguing character to the long list of credits she has accumulated over her 25-year career.

Unlike her guest spots on TV series such as “Criminal Minds” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Brock will have an opportunity to delve deeply into her character in “The Goat,” scheduled to run Aug. 9 through 24.

Brock said she doesn’t simply memorize a script – she strives to understand why a playwright wrote the words for her character and what the deeper meaning of those words might be.

Her process should prove particularly advantageous as she prepares for “The Goat.” Brock noted that theatergoers should anticipate a play that challenges social norms.

“Expect to go for a ride,” she said. “The play should end with (the audience) thinking about how they would handle the situation.”

Although Brock has never experienced a situation similar to her character Stevie’s – a mother who struggles with the consequences of familial relationships when it is revealed that her husband is cheating on her and her son is gay – she said she relates to her character by calling on life experiences that evoke similar feelings.

“What would you do in this situation?” she asked of a sequence of surprising events that befall her character in the Tony Award-winning play, which debuted on Broadway in 2002. “She is a mother who was so happy, and then everything crumbles.”

In addition to preparing for her role in “The Goat,” Brock wears a second hat as co-producer of the play with co-star Richard Aiello.

As she balances her schedule among rehearsals, classes and auditions, Brock said she makes sure to spend quality time with her family.

Motivated by how much she learns about herself through each acting experience, Brock said she has no plans to step away from show business.

“It’s a passion,” she said. “There are going to be hard times and rejection, but if you love it … that’s what motivates you.”

For more information on Brock, visit taylor-brock.com.

To purchase tickets for the Member Production Code’s “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” at the Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason St. in San Francisco, call (800) 838-3006 or visit thegoat.brownpapertickets.com.

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