The Fame Reporter interviewed the upcoming superstar, Ruby Sanders starring as Stacy in ‘X-Stacy’ at the Ron Hurley Theatre.
Set in the 90s, X-STACY centres on a story of grief inspired by real verbatim interviews. A play about the struggles of adolescence, drug abuse, and the importance of family, X-STACY has been described as a “must-see” show. Presented by Mira Ball Productions and Trent Sellars, past audiences continue to comment on the relevance and necessity of this theatrical experience.
Hailing from the Toowoomba region, Ruby took up acting, piano and singing lessons from a young age. She has performed locally in several musicals and plays, with some title roles including Lady Macbeth in ‘Macbeth’, Truly Scrumptious in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and Scaramouche in ‘We Will Rock You’, among many others. Ruby recently launched her independent theatre group, The Black Box Collective and is excited by the performing arts opportunities available in Brisbane.
We talked to Ruby about how she relates to her character Stacy, what is the most rewarding and challenging aspects about performing in the show and more!
See our interview below!
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Ruby, what sparked your interest in performing initially?
As a kid I always had a super active imagination. I was always pretending to be characters and putting on shows for my parents. My dad is a musician so I would frequently watch him perform and I knew it was something I was meant to do as well.
However, I didn’t realise that it was acting, not music that would get me there until I performed in the school play in grade 6 in the lead role. Since then I’ve just been hooked.
How did you react when you landed the role of Stacy in X-Stacy?
I had literally moved out of home from Toowoomba to Brisbane less than a week before the audition. It was about a week and a half when I found out and I had auditioned mainly just to see what an audition for a ‘Brisbane show’ was like. I really wasn’t expecting to get anything.
When I found out I got the role of Stacy I knew it was going to be a great start to my new Brisbane life.
What is X-Stacy about for those who don’t know?
So without spoiling anything, X-Stacy is about Ben, a teenager who has recently lost his sister, Stacy, to an overdose. As Ben tries to come to terms with what has happened, the awful truth about what really happened that night reveals itself.
It’s a play about grief, family, young people and love.
What about your character drew you to audition and what is your favourite moment in the show?
I had read the play and studied it in high school so before I auditioned, I was already very familiar with Stacy’s character. But there was something about her, an energy and liveliness, especially in her earlier scenes that made me fall in love with her. As an actor I believe you cannot do your character justice unless you really care about them and I really cared about Stacy for some reason.
She is also an incredibly complex young woman and I thought that’d be a challenge as an actor that I wasn’t afraid to tackle.
My absolute favourite moment in the show is when Stacy compares herself to a little dull star in the sky. Ben explains to her that up close it’s actually huge and bright and that it’s just really far away so it looks dull. I think this moment reveals a lot about Stacy and her relationship with Ben.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging parts about performing in this controversial story?
Being the baby of the cast (and the most inexperienced), one of the most rewarding things about this process has been learning from the incredible actors and creatives working on this show.
However, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is the overdose and drug-using side of Stacy’s story. It can be very confronting and challenging getting myself into that head space before I step onstage, but it has also been super rewarding.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Sairose Ronan, Health Ledger and Shakespeare (he was an actor too!)
Do you have a role in musical theatre/straight theatre that you are dying to play?
I’m a huge fan of classical theatre so Juliet and Antigone are both on the bucket list!
How do you relate to your character and the themes of the show?
I’m only 18 and throughout the show Stacy goes from a 14 year old to a 16 year old to a 17 year old. Those are difficult ages. I would know, I was 17 not that long ago.
I feel like I can connect to the pressures and insecurities Stacy is feeling because that was me in high school. Not to the extent of Stacy but still, that was me.
What is the Black Box Collective and why did you decide to launch it?
The Black Box Collective is a theatre collective I launched along with two other emerging artists who are very close friends of mine. We wanted a platform where we could create the kind of theatre we want to see and almost document our growth over the next few years as theatre makers and artists.
Our first show, ‘Lunchtime’, was recently performed as part of the Fresh Blood Festival and we got a great response from the crowd. We are currently in the creative development phase of our next show and hope to have it performed early next year.
What do you hope audiences take away from X-Stacy?
Everyone let Stacy down and it ended tragically. But at the same time, Stacy wasn’t open with the people who loved her most and never let them see inside to understand what was really going on.
Be there for people when they need and don’t be afraid to let people be there for you when you need them.
Fame Reporter Word Play
Sad but so much fun!
Royal Shakespeare Company
Lots of fun to play
Comedy or Drama
Both! Life is mixture so why shouldn’t theatre be?
Go-to Karaoke song
Somebody to Love by Queen
Growing and expanding
Any secret talents
I can fold my tongue in a weird way
Black Box Collective
Bold new theatre
Favourite Musical and Play
Les Miserables and Antigone
Dressing Room necessity
Favourite moment in the show
When the cross becomes a crystal (you’ll have to see the show to know what I mean)
Can’t live without
Place you want to travel to
London to see a Royal Shakespeare Company show
Perform for the Royal Shakespeare Company
TV Show Binge
Glee never gets old
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Knowing that you cannot mess up and the only option is to go out there and do your best! There is a thrill in that kind of pressure for me!
Thank-you Ruby for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for X-Stacy until 13 October and the regional tour in 2020!
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All photos – Supplied