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Stephen Hooper

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Stephen Hooper is an actor, director and playwright whose career in theater spans more than three decades. But Stephen did not study theater in college. In fact, he did not get into theater until he’d been practicing law for a number of years. Instead, he went into acting pretty much on a whim.

As a trial lawyer (some of his clients back in the day included the City of Fort Myers, Fort Myers Police Department, EMS and Fort Myers Fire Department), he had a penchant for doing impressions of people. One day, his law partners sent him to an audition for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In his late 20s at the time, he nonetheless landed the plum role of Senex, a henpecked, sardonic Roman senator living in a less fashionable suburb of Rome.

“They made me up to look like I was 75, put me in a toga, and I sang and danced in my first production.”

Unbeknownst to Hooper, there was a director in the house at the final performance at that show.

“In musicals, it’s tradition for the actors to greet the audience in the lobby after the performance,” Stephen recalls. “The director came up to me and asked me what I was doing tomorrow. I said, ‘I don’t know, what am I doing tomorrow?’ He replied, ‘I have a part for you in my next play. We start rehearsal tomorrow night.’ He pressed his card into my hand. I went down and ended up doing a lot of shows for him, but the role was that of a blackmailing extortionist janitor, and I’ve been doing theater ever since.”

Although Hooper may not have studied theater formally in college, he did observe and learn from every director he’s had the pleasure of working with.

“Everything I know about theater I’ve learned from all the directors in the plays in which I’ve performed. Bob Cacioppo [when he was] at the Rep, Al Richter, Bill Taylor at Theatre Conspiracy and Lauren, who directed me in The Eight: The Reindeer Monologues.”

Some of Stephen’s favorite roles include Doctor Quack in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Country Wife, Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players), Mittler in Dispatches from Hell (Theatre Conspiracy), and Juror #2 in Florida Repertory Theater’s production of Twelve Angry Men.

His favorite directing credits include Three Days of Rain, A Tuna Christmas, Becky’s New Car, Kayak, The Book of Liz and, most recently, Repossessed.

Stephen is also a member of Theatre Conspiracy’s Playwrights.

October 30, 2018.

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