Meet the Barrymore Voters: LaKeisha "LP" Stanton | Theatre Philadelphia
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Meet the Barrymore Voters: LaKeisha "LP" Stanton

Sep 20, 2017

The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre started in 1995, and celebrates the rich, diverse theatre community through a peer-adjudicated process. In the 2017-18 Season, we have 70 nominators and 12 judges that will see over 100 professional productions. Our expanded pool of voters this season represents the exciting and diverse theatre community that is thriving in Philadelphia. This entry is part of a profile series to introduce you to the voters who are an integral part of the Barrymore process.

Name: LaKeisha "LP" Stanton

What was the first theatre production you were involved in, and what did you learn from it?: I'm originally from Kingston, Jamaica. I came to Philadelphia when I was seven years old. The very first time I was introduced to theatre was at a local church at the age of nine. That was when I got the acting bug. I played a demon. I remember a little girl was sitting with her father in the front row. When I went up to her during the show, she grabbed her father's arm, in fear, and she really believed I was the creature I portrayed. I learned that on stage, I could become anything and anyone. That was a life changing revelation. I've been hooked ever since.

What is your education and training experience?: I've had experience with local and original plays. I am blessed to attend a church so heavily involved in the arts. Most of my experience comes from being a part of the cast and crew during plays at church. When I became older, I branched out and started working with different local playwrights. I eventually started my own group in 2011. That group turned into a full blown nonprofit organization called Gap Tooth Drama, Inc. in 2015.

How did you first get involved in the Philadelphia theatre community?: I remembered one year I auditioned for the annual open auditions. It was on my birthday and I completely bombed. Although the auditions didn't go as rehearsed, I thought it was so cool to have a theatre full of directors who get to see unknown talents all at once. After that, I used Theatre Philadelphia to post jobs for my group and met a lot of wonderful talented actors.

What made you want to be a nominator/judge for the Barrymore Awards?: Every time I see a production, I always analyze it and judge it. I love theatre and I have an opinion so why not? I wanted to apply years ago but didn't believe I was qualified but this year I took a leap and was picked!

If you weren’t working in theatre, what other job do you think you would be doing?: Teaching high school literature.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the theatre industry?: Become a student of your craft. Learn everything about your craft. I would also advised them to be confident. Do not be afraid to audition because you think you may not qualify. If you want it, go for it. You're the only one standing in your way.

If you could have dinner with any four people, living or dead, who would they be and why?:  1) Jesus, I know this may sound weird but I am a Christian and I read the Bible. I just love the biblical Jesus (Not the Jesus society created) but the loving, wise, and funny man I read about. I think he was just so smooth. 2) Meryl Streep...ah hello, she's Ms. explanation needed here! 3) Oprah...She is just so inspiring. I would love to just sit and soak up everything she has to say. 4) My future daughter...I have a 16 month old daughter. I would like to have dinner with her future self and have a chat about life. I would tell her about some of my struggles and pour out some wisdom to her. I would reason with her and hope she will always remember what I told her and apply it to her present life as she grows.

Keep up with all the shows our Barrymore Nominators and Judges are seeing this season by checking out What's On Stage in Philly this week!