BY CHRISTIAN METZGER’20
Lake Forest College alumna Alex Fisher will be starring in Foxfinder, a play set in a dystopian future, at the Athenaeum Theater from September 28 through November 5.
A Class of 2010 graduate with English and theater degrees, she has worked on the Chicago theater circuit ever since, her most recent production being the Interrobang Theater Project.
Moving to the Philippines at the age of five, Fisher returned 11 years later and began looking for colleges. “I had just moved to America,” said Fisher, “I had attended a musical theater camp in 2004 over the summer in Washington, DC, where Alan Ruck came to speak about a professional career in acting. My tenacious butt asked about five questions—one of which was where to begin your career in theater. And he told me Chicago was the place to be.”
The Chicago area is unique for performers outside of New York and Los Angeles, where young aspiring actors don’t need agents when first starting out. When Fisher graduated from high school, she applied to the college with an eye toward theater programs.
“Once I received some acceptances, I also received a generous academic scholarship from the College, which allowed me to go to school without too much debt,” Fisher said, choosing to enroll with the theater program and volunteer at the Black Box Theater in Hixon Hall. While enrolled in the theater program, Fisher worked in the costume shop and helped build sets on productions such as Big Love.
“Lake Forest’s theater department instilled a sense of humility in me,” Fisher said. “I believe that if you have chosen a career in acting, there are many things you can learn in a classroom setting that will begin to lay the philosophical foundation for your process.”
After previous work in plays such as 3c by A Red Orchid Theater, Hamlet, and Chicago Fire, Fisher’s current role is in Interrobang’s Foxfinder as written by Dawn King and directed by Margaret Knapp. The play is set in England around an economically unstable farm that is visited by a “foxfinder” to reveal potential contamination, thus threatening to uncover secrets that could alter the characters forever.
“Foxfinder was a script that I read in full in about 30 minutes when I got the audition,” said Fisher. “I did the awful thing of getting extremely attached to it, because the story is so engaging and the characters are so three dimensional.”
Because of her experience, Fisher felt a personal connection to the text. “The story felt vital to me through the lens of growing up in the Philippines, which, while dangerous, was never as horrific as it is now under President Duterte. I struggle to explain the extent of the mass drug war killings in my home country, and I believe this play gets to the heart of the horror of absolute power.”
Lake Forest College’s theater department readied Fisher for her experience in the Chicago theater circuit by laying a groundwork of connections with various directors across the city and round her as an actor. “Learning about a lot of different disciplines is still important to me as an actor, and stepping into someone else’s shoes demands it,” Fisher said.
The theater department helps students learn how to infiltrate and navigate the professional acting world, but Fisher offered her own piece of advice to theater majors.
“There is nothing that will prepare someone for an acting career and its truly whimsical ups and downs,” Fisher said. “It’s hard and sometimes it makes you want to give up, but staying true to the belief that art and storytelling matter and will remain relevant, makes it easier. The community in the city is large, supportive, and kind.”
Fisher’s other recent work consists of an upcoming Midwest premiere film This is Cindy, and an online YouTube comedy series called Bimbo.
Christian Metzger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org