News & Politics

Spotlight: Rick Foucheux

Rick Foucheux nearly gave up acting. Now he takes center stage.

Rick Foucheux is a familiar face at local theaters. That was him as the starry-eyed gay accountant in Take Me Out at Studio Theatre, the exasperated buddy in The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? at Arena Stage, and a hypocritical civic leader in An Enemy of the People at the Shakespeare Theatre. At Woolly Mammoth, he often plays a middle-age schlub or creep but with hangdog charm.

This month Foucheux goes solo in The Director: The Third Act of Elia Kazan, his first one-man show, at Round House Theatre’s Silver Spring stage.

“I love performing, so I’ve always wanted to do something where I’m on stage the whole time,” says Foucheux.

Foucheux’s acting career began in 1983. The Louisiana native had come to Washington the year before to host a morning talk show on Channel 7. He turned to acting—he’d minored in theater at Nicholls State University—but quit after nine years to “do some growing up.” He returned in 1997 and within two years won a Helen Hayes Award for his performance in Edmond at Source Theatre.

Foucheux and writer/director Leslie Kobylinski developed the show about Kazan, the director infamous for naming names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the early 1950s. They’ve set Kazan in a sort of purgatory where he reflects on his life’s twists. “It’s not a monologue,” Foucheux says. “His mind wanders; his thoughts overlap, and they come and go at their own speed.”

It’s a new, challenging style for the 52-year-old, who’s known mostly for supporting and costarring roles: “It’s frightening and wonderful at the same time. Why make it easy? You gotta grow—you stop growing, you die.”