Stanton Long was an ensemble member at Free Street from 2004-2008. Stanton is currently working at Writers Theatre and is an award-winning filmmaker. You can watch the trailer to his movie Breathe.
I first joined Free Street when I was 15 years old I believe. I came to see my older sister, Andrea, perform a couple of times and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I definitely had to be a part of it. At first, I joined just to have fun and perform. I had no idea the positive impact that experience would have on me and how it would shape my life going forward. First off, the relationships I’ve built with that theater community is something to be treasured; we literally became family. No matter the negative things that were going on in our personal lives, we knew once we walked into that space we were safe. There was absolutely no judgment within our community. Just understanding and support. Because we had that trust within one another, we were able to be vulnerable both on and off the stage and it showed.
I was able to be apart of several shows while being apart of that ensemble: Unsullied, Mad Joy, Harold is Burning etc. I remember all those projects being super challenging as an actor but so rewarding because it forced me to stretch out of my comfort zone and fully dive into whatever situation and subject matter we were tackling on stage. I would soon learn that stretching out of my comfort zone is good for performance but also in life. Life is full of transitions and you must adapt and be “open” to it the best way you can. Being apart of that theater community definitely helped me with that. Especially, when it came to me transitioning into a filmmaker. If it wasn’t for the leaders of Free Street in my time there (Ron Bieganski, Anita Evans, Bryn Magnus) I would have never been brave enough, Fearless enough, or open enough to create my own projects. They instilled confidence in me like no other and let me know that I could truly do whatever I want in this life. Because of them I’m fearless. Because of them I’m open to whatever the universe puts in front of me. Because of them I’m open to love. And because of them I’m an Award-Winning screenwriter. That right there is why I will always support Ron and Anita with NeuroKitchen because I know for a fact they not only develop amazing artists...they also save lives. NeuroKitchen will save many.
- Stanton Long
(written December 2018)