Stephanie Trudeau has been an actress and singer for over 40 years, performing in NYC cabaret, Off-Broadway and regional theater.
Recently she had been developing a program of songs written by women, notably Spanish songs her Puerto Rican mother loved that were written by great Latina songwriters including Maria Grever, Maria Teresa Lara, Maria Teresa Vera and Consuelo Velazquez. She discovered Chavela Vargas and as her research on Vargas broadened and deepened, she decided to refocus the project into a program of Spanish songs focused exclusively on this artist.
"Chavela: Think Of Me" emerged as part bioplay and part homage--a cabaret show enriched with biographical narrative and illustrated with multimedia. Ms. Trudeau says, "I'm Puerto Rican, but I feel this Mexican singer in my bones." She adds, "What I love about her music is its primal power. It's heart-breaking, wrist-slitting, gut-wrenching. This music has 'tripas'--tripe, guts."
Trudeau's other cabaret shows have included one on the body of work of June Christy, a noted jazz artist who sang in the late 40's, 50's and 60's and whom Trudeau studied as an archivist. This was followed by "Stephanie Trudeau Sings the American Songbook," a recurring attraction at Palmira's Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights and other venues. It was supported by grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, The Puffin Foundation and NYC Councilman Ken Fisher. Her research into the Giglio Festival in Brooklyn led to her being selected for a nine-month residency in Italy as a Fulbright Scholar for cultural and musicological research connected to three saints' festivals. Her findings from that fellowship just might be reflected in her next show.
Trudeau was a founding member, actor and producer of New Directions Theatre Company (NYC). Her regional theater roles include Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress," Mrs. Webb in "Our Town," Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie" and Esther in "The Price." Her on-camera credits include "Law & Order" and various films.
Trudeau's varied experience as a performer, arts educator and scholar informs her cabaret works, in which she combines her warm, earthy alto singing voice with historical and musicological insights on the artists she explores. Her academic accomplishments include studies in Dramatic Arts at University of California Santa Barbara and a major academic paper on the American popular song movement and its canon, which she wrote under the tutelage of her mentor at CUNY, Jeffrey Taylor, Professor of Music at Brooklyn College.