Alexa Vere de Vere is a flashy con artist. She seduces her victims with the prospect of fame and fortune, or as she puts it, “the hum, the buzz, the hype, the flash, the fame”. One Variety reviewer called her “the absolutely fabulous whirlwind who blows through the delightful, pointed comedy As Bees in Honey Drown…. Alexa is a smart and very funny vivisection of the greed for fame, glamour and the good life (or at least a new life).”
In the Farmington Players production of Bees, Hosanna Phillips plays Alexa, who she describes as “a fantastic character because, whether you want to hate her, love her, or pity her by the end of the show, she will have made you think about something. As an artist, that is all you can really hope for in a character.” Hosanna loves playing an antagonist character and discovering the real person inside, saying, “Almost always, you will find that they started off as a victim of something (even if their victim status is only in their own mind). Any well-developed character is in some way a relatable human being, and I love to discover what it is about a character that drives them to be how they are.” For example, Alexa justifies conning artists because she can’t respect an art world that values its creators only once they’re dead.
Hosanna loves Bee’s theme of “fame and fortune vs. substance and how our culture often places image over achievement. It makes you think about what really has value in life, and why it is that we place value on the things we do. Many times, what is mainstream is not what is meaningful, yet it is so easy to get sucked into [the hype]. This show has challenged me as an artist to examine the things that I invest my time and money on. … While fame is not intrinsically bad, chasing only the limelight will often leave you empty.”
The show also examines the question of “What Is Art”? Hosanna asks, “What makes something art? Is art for the consumer, or the creator? Is art eternal, or fleeting? What is the value of art (monetarily, and otherwise)? As an artist myself, this theme is especially relevant. Many of Alexa’s negative points about the art world are sadly valid: the industry can chew up and spit out its creators. Artists and critics can be cut-throat, critical and back-stabbing. … On the other hand, art is expression, it can be beautiful and healing. When you have the true drive to create, there is nothing that compares... Artists and their work will continue to be valued subjectively, but the more we open our eyes, the more we will see.”
Hosanna grew up in West Michigan and recently moved here with her husband. She previously worked at Zeeland Christian school where she cultivated her passion for working with youth. In addition to theater, her loves include her two toy dogs, and learning crafts such as the knitting loom. As Bees in Honey Drown is Hosanna’s first Barn experience: “I have been grateful to meet more people in the area since I haven’t been living here long, and the whole cast and crew have been amazing to work with. I am grateful to be able to stretch and use my acting muscles after neglecting them for so long, and I have been blessed with a great group to do so with.”
As Bees in Honey Drown has nine performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from February 8 – 23. The show is proudly sponsored by Ameritax Plus. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.