Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 12:04 pm
Before turning to songwriting, Amy Speace was both a playwright and an actor, earning a degree from Amherst College and touring with the prestigious National Shakespeare Company. (She jokes with the Mountain Stage audience about once starring in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.) She took parts in various independent film and stage productions, ran her own theater company and taught Shakespeare in the New York City school system.
But eventually, Speace's songwriting came to the attention of legendary folksinger Judy Collins, who signed her to her Wildflower record label. Speace toured with Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, and ultimately left her longtime home in the northeast for Nashville.
Speace was dealt an unexpected series of personal obstacles, though, and nearly lost her voice. During this time, Speace turned back to Shakespeare for inspiration as she wrote her latest album, How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat. For her Mountain Stage performance, Speace is backed by guitarist Josh Oliver and cellist Hannah Schroeder, along with Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa of The Sea, The Sea on backing vocals.