Actor Spotlight

See what — besides cheese and wanderlust — fuels this Dallas-Fort Worth actor

See what — besides cheese and wanderlust — fuels this DFW actor

"The Submission" play
Whitney LaTrice Coulter as Emilie in The Submission. Photo courtesy of Proper Hijinx Productions
Dallas actor Whitney Coulter
Coulter moved to DFW in 2012 for a role in the musical Company. Photo courtesy of Proper Hijinx Productions
"The Submission" play
 Ryan Maffei and Coulter in The Submission. Photo courtesy of Proper Hijinx Productions
"The Submission" play
Dallas actor Whitney Coulter
"The Submission" play

Though she's a familiar face at Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre, Whitney LaTrice Coulter has also been known to pop up on stages around Dallas (a turn as a sassy pirate in Undermain Theatre's Jonah in 2016 was particularly memorable). This time she's in Addison, playing Emilie in the regional premiere of Jeff Talbott's play The Submission.

Produced by Proper Hijinx Productions and being performed in the studio space at Addison Theatre Center, The Submission centers around a white male playwright, Danny, who has finally written a meaningful, visceral play — and submits it for a play festival under the pen name of an African American woman. Enter Emilie, a black actress who Danny asks to pose as his alter ego for the festival.

Before The Submission plays May 25-June 4, Coulter took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun, and sometimes ridiculous questions.

Name: Whitney LaTrice Coulter

Role in The Submission: Emilie

Previous work in the DFW area: So many to name, but I recently performed in Parade with WaterTower Theatre and in Her Song with Echo Theatre. I’ve done several shows with Jubilee Theatre, so I consider that my theater home. Getting cast as Marta in Company there is actually what prompted me to move to DFW in 2012.

Hometown: Waco, TX

Where you currently reside: North Dallas

First theater role: Ensemble in Bye Bye Birdie

First stage show you ever saw: Annie Get Your Gun

Moment you decided to pursue a career in theater: I can’t remember exactly, but sometime in 2007 before high school graduation. My family wanted to me to go into nursing and/or join the Air Force. I hate hospitals and, though disciplined back then, I was not cut out for combat. In high school, theater and band were huge parts of my identity, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I hope to be a full-time artist in the future.

Most challenging role you’ve played: I would definitely have to say Nina in Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby. Her issues with her father really hit home for me, and some rehearsals were so draining that I would cry on my way home.

Special skills: Cooking and procrastinating.

Something you’re REALLY bad at: Not procrastinating…

Current pop culture obsession: I don’t really keep up with pop culture or current stuff! I’m always behind on the "cool kid" trends and memes, so I just obsessively watch AlmazanKitchen on YouTube. I also love watching cute videos of my great-nephews or kids on Instagram. I got that baby fever!

Last book you read: Do plays count? It’s been over a year, but The Tenth Insight by James Redfield.

Favorite movie(s): What’s Love Got To Do With It, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Inside Out.

Favorite musician(s): Nina Simone , Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.

Favorite song: I have a favorite in every genre, so this could go on for days but "Proud Mary," the Ike and Tina version, is my go-to karaoke jam, and I love to dance to it! I hope to have arms and legs as great as Tina and Angela when I’m older.

Dream role: Celie or Shug in The Color Purple, Velma or Roxie in Chicago.

Favorite play(s): Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau and Ruined by Lynn Nottage.

Favorite musical(s): The Color Purple, Next to Normal, and Chicago.

Favorite actors/actresses: Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, Samira Wiley (#RIPPoussey).

Favorite food: CHEESE!!! I love more traditional Mexican food and I get random cravings for shrimp (any kind) at least once a week.

Must-see TV show(s): Orange Is The New Black, Grace and Frankie, and Chewing Gum. Netflix has great original content.

Something most people don’t know about you: My big sister and I are 15 years apart, and I already have great-nephews. Also, I worked my way through college serving and on the costume shop payroll sewing, draping, and doing alterations, and I used to do some dope watercolor renderings. I miss the shop very much.

Place in the world you’d most like to visit: I have to choose one?! I’ve never left the States, so generally I want to backpack all over Europe and then visit Africa. Seeing Machu Picchu is also a dream of mine!

Pre-show warm-up: It depends on the show and my mood that day. For really intense shows, either mentally or physically, vocal warm-ups in a hot shower with peppermint and eucalyptus oils. I also like to do push-ups before big confrontation scenes. Is that weird?

Favorite part about your current role: Her fire and potty mouth. (Sorry fam, but I swear like a sailor at times.) She reminds me of myself in some ways.

Most challenging part about your current project: The subject matter, definitely. Being the only female and black person in the cast has been very different, but I adore these guys and the crazy conversations we have. Also not knowing the play within this play is frustrating. I would love to read the show that the character Danny writes.

Most embarrassing onstage mishap: During Jubilation (Jubilee's Christmas show), my strapless bra slipped down and I had three full song and dance numbers before I could go backstage to fix it. One more number and it would have been around my hips! Also missing an entrance because my hips/butt busted the back seam of a dress.

Career you’d have if you weren’t in theater: Massage therapist or art teacher.

Favorite post-show spot: I really like to explore new bars wherever I’m performing, but Pizza Lounge in Deep Ellum and People’s Last Stand at Mockingbird Station are some of my faves.

Favorite thing about Dallas-Forth Worth: The variety of restaurants and eateries. I love food!

Most memorable theater moment: I was in New York for a class trip in college, and I saw the revival of Hair. Even though we were in the balcony, I was so immersed in the show and when they came to dance with us, it was electric! I was on a huge post-show high afterwards and I wasn’t even in it. Crying like an idiot during Next to Normal was memorable too.