Is this your first Sheherezade?
Sheherezade is an ensemble piece, which means you are playing several roles between the plays. What are the roles you are playing this year?
Old Woman in Dissonance, Tru in Interview, Mary in Reframing Rockwell, Agent DeMarco in The Duck.
Knowing that we all bring ourselves to the roles we play, is there a character or character's experience that you connect with in particular?
The connections I feel are pretty mysterious - sometimes delicate fairy threads of connection, sometimes hearty foods-we-both-like connections. Pretty indescribable. That said, it's delightful to connect with the desire - no, the desperate need - to smash convention in Old Woman; I love slightly slutty heart of gold Tru who is so blindly wrong but manages to step up to the plate (um, yes the blind sad me recognizes a friend there); it feels to me that in some parallel universe Mary could easily be me trapped in a day job; and I connect FBI agent DeMarco with profound loneliness (do I hear an "amen" for profound sad loneliness? From me I do!). In a great conversation I had recently with one Sheherezade folk, I discovered that the main thing I personally connect to in all these characters is their need to be loved, feel loved, their need to be at peace with other human beings, and the anxiety brewed when that love and connection is nowhere in sight.
An emerging theme between these plays that has really jumped out at us is reality and perception. Tell us about an experience that you thought had been one thing only to discover it was completely different.
All the time! Every thing! Too many to count! The main one that comes to mind is so personal and everything to do with love and relationships. So I'll just thank my husband for himself in my life here and not go into details. But in lieu of sordid details and in service of avoiding them, let me entertain you with a slight of hand (or word) diversion that's just enough on topic to pull off. Here's a zen koan:
What is your original face?
I love this one! We're all going to get liberated with this one, I think! When all the illusion falls away and we get so frightened that the hard chairs and tables and identities disappeared, but the loving sun comes up again and here we are still - one day I think we just might get liberated with this one.
What do you hope audience members come away from the show with?
Hey! At the moment I have an eccentric thing to say: Watching theatre can either make you want to live or make you want to die! I always hope that theatre inspires people to live, thrive in this existence. In this show the gamut of humanity is celebrated - there are amazingly hilarious little plays and amazingly profound little plays. Yes indeed, even sad, difficult stories can connect us with what it means to be human. Even the sad stories can help us remember how dreck gets turned into beautiful compost every time. There is that transforming force at play everywhere at all. If fellow travelers, who happen to take the shape of an audience on one particular night, feel the life we all share, then I say my articulate and profound "Wow" right here and now. And we'll have a good pow wow we will. What a pow wow. And don't think for a moment that the simple folk on stage are not listening to the fellow travelers in the audience. If the audience feels heard, and I sense they will in this production, my hopes will be so happily satisfied.
What are you most excited about to share with the audience?
The variety of situations the writers have created. And the other actors! These plays are being so well communicated by these smartly soulful fellow actors. I'm so impressed and nourished by their talents. Audiences are going to love the perfectly executed comic timing along side the skillfully soulfully profoundly portrayed tendernesses and grief. When lights go down, Audience, I might say, do you feel excited? Do you feel you will be seen? Do you feel you will be celebrated? Because you're going to be moved by actors who honor your fellow traveler sadnesses and you'll be tickled into laughter by these comrades too!