I'm so happy to be working for a second time with Dipika Guha, a genre-defying writer who has also penned the plays The Rules and Herculine and Lola. Her new play The Mechanics of Love is featured in the Shotgun Champagne Staged Reading series this month. Here's the blurb:
A man who forgets everything falls in love with a ballerina who forgets nothing--that is, until she falls in love with him. And his wife. And the mechanic. This madcap comedy explores how we love, how we choose, and the cost of making sense of it all.
Beth Wilmurt directs; the cast includes Rosie Hallett, Chris Libby, Sarah Mitchell, and Aaron Murphy. The reading will be performed Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. A talkback with the playwright follows Monday night's performance.
Save yourself the trip to Yalta--enjoy some Chekhovian stylings close to home! I am delighted to be playing the spunky and sensitive Susie in the west coast premiere of The Country House by Donald Margulies. Robert Kelley directs this TheatreWorks production, which will run August 26 through September 20 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
About the show: Anna Patterson, the matriarch of a brood of famous and longing-to-be-famous creative artists, has gathered her family at their Berkshires summerhouse during the Williamstown Theatre Festival on the anniversary of her beloved daughter's death. But as restless egos and simmering jealousies derail the weekend, this family of performers must come to terms with the roles they play in each other's lives.
The cast includes Kimberly King as Anna Patterson, Steve Muterspaugh as Elliot Cooper, Jason Kuykendell as Michael Astor, Gary S. Martinez as Walter Keegan, Marcia Pizzo as Nell McNally, and Rosie Hallett as Susie Keegan, with stage management by Randall Lum.
Previews for Mona Mansour's The Way West begin Thursday, April 16! Tickets are available now online or by calling the Marin Theatre Company Box Office at 415-388-5208.
Tickets are always $20 for those under 30 and are $4 off for seniors over 65. AEA walk-up tickets are also available at each show for Equity members plus a guest.
This Monday night, March 16, come to Berkeley Rep for a night of short plays responding to the prompt "Herstory: The Greatest Stories Never Told." I am excited to be playing Joan of Arc in Takeo Rivera's Feminist Valhalla. Those who have been following my career closely may recall my thrilling performance of Joan of Arc in the 5th grade Wax Museum at Daly Elementary School. In Monday's performance, I promise to bring even more nuance and subtlety to the role, as well as an outrageous French accent.
It is a special treat to collaborate with many of the Bay Area's finest actors to bring to life some of herstory's most remarkable women. The cast includes Elizabeth Carter as Audre Lorde, Cathleen Riddley as Pharoah Hatshepsut, Melissa Ortiz as Gabriela Silang, Stephanie Prentice as Frida Kahlo, and Cindy Goldfield as Carol Sanders. Jim Kleinmann directs and Bethanie Baeyan provides stage management.
Feminist Valhalla will play along with five other exquisite pieces on Monday, March 16 at 8 p.m. at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or online here.
*Update 3/19/15: Feminist Valhalla was the recipient of the March People's Choice Award! Congratulations Takeo!
Nothing like a great new play workshop to kick off a new year! The brilliant creative team of The Way West -- playwright Mona Mansour, director Hayley Finn, and dramaturg Margot Melcon -- gathered with the cast for five days this January to get a head start on the production. We'll begin rehearsals in earnest on March 24.
I am thrilled to have the chance to work with this incredible group of performers: Anne Darragh, Kat Zdan, Stacy Ross, and Hugo Carbajal. We also had the pleasure of working with the show's composers, Sam Misner and Megan Smith of the band Misner and Smith. I am picking and strumming my little guitar every day and can't wait to sing and play their songs onstage this spring!
The picture above is a family portrait of Meesh, Mom, and Manda enjoying an impromptu jam session at Tennessee Valley Trail in Mill Valley. More information (and tickets, already!) can be found here: start making your plans for spring 2015! We run April 16 - May 10 at Marin Theatre Company. Let's go West!
On Saturday, December 13, at 1pm, Marin Theatre Company presents a staged reading of The Emperor of America, a funny and poignant new work by Arvind Ethan David.
The Emperor of America tells the (mostly) true story of one of San Francisco's most notorious and beloved figures: Joshua Norton. After failing in business, Norton declared himself Emperor of America in the 1850s - making proclamations, printing his own currency, and even corresponding with Presidents and Queens. His legacy also includes outlawing the term "Frisco."
The cast includes Rosie Hallett, Brian Herndon, Adam Magill, Robert Parsons, Max Rosenak, Robert Sicular, Liz Sklar, and Jomar Tagatac. Jasson Minadakis directs, Margot Melcon provides dramaturgy, and Gabriela Schneider serves as dramaturgy intern.
This event is free of charge and open to the public. We recommend reserving your seats in advance. Call 415-388-5208, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or reserve online here.
This July, I'm taking part in my third Bay Area Playwrights Festival, an annual festival of new works presented by Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco.
I feel very lucky to be a part of "Sound," a fascinating new play by Queens-based playwright Don Nguyen. Two storylines run in tandem. One, set in 1885 in Martha's Vineyard, follows Alexander Graham Bell as he tries to invent a device to restore the hearing of the deaf. A contentious and frequently despised figure within the deaf community, Bell sought to eliminate deafness, which he considered a handicap that forced the deaf to live in two worlds when "they should be thriving in one." In the other storyline, a modern-day family deals with their 13-year-old daughter's determination to get a cochlear implant. The procedure could restore the sense of hearing she lost as a young child--but also threatens the bond she shares with her deaf father.
The cast includes Greg Anderson as Frisner, Cassidy Brown as Alexander Graham Bell, JW Guido as George, Michele Leavy as Barbara, and Diedre Tubb as Alison. I play Alexander Graham Bell's wife, Mabel Hubbard Bell. Cathleen Riddley and Brandon Kazen-Maddox do double-duty, playing multiple roles in the ensemble and serving as ASL interpreters. It has been eye-opening, inspiring, and fun to work with this mixed group of deaf and hearing actors! M. Graham Smith directs, with JAC Cook as ASL Director and Karen Altree Piemme as Dramaturg.
The reading is being presented unconventionally to create a unique dramatic experience for a mixed hearing and deaf audience. Performances are Sunday, July 20 at 12pm and Sunday, July 27 at 4pm at The Thick House in San Francisco. Tickets are available at the door or online here.
I'm easing back into American life with the help of Playwrights Foundation and great contemporary French theatre! The 2014 Des Voix Festival, a biennial cultural exchange between theatremakers in the sister cities of San Francisco and Paris, is on now.
The festival theme is "Left Bank Meets Left Coast." English translations of three French plays will be performed in San Francisco, May 8-11. French translations of three American plays will be performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris on May 25.
I am delighted to be working on a translation of Christophe Honoré's Un jeune se tue. Honoré is a celebrated auteur whose film Métamorphoses is a 2014 Cannes Film Festival Selection. Our translation--"Death of a Young Man"-- is the work of Kimberley Jannarone and Erik Butler and is directed by Evren Odcikin. The cast includes Rosie Hallett, Monica Ho, Danny Jones, Lyndsy Kail, Marissa Keltie, Daniel
Petzold, Melissa Quine, and Lauren Spencer. Performances are Saturday, May 10 at 8pm and Sunday, May 11 at 2pm at the Tides Theater, 533 Sutter Street. Check out the entire lineup! Tickets are available online or at the door.
Bonjour à nouveau!! I'm back from five wonderful weeks in France touring with Word for Word Performing Arts Company's production of In Friendship. It was a thrill and honor to spend this time working with the remarkable artists of Word for Word!
<< Ladies of the Friendship Village Cemetery Improvement Sodality, Friendship, Wisconsin's leading charity organization: (from top left) Delia MacDougall, Susan Harloe, Patricia Silver, Sheila Balter, and Jeri Lynn Cohen.
A few favorite moments from Tour de France 2014:
-Performing in Paris (!) at a beautiful theatre just steps from the Champs de Mars and Eiffel Tower
-Performing in the ancient cities of Nantes, Angers, and Nancy
-Connecting with the French lovers of theatre and literature who keep this tour thriving!
-Connecting with French lovers. (Kidding! Or am I??)
-Sitting with a glass of wine or a café creme, reading and re-reading The Dud Avocado at Le Select
-Spending a weekend in a troglodyte home in the countryside outside Angers
-Riding bikes through the Loire Valley
-Reuniting with friends made during the 2013 tour
-Feeling like a badass on the Metro: got this transit thing DOWN by tour #2
-Eating boeuf tartare and moutarde at Le Select
-Eating breakfast [un café + une baguette + un croissant; aka, Caffeine + Butter + Bread + Butter + Bread] at Le Select
-Making a Kickstarter video at Le Select to raise funds needed for detox from all the food consumed at Le Select
-Staying up late in our beautiful Montparnasse apartment and dashing out to the balcony every hour on the hour to watch the Eiffel Tower turn into Disco Eiffel Tower
Opening Night of "You Know When the Men Are Gone," March 2013, outside the Salle Adyar. >>>
-Walking the Promenade Plantée and the Petit Ceinture
-Patronizing the restaurant of Gerard Depardieu
-Following a family of ducks as they swam along the Canal Saint-Martin (very springtime in Paris)
-Being poured an old fashioned by a white-gloved, white-haired bartender at a candlelit bar in the 15th
-Walking everywhere in the perfect Paris weather
-Staying in the 18th century home of the Duke of Lorraine's "Master of the Wolf Hunt" in Nancy. (Yeah, our hosts are pretty cool.)
-Participating in the American Library in Paris's reading flash mob under the Eiffel Tower
-Riding a very unsafe luge-style roller coaster at a Fun Fair in Nancy with partner in crime Patty
-All the wine
-All the cheese
-All the baguettes
A magical trip -- an extraordinary show -- a wonderful spring in Paris!