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Uncorseted

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Brooke M. Haney
June 17, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Co-producer, Director, Actor.

What is your show about?
A sexy selection of Shakespeare scenes that attempt to answer the question, "Shakespeare - is he for or against the ladies?"

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Seattle, which was awesome. I love that city. I worked there for a few years after graduating from undergrad (at the University of Washington - go Huskies!). It was a great place to begin a career in the theatre, because it is such a vibrant and inclusive community. Since then, I've lived in Boston, Kentucky and Orlando (where I earned my MFA in Acting from the University of Central Florida in partnership with Orlando Shakespeare Theater - go Knights!).

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
...performs two Sundays in a row (June 23rd and 30th) at 8pm at Waltz-Astoria, where for a mere $10 food/drink minimum you can hear some rad live music, followed by ladies performing some sassy Shakespeare. And there will be score cards involved! Watch out!

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
Annie and I met two years ago performing in "Love, Lust & the Green Eyed Monster," which for both of us, was our first show with Shakespeare Anyone?. We became fast friends and are crazy excited to be collaborating on this show together. We decided that we wanted to do an all-female Shakespeare Anyone? because we know so many wonderfully talented women in NY and we wanted the chance to work with a couple of them. I met Aubrey Saverino when she came in to audition for a show that I was a reader for. Her talent knocked me out. We ran into each other several times over the next few months and decided that we were meant to be friends. We've read several new plays together, but never done anything fully staged. Annie met Leigh Williams her last year/Leigh's first year of grad school at Case Western University/The Cleveland Playhouse. They quickly discovered that they were kindred spirits. Their mutual loves of The New Yorker Magazine, NPR, theatre and the fact that their birthdays are one day apart ensured that they would be friends for a long, long time. While Leigh directed Annie in a piece earlier this Spring, they have never had the opportunity to act together. So we were ecstatic when both ladies were available to be a part of "Uncorseted." The four of us turned out to be a great ensemble. We each direct a couple of scenes and act in several. The collaboration has been thrilling and a lot of fun. We're really grateful to P.J. Escobio and Shad Ramsey (Artistic Directors of Shakespeare Anyone?) for giving us the opportunity to work together.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
Rosalind, because she is brilliant, witty, and has the ability to be (mostly) objective even while in love. She never down plays her strength as a female.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
It is undeniable that a lot of people do awesome and amazing theatre that makes a difference in the World. And I think that is really important. It's one of the reasons I've made theater my life. We're doing Shakespeare in a bar. And that rules.