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The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Juila Pastrana, The Ugliest Woman in the World

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Gyda Arber
May 30, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
Performed entirely in the dark, Shaun Prendergast’s play tells the entirely true story of sideshow freak Julia Pastrana, who toured the world both in life and in death as “The Ugliest Woman in the World.”

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
Born and raised in San Francisco, CA (4th Generation!). Studied Musical Theater at NYU and completed Maggie Flanigan's life-changingly awesome 2-year Meisner program.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this spring that...?
takes place entirely in the dark!!!

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I saw the show years ago, and it's just one of those that sticks with you, y'kno? I've never been able to shake it from my mind. And when I heard The Brick was doing a sound design festival, I thought it would be perfect.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Harpo, please!

Why are theater festivals so very important?
I love the energy, love getting to meet different artists, with different backgrounds, perspectives, and hearing their stories. It's a great experience.