I am completely thrilled to announce that I am returning to Cincinnati (today...I'm probably on the road right now) to be a part of this freaking awesome show about a bunch of Star Wars nerds. The Know Theater of Cincinnati (if you're living under a rock...or just really nowhere near the midwest and maybe read my blog but don't know much about theatre not to make you feel bad, but it's just a cool place that, well, that NOW you know about, I won't hold it against you, so anyway...) is an inventive, bold theater that challenges Cincinnati with some really exciting new work. When I first got to Cincy last fall, one of the first things I did (besides see the Cubs CRUSH the Reds) was see Harry & the Thief by Sigrid Gilmer. I freaking loved this show. I hadn't seen such a well done use of physicality, Camp, almost comic book-like in its expressiveness. I dunno. This show just completely had me and I fell in love with this theater for going for it.
So yeah, when I looked at All Childish Things, I thought, 'Here's The Know offering another opportunity to go big, or go home.' So I said yes please! There are frank, blunt characters who butt up against each other with no apology and that's...haha...not really how I am nor is it what I'm often cast as. And so I love that this is a chance to play that. Kendra, the girlfriend of Carter and outsider to the inner core of his childhood buddies, walks into the room with her bristles up and only agitates further from there. It's the vulnerability of loving someone antagonized by the threat of that person's friends/girlfriend taking them away. Fantastic. Can't wait. Driving down the 65, south. Let's play.
Tonight me and these fine folk got together and made a little play. It was pretty cool. What was really great was that afterwards, I saw my longtime friend from childhood (when neither of us could untangle our messy curls), Rebecca. And a brand new friend, Jess, who took the time out of her crazy messy move to come see me. I'm really lucky to have old and new buds and so thankful to get to connect with them in this way. #LoveWhatIDo
PS Becca and I are pros at curly/wavy hair now, btw
This Saturday I'm performing in my first official gig in Chicago. It's a little ditty called Verona (A Love Story) and it's being featured in the Public House Theater's 12 Ways to Play One Act Festival!
It's a story about Theresa (this broad with two thumbs) who is working in a toll booth in Verona, upstate New York. She finds herself looking for that perfect someone and looks no further than the stream of cars rolling by her window every day. She's taking stalking to a whole new level, forgoing the internet entirely, targeting one particular 9-5 regular who meets her calculated standards. He eats McDonald's, but at least there's not a wife packing him a lunch. AMIRIGHT???!?
Working on this piece has been a refreshing return to comedy for me. It's been a while since I worked on something of a little lighter fare, though it's far from your standard farce, offering some really lovely, honest moments along the way.
If you happen to be in the Chicagoland area this Saturday, feel free to stop on by. There will be drinks, a food truck, artist workshops, basically it's going to be a really great weekend, and I'm pumped to be part of it!
And you guys. I'm a winter, so I'll look freaking cute as a fucking button when it gets all "cold" and "miserable." You'll all be like, "whoa, we all told her it would really suck, but she's a GD winter so she CLEARLY showed us!" ...as she floats along in a snow drift slightly hued in the cheeks, her dark tresses curling delicately around her framing hood. All powder blues and rich and deep purples. The envy of all warm blooded creatures...
OK, so I'm a little defensive about the weather thing. And terrified. No big deal.
Airbnb's in the meantime. The first place I stayed was in Logan Square in this awesome, funky two bedroom apartment with Emy, a sleep technologist who (quite rightly) worked graveyard shifts so we would pass like ships in the night. Very cool lady, all the same. The second place I stayed was with Jim, a musician and father of four kids around my age who've all flown the coop and now he rents out their childhood bedrooms. Mine is a single bed with a headboard etched with flowers, painted choral with the walls painted light teal. It feels very homey, and Old Cat has taken to me and Orsino and sleeps with us every night. What a treasure.
My adventure is only just beginning in this town, and all I ask is that I can open my heart to Chicago and that Chicago opens its heart to me. No small feat, but I'm up for the challenge.
This past spring I had the lovely fortune of being cast in The Cake Shop Theater Co.'s production of Chemistry by Jacob Marx Rice. This show came at the tail end of my residency with Cincinnati Playhouse and to be frank, I wasn't sure if I had the energy left to devote to a demanding show like this. In Chemistry, I played the role of Steph, a reeling spitfire of a young woman with Major Depressive Disorder. She meets (and ultimately falls in love with) Jamie, a focused and aspiring Secretary of State suffering from Unipolar Mania. I probably don't need to go on for you to imagine the trials and tribulations that these star-crossed lovers undergo. It's a daring confrontation of a play and takes its audience (and its actors) on a fucking roller coaster that plunges into a black hole. But also. Hope.
Anyway, this project, which was a part of The Cincy Fringe Festival, took me by surprise in every way imaginable. Working on this show with these incredible, fierce, hard-working and devoted artists, I was reminded of the grassroots, gorilla warfare, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of theatre that feeds the soul like a bowl of chicken soup. It's exhausting and thankless and pushes you to that place where you think 'none of this could possibly be worth the pain,' and yet...
These are the projects where I find home. This is where my family is. One version of family. And you meet all these wonderful people who are open and enthusiastic and dead tired and down and they're so happy you're there and visa versa and they hold your hand on the damn roller coaster but I mean they actually. hold. your. hand. on the Banshee at King's Island and all of a sudden you know exactly why you do it.
Also, we won the Dr. Robert J. Thierauf Producer's Pick of the Fringe. Which was pretty cool.
And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about.