This is my favorite.
The quiet before the storm.
Or the quiet AFTER the storm.
The feeling something magical is about to happen.
Or JUST happened...
What occurred here was nothing short of miraculous, unexpected, exhausting, stressful, and thrilling.
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t re-learning to walk before I could run again.
There were large portions of this contract where I felt I wasn’t my true self, and it wasn’t until the very end I felt like I had returned again.
The authentic version of myself I mean.
My depression, guilt, and need to be liked ebbed and flowed, and there were times I could feel myself trying too hard, or not hard enough.
I offer this bit of transparency because it’s easy for social media to mask true happenings, and just because I was fortunate enough to have a creative opportunity during a time in which NO creatives are working, in no way means it was perfect. The idea of perfection itself is farcical.
A gentle reminder.
To anyone reading this, and also my future self.
The biggest surprise (and delight) was realizing that theatre didn’t lose its luster, even after all this time away. It’s still as thrilling as it ever was, if anything, more so, and tackling this BUCKET LIST of ALL bucket list shows was a lovely reminder why I love this field to an indescribable degree. And I’ll always look back on this experience and remember that.
Each person who had a hand in making this dream a reality was instrumental: backstage, onstage, and beyond the wings.
So fortunate to return to my theatre home away from home (amongst some of the kindest individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with)
I hope those who followed us along on this journey saw this as a beacon of HOPE - hope that theatre will be back, better than ever.
And I’m a firm believer it will be.
I don’t know the next time I’ll have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, but I do know I won’t take it for granted ever again.
Till next time, Pops.
I hope you got your version of a happy ending...
...I sure did <3
COVID tested, Equity approved.
I’ve felt conflicted about sharing this exciting news out of respect for other creatives (and knowing how fortunate I am to be given such an opportunity whilst our industry is at a standstill) but I also don’t want any feeling of guilt or the possibility of upsetting anyone take away from the pure unmitigated JOY as well.
I’m about to tackle a BUCKET LIST show, at my favorite theatre I’ve worked at thus far, with what I’m positive will be a superb creative team and company.
I’ll also say I would have never taken this job had it not been approved by Equity; my beloved Arts Center has gone above and beyond to ensure every workers’ livelihood and safety is in no way compromised, and as an EMC member, it is so comforting to know that I’m being protected by the Union, and that the theatre I’ll be working at has OUR best interest in mind as a company, team, and hired individuals. No job is ever worth your health or safety, no matter HOW good it is, and our 45 page safety protocol requirements as well as being COVID tested three times a week is necessary and relieving.
Grateful? Absolutely. Excited? Definitely.
But also, very much looking forward to celebrating OTHERS’ joys when more theatres get approved and offer safe creative spaces for their company, workers, and audiences.
Don’t worry, be Poppy 👩🏻🦰
I'll be producing an online staged reading of Lauren Gunderson's The Revolutionists as well as I'll be playing Marie Antoinette! I've been doing online readings throughout quarantine, and I re-fell in love with Lauren Gunderson's The Revolutionists a few months ago, and wanted to assemble a badass team to bring this show to life. I asked my dear friend Billie Aken-Tyers to direct, because I know she could elevate this piece to incredible heights even through a screen, and asked my dear friend (and previous roommate at Theatre Aspen!) Domino Mannheim to Stage Manage! I'm also playing opposite one of my FAVORITE performers, Kuhoo Verma (whose performance in Octet has been one of my favorite of all time!) All ticket proceeds will be donated to The ACLU, and the reason why we're performing the show on August 18th is because it's the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Just seemed fitting, no? Can't wait to jump in! Check out more info below:
By Lauren Gunderson
August 18th, 8pm EST, Online
All proceeds will be donated
Director: Billie Aken-Tyers (She/Her)
Stage Manager: Domino Mannheim (She/Her)
Olympe De Gouges: Kuhoo Verma (She/They)
Marianne Angelle: Imani Youngblood (She/Her)
Charlotte Corday: McKenzie Custin (She/Her)
Marie Antoinette: Kayla Ryan Walsh (She/Her)
Update: We raised over $1000 for The ACLU in our one night performance!
We Carry On: a series of short radio plays by my dear pal, Billie Aken-Tyers, is now live on Apple podcasts and Spotify!! Please give us a listen, like, subscribe and review so we can make more! I had the pleasure of narrating the first three episodes, and we hope to do more soon!
We Carry On is an Anthology series exploring love, sex and loss during a time of great turmoil. In its many forms, love manifests in us all in the face of danger. Beginnings, endings or somewhere in between, We Carry on explores its many faces through the lens of the Second World War.
Revisiting Much Ado About Nothing, this time, playing our favorite ENFP heroine, Beatrice! Tomorrow we have our first performance online via Zoom, as well as Saturday. It's been a joy to have something artistically fulfilling during this pandemic to look forward to, and I'm so glad I got to explore a dream role for a slice of time.
I'll be portraying Beatrice in Fleeing Artists Theatre's online production of Much Ado About Nothing!
Excited to revisit Much Ado, this time in the leading lady's shoes, and explore what it's like to be directed and collaborate via Zoom. I'll be part of the cast with folks from all over the country, as well as parts of Canada.
Thankful to have something artistic to look forward to during this time.
Live performances via Zoom will be over the weekend of June 26th-28th (times TBD) - more details coming soon!
I just finished the narration for Billie Aken-Tyers' short radio play series entitled "We Carry On." It's been fun to jump into the VO world a bit during quarantine. Episodes coming soon!
This fall I'll be heading to one of my favorite places : The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to play Pat in Kinky Boots! Total bucket list show, and so looking forward to working with both Evan Pappas and Eugenio Contenti, our wonderful director and choreographer!
Finally got to accomplish something that's been on my bucket list for a majority of my life - go to Paris!
I spent a much needed week exploring all over the city, and got into a whole lot of Parisian mischief during my time. Truly an unforgettable experience, and definitely have a strong feeling of wanderlust.
Looking forward to seeing what 2020 holds!
Currently enjoying taking in the beautiful Roanoke, Virginia, for Mill Mountain Theatre's production of The Sound of Music this holiday season, and playing everyone's favorite sassy/deadpan nun, Sister Berthe.
New York, NY