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Get to know the cast of BLISS: Lydia Real is Maddy

by moxielicious

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Lydia Real stars as Maddy/Medea in Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead!) by Jami Brandli. Lydia answered some questions with AAD Callie Prendiville about her process:

CP: Were you familiar with Greek mythology prior to working on this project? What has surprised you the most about the source material for these characters?

LR: Yes, I was familiar with Greek mythology prior to working on this project.  In fact, Medea is my favorite tragic heroines in Greek Mythology.  I love that she is a foreigner, I love that she is a sorceress, I love that even in her madness, she is always driven by love. This directly links to what I love about Maddy.  She has sacrificed so much and continues to do so for love.  Is it misguided? Yes. Is it irrational? Hell yes. However, Maddy makes her decisions with so much conviction and passion. Maddy (and Medea) is the power in her relationship, the strength in her family.  She just makes things happen, as Jamie writes, “No matter the sacrifice. No matter the cost.”

CP: What is your favorite thing about Maddy? What’s the most challenging thing about her?
LR: What is most challenging about her? I believe I can answer this best in relation to the entire rehearsal process. As a character, she has so many layers, and in being set in the 1960’s, I wanted to make sure that I honored her strength and not make her into a caricature. The playwright did such an amazing job showing power and strength in all of these women, despite being set in an era where female empowerment and individuality was a rarity. As an actor, I was TERRIFIED about singing and playing the ukulele. Singing in front of people is actually a phobia of mine that I have actively been trying to overcome for the past couple of years.  Delicia lovingly gave me a “come to Jesus” bit of advice during rehearsal about owning my art and playing with abandonment.  “Fake it till you make it.” she said, and seriously, it f*#king worked! I faked confidence every time I had to sing, and now I feel no fear.  Thank you D!

CP: What do you hope audiences walk away with after seeing Bliss?

The message of this show is so relevant for our America today.  In our current social climate, the surge of desire for diversity, equal rights and individual empowerment resonate so strongly in this play. I want audiences to walk away remembering that we as individuals have so much power to change the world, that our thoughts and actions have a profound effect on everyone who we connect with.  Our lives matter and we can break the cycles set by society, our families, and ourselves.


Get to know the cast of BLISS: Morgan Carberry is Clementine

by moxielicious


Morgan Carberry stars as Clementine/Clytemnestra in Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead!) by Jami Brandli. Morgan answered some questions with AAD Callie Prendiville about her process:

Callie: Were you familiar with Greek mythology prior to working on this project?What has surprised you the most about the source material for these characters?

Morgan: I loved Greek mythology as a kid and even had a board game called ‘By Jove’ which explored the stories of the gods, heroes and mortals – so this show is right up my alley. I also played the title role in college in a play called Iphigenia and Other Daughters which explored the Clytemnestra/Oresteia saga, so it is interesting for me to now be on the other side of the story.

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Clementine? What’s the most challenging thing about her?

Morgan: I love that Clementine just tells it like it is, in a climate when that was not always socially acceptable or expected from women. In many ways she is very similar to me with her dry sense of humor, excellent education and ability to stand up for what she wants and believes is right. However it has been challenging to explore her darker side without getting too emotional or melodramatic – to connect with her darkness in a way that is both authentic and fitting within the tone and context of the play.

Callie: What has surprised you most about the 1960s culture that Clementine finds herself in?

Morgan: The 1960s were a time of huge transition, and it is interesting to see how the women of Bliss find themselves right on the cusp of this. Clementine wants to break out of the social stigmas that have trapped her, but still feels largely constrained from doing so. All of that would change over the next decade. It has been very interesting and surprising to recognize many cultural references and standards that I have heard my parents and teachers refer to over the years, and yet also to see how many of the challenges women face remain exactly the same today.

Callie: What do you hope audiences walk away with after seeing Bliss?

Morgan: I hope that our audiences walk away recognizing what has changed in our socio-political landscape, and yet how far we still have to go. I really identify with Clementine, and I think many women still find themselves trapped in these tragic cycles; yet the playwright’s message is that we can become empowered to break the cycle, and change the narrative for future generations. If we can inspire our audiences to do that, we will have achieved our goal.

 Thanks, Morgan! Don’t miss her in Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead!) January 28-February 25.

Katelyn Katz is Anne Frank

by moxielicious

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Starring in the title role of The Diary of Anne Frank at MOXIE is Canyon Crest Academy sophomore Katelyn Katz, whose resume is impressive for her fifteen years: She has performed at The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, the Welk Theatre, and San Diego Musical Theatre. Most known locally for her portrayal of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird at New Village Arts, this is her first title role and first time portraying a historical figure. Katelyn answered some questions with Associate Artistic Director Callie Prendiville:

Callie: When did you first read Anne’s diary?

Katelyn: I first read Anne’s diary for a project in 8th grade.

Callie: What was your initial reaction to Anne’s voice as a writer? 

Katelyn: I think it surprised me as well as anyone else who reads Anne’s diary that Anne is so mature for her age, and so willing to stay positive and hopeful throughout her time in the Annex.

Callie: What has surprised you the most about playing Anne during the rehearsal process?

Katelyn: Something surprising about this process has been the amount of credible resources we have about Anne and her family. Not only does Anne have a diary, but Margot has a diary, there are many pictures of the family, and even Miep has a written journal about her experiences helping the Annex members.

Callie: What have been the challenges of playing Anne during the rehearsal process? 

Katelyn: Something that made this rehearsal process different and more difficult than other processes is the simple fact that I am playing a character that was a real person who existed and made an impact on the world. This has impacted everything about the character, from her relationships to her family to her thoughts about herself as a growing young woman.

Callie: What do you hope audiences take away from the production? 

Katelyn: I hope audiences leave the show seeing themselves in the characters and in the story itself. The play is filled with characters that every single person can identify with, each of them giving audiences the ability to reflect on themselves and hopefully attempt to put themselves in the positions of the characters.
Photo by Daren Scott

An Immigrant Story From an Immigrant Perspective: IRONBOUND Costume Designer Anastasia Puatova

by moxielicious


Anastasia Puatova, costume designer for Martyna Majok’s IRONBOUND, was born in Saint Petersberg, Russia and has been living in San Diego for 9 years. 

“I enjoy working on this play because it ties up my personal experience with touching episodes of Darja’s life and so many stories of other immigrants. This has been a hot topic for thousands of years, even mentioned in Bible. One of my favorite quotes in Matthew 25:35, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’

I am very thankful for my new home. I know that I will always speak English with an accent, and I will always be ‘very American’ to my friends back in my mother city.”

There is only one week left to catch Anastasia’s work: IRONBOUND must close October 22. Don’t miss it!


Get to know the cast of IRONBOUND: Eric Casalini

by moxielicious

Eric Casalini plays Tommy, one of three men in Darja’s life in Martyna Majok’s IRONBOUND. Eric answered some questions about playing the Jersey Boy:IRONBOUND 3

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Tommy?

Eric: Tommy is the quintessential Jersey Boy. He’s at once hyper-masculine, childish, crass, and thoughtful. Wrap that in the Jersey accent and a guinea tee-shirt and he just feels like home to me. I was born there, so…

Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered in working on this new play?

Eric: Apparently I move around a lot when playing an Italian from New Jersey. And that doesn’t play well on a small stage. Jen had her hands full with trying to stabilize my movement. I know Italians talk with their hands – apparently I talk with my entire body.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?

Eric: Shorts and boots. It’s leaked into my real life because of Tommy. And as a result coming to grips with being old enough to not care what people think about my fashion choices. But also, lying. Tommy is completely comfortable with lying, which is a big challenge.

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Eric: It’s completely humanizing of a hot topic issue throughout the world, which has particular focus here in San Diego. Any time a thing can remind people that we got all the same parts is a thing that is of good use to us all.

See Eric in IRONBOUND, which begins performances 9/17!

Get to Know the Cast of IRONBOUND: Arusi Santi is Maks

by moxielicious


Martyna Majok’s IRONBOUND tells the story of Polish immigrant Darja and the men in her life over a span of 22 years. Associate Artistic Director Callie interviews actor Arusi Santi, who plays Maks, to hear more about his MOXIE debut:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Maks?

Arusi: Maks is a beautifully complicated character. He is a dreamer, a lover, a fighter, a nice guy, a jokester, he can also be mean and hurtful, and having all these contradictions are a joy to play with. This is such a good play! Martyna has made it really easy for us because it’s all there on the page.

Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered in working on this new play?

Arusi: I never thought I would have so much in common with a Polish man! I was born and raised in Mexico, so I knew going in that we shared the immigrant story, but I had no idea how deep this connection went. Maks and I share this reality of being an alien in a strange land. We share this loneliness and this need to belong. I’ve always been a big fan of Chopin and have found his music very close to home. Somehow the emotion in his music felt very familiar. So who knows, maybe Poland and Mexico aren’t so far from each other as I previously thought.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece? 

Arusi: My biggest challenge has been learning how to play harmonica. Moxie was awesome and they got me a harmonica teacher, Jordan Morita, so I’ve been working with him and practicing a lot. And I love playing harmonica now! It’s become one of my favorite instruments.
Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Arusi: It’s an unapologetic immigrant story. There’s no sugar coating it, romanticizing it, or fetishizing it, it just is what it is. And in in that brutal honesty there is such heartwarming beauty. In the world we’re living in, where immigrants are being abused, vilified, and dehumanized, I could not imagine a more relevant play.

Ironbound begins performances September 17! Don’t miss Arusi as Maks! 

Developing Leadership at MOXIE

by moxielicious

MOXIE Theatre is welcoming in a new era of leadership as founding members Delicia Turner Sonnenberg and Jo Anne Glover transition into advisory roles. Founding member and new Executive Artistic Director Jennifer Eve Thorn has surrounded herself with new and returning MOXIEs, all of whom have a former connection with the company. Thorn herself was originally an intern for Sonnenberg at the San Diego Rep, then a partner at MOXIE, and is now succeeding Sonnenberg as Executive Artistic Director.

“MOXIE is developing future leaders,” says Thorn. “We’re growing leadership from the ground up. We believe this strengthens our community and encourages talent to stay local.”


Thorn first met new Associate Artistic Director Callie Prendiville in 2010 when she cast her in the MOXIE production of The Crucible. “From my first read at the auditions, I was in love with the MOXIE philosophy,” says Prendiville. “These women were creating incredible art, they had babies and families, and there was never a sense of having to choose between making theatre and making a family. As a young woman starting out in the professional theatre, it was really a revelation.” Since her time with MOXIE during The Crucible, Prendiville received a Master’s of Fine Art in Los Angeles and returned to the University of San Diego to teach, often sending her students to write about MOXIE shows. “I’m thrilled that my relationship with MOXIE has come full circle in this exciting way.”

Nicole Ries also worked with Sonnenberg in her San Diego Repdays, and returns to MOXIE as Production Manager. “MOXIE was a big part of what made my plan to start a family while still working in theatre possible,” says Ries. She started with MOXIE as a stage manager and her roles grew: “I started as Associate Production Manager in 2013 before taking the reigns July 2015 after the birth of my second daughter Rosalind. I never had to choose family or career with MOXIE.” Ries is also the resident Production Stage Manager for the Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program and the Ben Vereen Awards (Broadway/San Diego) and has stage managed extensively around San Diego.


Christine Nathanson, the new Business Manager, was an assistant stage manager for Ries in MOXIE’s JadeHeart in 2014 after interning with the company during a summer break from her theatre studies at Westmont College. She assistant directed the recent MOXIE hitThe Revolutionists. A San Diego native, Nathanson won a double Santa Barbara Indy Award for her directing and acting work at Westmont.

Another former assistant director stepping in to a leadership position, Elizabeth Corrow(Trouble in Mind, The [curious case of the] Watson Intelligence, Our Lady of Kibeho) is the new Development Programs Director. Says Corrow: “I can’t wait to see where MOXIE’s energy and excellence take it in this time of increased attention to women’s rights.” Corrow grew up in Puerto Rico and came to San Diego by way of the Midwest. She has a graduate business degree from SDSU.

Nicole Cantalupo has been MOXIE’s Education Coordinator since 2015. She has utilized the Inspiring Future Leaders Grant from SDG&E to create a program that brings high school students from all over the county to MOXIE to be mentored by production team members. Additionally, Nicole is one of the founding members of MOXIE’s Bechdel Brigade.

Rounding out the returning MOXIEs are longtime company members Missy Bradstreet as Associate Production Manager and Jennifer Berry as Casting Director.

20170802_083300-150x150.jpgThorn is looking forward to the future with gratitude to the past: “It’s a testament to the leadership and community support that MOXIE has had for the past 12 years, that we’ve attracted such an incredible team for this next chapter of MOXIE history. I am ready to learn from these women and honored to lead them. The new MOXIEs have a vision for the future of this organization, they see it as their own and that means my founding partners and I achieved our number one goal. We founded this company for the generations that would come after us with the clear intention of passing it to them. MOXIE’s ‘Second Generation’ is ready to build on the foundation we’ve inherited. We can’t wait for our fans to see what comes next.”

Leigh Scarritt: Director of BROOKLYN

by moxielicious


Miss Leigh Scarritt is a veteran of film, television and stage and has performed all over North America. When not on stage Leigh is a mentor and coach to dozens of San Diego’s up and coming young talent. She’s currently directing and co-producing a West Coast Premiere musical on the MOXIE stage: Brooklyn. In the musical, a group of street performers known as the City Weeds periodically transform a street corner under the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge into a stage where they present their play about Parisian singer Brooklyn, named after the New York City borough from which her wayward father Taylor hailed. Brooklyn discovers her vocal talents, becomes a star, performs at Carnegie Hall, and sets out in search of her father. Leigh answered some questions for MOXIE Associate Artistic Director Callie Prendiville about why she loves this show so much:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Brooklyn? What made you want to produce it?

Leigh: I love the tenacity of the character Brooklyn to overcome her circumstances and find her way to be all she intends to be. No excuses. No limitations. No boundaries. She’s remarkable.

Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered in working on this new play? 

Leigh: It’s more about what I’ve learned about how this cast loves this story. The music resonates with them and these talented musicians. The struggle is real in their lives and in this script. Plus they each sing like their lives depend on it. I love that about them.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece? 

Leigh: The biggest challenge is balancing the beauty and the heartache of this story. It’s a delicate one. The heartache is painful to watch but the hope is so inspiring!

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now? 

Leigh: Brooklyn’s search for her father is not a unique story in San Diego or in any location. The hope is always to tell stories that align with reality and move someone beyond their perceived boundaries. The intention is to leave an audience better than we found them. MOXIE audiences are insightful, informed and introspective so that’s a tall order. The promise is to require everything of ourselves to give each audience.  Every breath. Every note. Every heartbeat. That’s the beauty of live theater!

Thanks for chatting with us, Leigh! Be sure to catch Brooklyn this July.

Interview With Lisel Gorell-Getz: Marie Antoinette

by moxielicious


MOXIE favorite Lisel Gorell-Getz stars as Marie Antoinette in Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. Whether or not she said the bit about the cake, Marie is certainly the most famous of the historical characters in the play. Lisel answered some questions for assistant director Callie Prendiville about her role:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Marie?

Lisel: I love how childlike and enthusiastic and earnest Marie is. And I love how Lauren Gunderson has created a character who defies our historical expectation of her. Lauren’s Marie is clever and smart and funny and caring and incredibly loyal — who also happens to be the ex-Queen of France. What a dream to play this part!

Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered about this time period?

Lisel: I am so happy to know that Olympe was a real person. What I learned in history class about this time period completely glossed over the role of women during this incredibly dangerous and dynamic time. Knowing that there was a feminist leader who consistently put her words into action (and lost her life in the process) is an incredible testament to the resilience and strength of women in history.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?
Lisel: One of the challenges of this piece is balancing the truth with the incredible humor that Lauren Gunderson writes for us. Like life, this play is alternately tragic and hilarious and finding that sweet spot between the two has been lovely and exhilarating to explore.

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Lisel: San Diego audiences need to hear about these women to recognize the role that inspiring women can take in a society in turmoil. Who among us today is brave enough to make sure our story is told and our voices are heard?

 Check out The Revolutionists playing at MOXIE through June 25!

Interview with Samantha Ginn: Charlotte Corday

by moxielicious


MOXIE favorite Samantha Ginn stars as Charlotte Corday in Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. Corday famously assassinated revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat in his bathtub. Samantha answered some questions for assistant director Callie Prendiville about her role:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Charlotte?

Samantha: I love how Charlotte Corday likes to take a “stab” at new things. I’m in awe of her certainty and upper body leverage. Like her knife… She is edgy, sharp, and fearless. I love her. High Five Angel Assassin!

Callie: What’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve discovered about this time period?

Samantha: I discovered that someone actually slapped Charlotte Corday in the face moments after she was killed by the guillotine.  Apparently, the victims could still feel their face after they were beheaded. I can’t even begin to imagine dying in such a horrific way. These heinous acts of torture and brutality during this time period were very gut-wrenching to learn about.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?
Samantha: The biggest challenge in this piece is… drumroll please… THE CORSETS! I’m a total tomboy and I usually wear very loose and comfortable clothing. The corsets have a constricting life of their own. I find myself getting out of breath quickly on stage and rib soreness all due to the corset. How did these ladies of the French Revolution do it?! They all deserve to eat cake.

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Samantha: San Diego needs to see this play right now because this show has it all: Comedy, suspense, drama, hi-story, a catchy song, beautiful bosom, and no puppets. Everybody wins.

 Check out The Revolutionists playing at MOXIE through June 25!