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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!

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

by moxielicious

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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.
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Interview With Lisel Gorell-Getz: Marie Antoinette

by moxielicious

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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

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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!

Interview with Cashae Monya: Marianne Angelle

by moxielicious

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MOXIE favorite Cashae Monya stars as Marianne Angelle in Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. Marianne is a composite character created by Gunderson to embody the badass ladies of the uprisings in the Caribbean that were happening at the same time as the French Revolution. Cashae answered some questions for assistant director Callie Prendiville about her role:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Marianne?

Cashae: My favorite thing about my character is playing a woman that makes me think,
“Damn! I want to be like her when I grow-up.” It’s is rare that I get to play a character
that I deeply admire and respect. Marianne is so strong in her convictions, honest and fearless. She makes me want to be a better person and I feel blessed to be portraying a woman with so much guts and class.

 

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

Cashae: History is so fascinating! I would say the most interesting and unsettling thing I discovered about this time period is the methods of torture that were used. It is unfathomable to think that people used their intellect and financial resources to create such gruesome ways to kill other human beings. And it gets even more despicable: People would gather and watch people being brutally murdered, it was entertainment??And these methods were a part of the judicial system. It’s appalling.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?

Cashae: My biggest challenge is being true to the charmingly comedic moments of the piece while also honoring the heartbreakingly tragic moments woven throughout the play.

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Cashae:  San Diego needs this play because Donald Trump is president and we have a lot of work to do.

 Check out The Revolutionists playing at MOXIE through June 25!

Interview with Jo Anne Glover: Olympe de Gouges

by moxielicious

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MOXIE co-founder Jo Anne Glover stars as Olympe de Gouges in Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. The real-life de Gouges was a playwright and feminist who wrote The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, and who lost her life at the guillotine. Jo Anne answered some questions for assistant director Callie Prendiville about her role:

Callie: What is your favorite thing about Olympe?

Jo Anne: My favorite thing about Olympe is her passion for her work and her belief that art can change the world.

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

Jo Anne: So many interesting things about the dynamics of the French Revolution – especially the violence that people feeling displaced can create.  I never knew about the Women’s March on Versailles, an interesting (although much less peaceful) parallel to our recent Women’s March.

Callie: What is your biggest challenge in this piece?

Jo Anne: Olympe’s journey of believing in her art versus her self-doubt about whether she’s making a difference is a very familiar one for me, but also a challenging one to find a balance for.  At first, she felt a little whiny to me (totally my own bias against my own kind aka sensitive artists), but I’m discovering the stronger her conviction to a belief in the power of art, the less it feels like whining.

Callie: Why does San Diego need this play now?

Jo Anne: We need this play right now because it’s important that we continue to recognize where there is continued inequality, and looking at it in smart and playful ways helps us to tune in, rather than tune out.

 Check out The Revolutionists playing at MOXIE through June 25!

A Q&A About THE REVS from 7 Stages

by moxielicious

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An interview with THE REVOLUTIONISTS playwright Lauren Gunderson, from the 7 Stages production in Atlanta:

1. When you hear reign of terror, your brain doesn’t automatically think comedy. Were you always headed down the funny path with this play or did the humor come as a welcome break for the dread of the guillotine?

It was always a comedy. This horrific phase of the French Revolution was based on such hypocrisy by it’s leaders. Hypocrisy is a reversal of expectation, which is the definition of a joke. A dark, scary joke but still. For this play it’s funny until it’s not. 

2. The Revolutionists is set in the past but incredibly timely. Did you go into the play knowing what issues you wanted to talk about, or did that happen naturally?

I didn’t have to search for the modern equivalences as they were quit obvious. Brazen, violence-peddling, divisive rhetoric is the same then (Marat, Robespierre) as it is now (Cruz, Trump). The shocking difference between the rich and the poor, the national debt amassed by needless wars, hunger, anger, inequality. Modern America really needs to have a long talk with 18th Century France.  

3. A play that calls for a full cast of four powerful females is unfortunately hard to find and the play itself talks about gender equality. What advice do you have for female artists to keep fighting the good fight?

I tend to fight with humor more than anger. Comedy can trick you into coming way closer to a hard topic than drama can. Making someone laugh invites them into the conversation, it equates us as people as opposed to dividing us by ideology. Outrage is necessary, and there is a lot to be outraged about, but when I write about feminism, racism, or violence, I lead with a funny that ends with heart. Humor and heartfullness humanize. As Olympe says of her play, which is true for this one as well, it starts out as a comedy but ends as a drama. We don’t have a word for that other than… life.

4. What’s your favorite moment in the play? Too many to name! But probably when Marianne is describing her husband’s courtship or any time Marie Antoinette enters a room.

5. How did you choose which historical women to write about? And what inspired you the most about them?

I discovered the history of Olympe de Gouges while on a trip to Paris with my mom and sister. Reading a small footnote I was stunned to learn that she was a radical feminist playwright who was guillotined only months after Marie Antoinette. I was so inspired and conflicted at the same time. She was an artist and an activist but neither could save her or her country (at the time). It made me think about other forms of political activism and what art means in a real crisis. I thought, who would Olympe be friends with? I’d always loved the story of Charlotte Corday and her proud, brave but morally questionable assassination. And who doesn’t love Marie Antoinette, especially if you look deeper and uncover her humanity and strange soulfulness. But the real wonder came when I realized that while France was fighting a civil war for equality and freedom it was enslaving black men and women in Haiti. This allowed me to imagine a brilliant, strong, witty Caribbean woman, who I named Marianne after the symbol for French freedom La Marianne, who could complete this fierce foursome. Marianne became the heart of the play really, as she is the ideologue and the backbone of the cause of liberty. I think you always have you write plays about real, feeling, flawed people as opposed to grand ideas. Ideas can’t breathe and laugh and learn. Ideas are contained inside minds alive with curiosity, conflict, and relativism, and that’s what makes a theatrical journey.

Seeking Artists!

by moxielicious

 

Seeking artwork by female artists for a lobby display at MOXIE Theatre for the run of Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, feminism and terrorism, art and how we actually go about changing the world. The play begs the question, and we are seeking work that explores the question: What IS the artist’s place in the revolution?

– Submission date deadline: May 1, 2017     

– Submit to: callie@moxietheatre.com, subject line: Revolutionists Lobby Art

– In email please include titles, size of piece, medium and price.

– Work will need to be pre-wired to hang

– Selected artists will be notified: May 15 ($20 participation fee if selected; MOXIE takes 20% commission if piece is sold)

– Hang Dates (must be available to bring in piece one of these days): May 19-21