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Spontaneous Shakespeare Players

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Mary Riley
April 29, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Producer & Actress.

What is your show about?
This ain't your Mama's Shakespeare!

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia and began my theatrical and musical career at the wee age of 6 as Mary in the church Christmas pageant, but my aunt Donna says I was dancing and singing around the house the moment I could walk. I received my Bachelor of Music from East Carolina University, and my Master of Arts from Radford University and taught private and class voice for a year at Bluefield College, before deciding I needed to explore the country as a performer and took off for sunny California on a theater contract.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this spring that...?
Could turn a Shakespeare hater in to the biggest fan, I guarantee it! You will not be bored!

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I met Justin Bennett from the first time I did Comedy (as Luciana) at New England Shakespeare Festival. I met Christine Kahler, Jen Browne, Jenn Gartner, Collin Biddle, Bill Green, Nathaneal Hearting, & Rich Wisneski all from past SSP shows and I'm grateful to have them back on board! I met Jennifer Carter at Thunder Bay Theatre in Alpena, Michigan (she was the Stella to my Blanche in Streetcar). I met Mary McGloin in California at California Theater Center where we did several shows together. I met Aaron David Kapner through Facebook/casting calls and seeing his work at Sink or Swim Rep in Romeo & Juliet. Ariel Francoeur & Aaron Matteson I've only just met, they came highly recommended by Christine Kahler Erin Gilbreth and I worked with John Basil at American Globe theater where I found my love of the Bard! As you can see, I'm lucky to know such a talented group of actors!

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
I think Bugs Bunny would appreciate this show since he spends all of his time getting out of hot water. This show could definitely be played by all the Looney Tunes characters. Can someone animate that?

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
As a part of my long term vision of Mercia Entertainment, I'd open an arts center over in the Meatpacking district (I want lots of space), to create a place where audiences can come to see a short film, watch a cabaret, see theater, browse an art gallery in the lobby, all while under the same roof, creating a welcoming place of multiple cultural opportunities & events.