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Mata Hari in 8 Bullets q&a preview by Onalea Gilbertson
July 5, 2013

What is your job on this show?

What is your show about?
Mata Hari having a fever dream before she is executed.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Avant garde, emotional, off the beaten track, surprising, experimental, collaborative...

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
Some of my favourite roles include: Assassins (Squeaky Fromme), Into the woods (Cinderella), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Drood), Falsettos (Cordelia). I worked for 7 years as a part of a performance Creation ensemble in Canada called One Yellow Rabbit -all original physical theatre. It is the longest running ensemble in Canada - Fav roles with them include playing Sylvia Plath (Sylvia Plath must not die), heroin addicted Edith in an adaptation of Cohen's Beautiful Losers, a stunning show called Dream Machine which is an oratorio on the Beat Poets. I perform with symphony orchestra, chamber ensemble, I sing Jazz and I am a writer/composer. My two shows BLANCHE and REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL premiered in NYC in 2011 and 2012 at NYMF. I am working on a new song cycle called TORCH SONGS FROM THE GYPSY VAN with jazz and string quartet.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I have worked with the Creator/Composer of Mata Hari in 8 bullets closely for many years. David Rhymer is a special and gifted artist and we created a salon of his musical theatre work and performed it across Canada. Songs from many incarnations of David's Mata Hari works came together to form a MATA HARI suite and then the idea came about for this treatment. I met Producer Charlie Fink last year at NYMF and was so delighted when he came on board for the show, he is a powerhouse and his support has been invaluable. Everyone on our team is incredible. He introduced us to Peter Schneider who is nothing short of magical in his guidance, and Odette Heyn - our inspired choreographer is a close friend and colleague from Canada. This piece is moving and experimental. It was important to me to introduce David's work to NYC and the power of his incredible songwriting - his songs are my favourite to sing in the world. The character of Mata Hari - she is one of a kind. A sexual pioneer and an emancipated and courageous woman. History shot her to death. Men shot her to death. She did not deserve to die that way.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
All three. No really! it is smooth, sexy, smart, surprising - and I will add another one - sophisticated.

Who are your heroes?
My héros change all of the time. Right at this moment my heroes are Artists who risk everything to be inside of this crazy, bohemian life in order to tell stories, and colour the world with brightness. All who live in radical honesty are my heroes. Women who fight for a place in this world and who don't take no for an answer and who stand in the face of the storm and say "I dare you ", and "I love you" and "I will do what I need to do no matter what" inspire me, keep me going.