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The Renaissance Dueling Play

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Rebecca R. Overholt
June 22, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actress.

What is your show about?
The Renaissance Dueling Play is a study in how swordsmanship reflects human relationships.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
At 8 years old. My elementary school had the third and fourth graders do a show together each year. I decided to help on makeup and costumes in third grade, declaring I didn't need to be on stage. About 2 1/2 weeks before the show, I lost it completely, devastated that I was not going to be in front of the audience. A friend came over one afternoon, taught me all the songs and steps to the dances, so I could join the choir and be an understudy. I still helped with the background work, but from that point on, I knew I wanted to be a stage actress.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
Has multiple women kicking multiple butts, all across the stage.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I have known Michael Hagins for nearly 8 years. He was the fight choreographer and an actor in the Scottish Play for Hudson Shakespeare Company, in NJ. It was my first post-college show, and I was very eager to show off my stage combat skills. Mike and I have worked together every year, since, doing everything from Midsummer (I was Hermia, he directed), to The Duelist's Code - which is now part of this show. My connections to the rest of the cast also come through Mike, as we have created a lot of excellent theatre together.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
I was torn between Puck and Rosalind, but after a quick confab with my boyfriend, I've decided Rosalind. This play is about strong, intelligent women, fairness, and equality. Puck might enjoy the mayhem, but Rosalind would relish the message.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
As much Shakespeare as humanly possible, as uncut as would work on stage, and with tickets at as low a price as possible, so everyone could enjoy. If I could manage to tour schools and get kids interested in Shakespeare, then you'd have made my idea of heaven.