Just closed Antony and Cleopatra with Brave Spirits Theatre, where I played Pompey, the Soothsayer, and collaborated with music director Zach Roberts to lead the percussion interwoven into the production. Very proud to have collaborated with this group of fearless theatre artists and create a world for this massive play in the intimate space of Convergence Theatre Lab in Alexandria, VA.
Part of Brave Spirits' mission is to create more opportunities for women in classical theatre, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play a female Pompey and other traditionally male roles in the production. In an industry where so many underdeveloped female roles exist (not to mention the shows with no women at all), it was a blast to expand the idea of what "playing a female version of a male character" could mean. My friend Vivien Endicott-Douglas recently wrote this amazing piece that really resonated with me, about her experience playing Romeo and the ways gender fluid casting can challenge our ideas about gender itself, and also create space for female performers to expand our notions of who we are, rather than confining us to the narrow definitions of women that we often see onstage and elsewhere (the sister/girlfriend/wife/mother of the male protagonist, described and judged for our appearance and not for our strengths, weaknesses, and complexity as humans.)