Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spotlight On...Valerie Redd

Name: Valerie Redd

Hometown: Nacogdoches, Texas

Education: St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas- BA Theatre Arts and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art- Postgraduate Classical Acting

Select Credits:
Christopher Marlowe's Chloroform Dreams (Daphne, The Red Room), Othello (Desdemona, The Secret Theatre), Eye of God (Ainsley, Theatre Row), All My Sons (Ann, Mary Moody Northen Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania, Mary Moody Northen Theatre)

Why theater?: Because it lives and breathes. It's a group effort. It's impermanent. And it's always changing.

Tell us about The Seagull: It's a play about artists...about wanting...These characters have all this desire, overflowing passion that gets restrained...You have this explosive conflict always churning inside and, well, the force of that release is going to be destructive...it's just a matter of how and when. It's about the beauty and intangibility of the past and of ideas, and what happens when that comes face to face with brutal realities... and how we survive.

What is it like being a part of The Seagull?:
It's like a master course in observation. This cast is filling every moment with these beautiful subtleties and you find yourself wanting to move around to get views from all sides so you don't miss some gesture, a look, or reaction. It's inspiring!! And really, really challenging. As an artist, doing a play about the life of an artist requires more soul searching and terrifying honesty than some other shows that call for imagining things outside your personal experience. This shit gets real. Real fast. In a really healthy way....it feels good to be stripped down to your most vulnerable because then you find your courage...and your truth... and then things get really exciting.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I divide my love evenly between classical theatre and original devised works. They kind of have a lot in common...I am drawn to ensemble collaboration, open space onstage with an emphasis on physicality, and a love of language. I'll get tripped up sometimes as an audience member by the beauty of a line or the movement of an actor and I'll want to linger with it rather than move on with the action. Those are the kind of moments that make me want to work in the theatre.

Any roles you’re dying to play?:
Get ready for the list. Ophelia, Lady M, Cassius, Hedda, Lady Anne, Margaret (in Henry VI), Beatrice, Cordelia, and I really want to be a soldier in the opening ghost scene in Hamlet. Let's make that happen.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Umm....there isn't really a place for showtunes in my brain. Please don't hate me!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, and Judi Dench. The four of us would do a high stakes scene where we sit down to tea and all my character would do is pass the sugar and watch them.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think I'd trust someone else's opinion about that more than my own. But for fun let's say that Kate Winslet, Carey Mulligan, and Jessica Chastain would flip a coin for the honors. And it would be called..."Tomboy Bookworm Hides in Plain Sight".

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Let's see...I sent people to The Foreplay Play...and Richard III at BAM a while back....

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
Dr. Pepper...and dark chocolate...

What’s up next?:
Well, I'm venturing into film, acting with cameras....whole new world!  I've got some workshop ideas for Henry V and Hamlet rolling around the brain.....More pounding the pavement, more reading, more yoga, more soul searching.....with a little more sleep added in.

For more on, The Seagull visit http://www.wanderingbarktheatrecompany.org/. For more on Valerie, visit http://www.valerieredd.com/