Saturday, October 4, 2014
Spotlight On..Wolf CR
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Education: BFA Acting UW Milwaukee, MFA Acting The New School for Drama
Favorite Credits: Cassius in Julius Caesar, Ensemble in Pool (No Water), Male Voice in Sixteen Kisses, Olga in Three Sisters, Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Why theater?: The earth is populated with human beings, and so we keep doing theatre! We keep creating, on instinct, and with our imagination. Same way we get out of the rain on instinct, or stay in the rain to inhale it, using imagination and memory to feel rain… we have to deal with the rain. We have to deal with populating this earth, and that we are in desperate need to survive. And we have to find a transcending station of existence to forgive ourselves for our collective existence, our history, and define a meaning. To manifest compassion and empathy, to survive. It is, survival. I hold a belief that characters borrow our temple/instrument/body....and we rise to a spiritual level to lend our being fully to them. So they can trust us, and fill us with their soul, spirit, words, truth, story. Artists give the space to fill their heart with a desire to speak human. I’m primarily an actor(vist), meaning for me, the soul of an actor is that of being a human activist as well. I am driven by the hope to develop a deeper awareness of compassion and empathy within an audience, and to further and better humanity.
Tell us about It’s Not My Decision: It’s Not My Decision is my fist solo show! Here is a brief synopsis: “So, I just get up and tell story?” a beleaguered Sharon asks of her disapproving therapy group. The question, posed in the first moments of this original piece by Wolf CR, begins a darkly humorous journey from within the sterile walls of a psychiatric hospital, to a rickety ride on the Subway, an audition holding room, individual therapy, and through the minds and hearts of four disparate individuals. Each is questing (and at times failing) to face their own prejudiced and privileged opinions; to determine their identity; and discover their own self within sexuality, love, family, mental health, The Universe, and New fu$%ing York City.
What inspired you to create It’s Not My Decision?: It is vital to me that our world can witness a woman write, perform, and direct her own work. On top of that idea, I also enjoy being scared of myself, to share my obscenely large and loving heart, and fail big in a profoundly vulnerable way. This is my first time sharing my writing professionally, and it is terrifying! Even this interview is a bit anxiety inducing to me! It is as though I’m creating solid matter, a document, that anyone can see, find, judge, and I have had to rediscover how to let go of that new judgment, and ultimately trust. During grad school, within facing challenges and frustrations, I realized writing my own work would be a way to bring alive and give voice to human stories I knew were left out of theatre. Creating my own work allows me to represent unheard voices, and express myself in a way I was not able to find in the “real world”, where type casting, bullying, and profit are some of the main themes of the business.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Above all, anything that scares me, challenges me, and theatre that brings awareness and voice to those who are marginalized and/or oppressed in society. Additionally, I’m always excited to see traditional plays that are cast, directed, and designed in a lens that cracks the way we view our culture. My work (both acting and writing) is inspired by personal experience, overheard dialogue, interviews and research. (Also, patience and persistence) I attempt to cover everything in my writing including current issues of racism, sexism, feminism, privilege, religion, mental health, eating disorders, sexuality and gender.
I’m fascinated and determined to create characters as close to being “ordinary”and real life as possible, people who aren’t inherently cruel or evil, and are trying their best to be good human beings and understand their life up till now. Then I strive to learn how to be their best friend and tell their story, searching forgiveness.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Kathryn Hunter, Sarah Treem, Anna Deavere Smith, Caryl Churchill, Steven Wangh. And, eighty eight more people.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Millions, but I will limit this to the shows I have seen in New York City that I forced my friends to go see! Including: Overheard by Kirya Yvonne Traber, Kafka’s Monkey by Kathryn Hunter, Blasted by Sarah Kane, The Killer by Eugene Ionesco, Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, Some Dark Places of the Earth by Claire Kiechel.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Definitely Mae West (if she was still alive) or Christina Hendricks, and it would be called “Sleep Well, Dream Better”
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Fantasizing about playing every male character in Shakespeare, memorizing their monologues as often as possible. I truly believe I can play King Lear right now, but I suppose I will settle for Richard III or Hamlet.
What’s the most played song on your iPod?: "Arctic Bar", from Meredith Monk’s album “Facing North”.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Biological conservationist and wetland biologist. Or dead.
What’s up next?: Since this is my first professional showing of It’s Not My Decision, I will be expanding the play and doing future showings! My other play, Dora, based on Sigmund Freud’s case study of Ida Bauer, will be going into reading workshop later this year. On top of writing, currently I am performing in Pool (No Water) by Mark Ravenhill at The New School for Drama. (And I graduate in Spring 2015!) Lastly, I have begun the recent journey of teacher training with Jerzy Grotowski’s method, and I’m very thrilled to expand my student experience towards the realm of teaching.
For more, visit wolfcr.org