Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spotlight On...Jessica DiGiovanni

Name: Jessica DiGiovanni

Hometown: Flossmoor, IL

Education: Fordham University Lincoln Center, LAMDA, Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT)

Select Credits: Bike America (Ma-Yi Theatre Co.- NY Premiere, Alliance Theatre - World Premiere), Close Up Space (MTC – World Premiere, O'Neill Theatre Center, MTC’s 7@7), Training Wisteria (Cherry Lane Theatre), Marion Bridge (Director's Co.), Fool for Love (Under St. Marks) and more. Film & TV: "Forever", "The Nearest Human Being", "Killer Set", "Delusions of Guinevere", "What Would You Do?", "Celebrity Ghost Stories", "A Crime to Remember" and more. Also starred in the award winning Music Video for Alt-J, entitled “Breezeblocks”

Why theater?: It's the actors medium. I love the rehearsal process, especially for new plays. The energy in the room is electric. There’s a feeling, more than with already produced plays, of "we are all in this together".  Embarking on a journey with endless possibilities and  creative freedom and expression. Working with the playwright in the room, being able to ask questions directly to the source is invaluable. We all help to mold and shape the piece and breathe life into it for the first time, together.  It's absolutely thrilling.

Who do you play in Melissa’s Choice?: Melissa Golden, a 28 year-old lawyer, women’s rights activist and environmentalist.

What is it like being a part of Melissa’s Choice?: It's been such a privilege working with this cast! We are having a blast! There is always something fresh and exciting they bring to the scenes. I trust them implicitly. We are definitely playing in every sense of the word. I am proud to be a part of a play that spurs conversation about such an important and controversial issue. It's one of the reasons I am an actor, to make people question and think, reevaluate, reflect and to open up a dialogue.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love to be surprised. I like to go in blind. I find that my experiences are ten times more rich and fulfilling without expectations.  I also love when my expectations are completely shattered, I forget that I am in a theatre, experiencing a performance and I am transported. One such experience I had was at Sleep No More. Also, Fuerza Bruta. When you become part of the storytelling and the experience. There is a give and take, a dialogue between the audience and the actors. I felt so alive and inspired coming out of both of those shows.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Vanda in Venus in Fur. It's such a deliciously layered script to work on. It's the perfect blend of physical comedy and sexual deviance mixed with dramatic intensity. Dream role. Strong Female leads with room for physical comedy are my jam.

What’s your favorite showtune?: "All That Jazz" from Chicago or "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Living and Dead....Directors: Sam Gold, Mike Nichols, Julie Taymor...I could go on.   Actors: Mark Rylance, Sam Rockwell, Elizabeth Marvel, Kevin Spacey, Billy Crudup, Judith Light...I could go on.  Gutsy and fearless actors always inspire me.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: A dark comedy. If Amy Poehler, Sandra Bullock and Amanda Peet had a baby...That Baby would play me. It would be called...A Girl Can Dream: A Story of a Girl and Her Pursuit of the Fantastical.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Wow. This is hard. I don't really know. Off the top of my head it would have to be the Chicago with Bebe Neuwirth and Anne Reinking. I love me some Fosse.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Hand to God, Sleep No More, Fuerza Bruta, The Woodsman.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Bulliet Bourbon. Neat.

What’s up next?: That's up to the Universe...but hopefully much more storytelling with wonderfully inspiring creative people