Friday, July 31, 2015

Spotlight On...Anisa George

Name: Anisa George

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Education: You’re talkin’ college? I went to three different universities. Edinburgh, Scotland; Columbia, NYC; and the University of Isfahan, Iran. Then I got my MFA at the London International School of Performing Arts in London - which is soon to move to Berlin, and to be called something completely different.

Favorite Credits: My company was nominated for Best Ensemble at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival out of 3,000+ companies. We didn’t win, but I think my ensemble drank the majority of the champagne at the reception - and then performed without killing anybody… which is a kind of victory.

Why theater?: The short answer is - I was born into it. There’s no way I can really escape the theater. My father is actually in HOLDEN.

Tell us about HOLDEN: HOLDEN is an ensemble-created, tragicomic, modern-day No Exit, plumbing a darker dimension of "The Catcher in the Rye". Three obsessive super-fans, with definitively shady pasts, have taken up residence in J.D. Salinger's private writing bunker. Unbeknownst to the reclusive author, their mission to get Salinger to publish once more spirals into a fevered bonfire of longing and delusion.

What inspired you to create HOLDEN?: I’m a big fan of Salinger’s work myself - but it shocked me when I discovered that the book had been carried to the scene of several iconic assassinations of the 1980s. It seemed implausible and almost comical that a single novel could wield so much power. The play grew out of an exploration of the emotional and psychological obsessions that could lead to such disastrous conclusions.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Gob Squad.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Gob Squad.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: In the Ice Factory? God, I wish I could see all of them, but I’m entrenched in Philadelphia rehearsing HOLDEN.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: People tell me that Claire Danes is playing me in "Homeland" - because I’m a white woman who spent a long time learning Arabic and Persian and working and traveling in the Middle East. But - I hate that show. It is in no way a representation of my past life in the Middle East - or any real representation of life at all.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: At the moment I wish I could go back in time and see the work of Charles Ludlam and his Ridiculous Theater in the 70s.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Guilt’s not very pleasurable. I try not to mix the two.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: In Iran.

What’s up next?: Giving birth to a human.

For more on Anisa George, visit