Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Spotlight On...Anastasia Olowin
Hometown: Lafayette, CA
Education: BFA NYU Tisch, Experimental Theatre Wing
Select Credits: The Killer (TFANA); Stitches (To-By-For Productions); Plum de Force (harunalee); with Theater Reconstruction Ensemble: You On the Moors Now, Set in the Living Room of a Small Town American Play, Three Seagulls or MASHAMASHAMASHA!
Why theater?: I think I love art in general because I am constantly learning. The visceral immediacy of live performance – whether I am onstage or off – is one of my favorite ways to learn and play. As a performer, every production requires a new investigation of history or style or circumstance, and sometimes a completely new skill set: I learned to use a sewing machine last summer so that I could sew a garment onstage from pattern to finish (if anybody needs a wrap-skirt with French seams, I’m your girl). I also love that theater is a collaborative art, and am constantly motivated, challenged, and inspired by the people I work with.
Who do you play in Rhinbecca, NY?: Six.
Tell us about Rhinbecca, NY: Rhinbecca, NY was born out of the idea that the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Eugene Ionesco might have something to do with each other. We spent months reading Ionesco plays and watching Hitchcock films together before generating material and putting pen to paper, and this play exists in that bizarre middle-ground between these two bodies of work. It’s an absurd exploration of “guy comes to town, shit gets weird” …it’s strange and uncomfortable and hopefully a lot of fun.
What is it like being a part of Rhinbecca, NY?: This process has been such a pleasure – I feel very fortunate to be working from such rich, weird source material with this hilarious and phenomenally talented group of people. We laugh a lot.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Like I said, I like to learn things. And I like it when things get a little surreal. I think my favorite theater lives almost in the realm of magical-realism (whether through content or staging and design), but it’s really just satisfying to see a story well-told.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: So many. Hedda Gabler. W in Cock by Mike Bartlett. Elise (Goldie Hawn’s character) in the stage version of First Wives Club.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Does “You Don’t Own Me” count?
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Isabella Rossellini. If you haven’t seen her “Green Porno” series, you’re missing out.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I’m an actor, can I just play myself? Otherwise can we get Cate Blanchett? I don’t know what we’d call it, but I do know there would be plenty of dogs and a solid selection of sequined dresses.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I’m kicking myself that I never got to see Elevator Repair Services’ Gatz, also really upset to be missing Frances McDormand in the current production of Macbeth at Berkeley Rep.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Men On Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus is playing again this summer at Playwrights Horizons – don’t miss it! Sojourners by Mfoniso Udofia and Bedlam’s Sense & Sensibility have been two of the favorite things I’ve seen so far this year.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: A second order of French fries. Also The Bachelor but I don’t feel guilty about it.
What’s up next?: Marie Marie Marlene: A Very Dietrich Cabaret, a crazy little show about Marlene Dietrich that I’ve been co-creating with the terribly talented Victoria Frings, performing at The Red Room on April 15th.
For more on Anastasia, visit www.anastasiaolowin.com. For more on Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, visit www.reconstructionensemble.org