Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Spotlight On...Barrie Linberg
Hometown: Upland, California
Education: BA Drama University of California, Irvine
Select Credits: Carmen la Cubana (u/s Carmen, Paquita, Châtelet Theatre, Paris, arrangements by Alex Lacamoire and Jaime Lozano, directed by Christopher Renshaw); Crazy in Love (Young Nora, original cast, written by Kooman and Dimond, directed by Al Blackstone); The Yellow Brick Road (La Bruja, composed by Jaime Lozano, directed by Dev Janki); The Full Monty (Estelle Genovese, regional)
Why theater?: I'm an introvert by nature, so theatre is a wonderful opportunity to safely connect with other people in a way I don't get to in real life. I've also joked that singing is the only socially acceptable way to scream in public...sometimes you need to just let it out!
Who do you play in Children of Salt?: I play Coral, "the one that got away" of Raúl, the main character. When Raúl comes back to his hometown after 20 years away, she is forced to reconcile the feelings she once had for Raúl with her current life as a wife and mother.
Tell us about Children of Salt?: It's a beautiful show, a true "memory play", based on the play Niños de Sal by Mexican playwright Hernán Galindo. Our main character Raúl, played by the EXTRAORDINARY Mauricio Martinez, returns to his hometown after 20 years away and is confronted by the literal and figurative ghosts of his past, forcing him to reflect on his decisions and their consequences. It's joyous, desperate, and beautifully human all at the same time.
What is it like being a part of Children of Salt?: The cast and creatives have become like family. All of us come from different backgrounds, but we support and love each other whole-heartedly. It's a truly collaborative process, and with such esteemed artists, it's exhilarating to see what we create every day. I haven't felt this way about a piece of theatre in a long time!
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love shows that illuminate the stories of people who have been overlooked, whether it be because of race, religion, gender, or simply their life choices. Or raucous comedy! Laughter is a powerful force. My fellow artists do! It's so delicious to get to know dynamic, intelligent people outside of the theater and then see how their essences are translated through their art. It's transformative.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Pick a Schuyler sister, any Schuyler sister! I'd love play Gloria in On Your Feet! or Vanessa in In The Heights, but my first love is actually comedy, so Bea in Something Rotten! or the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot are pretty high on the list as well. Or Bobby in a gender-bent version of Company!
What’s your favorite showtune?: You know what's funny, "Another Hundred People" always stops me in my tracks. It's an oddly upbeat song about the near-impossibility of making meaningful human connections, which is something that speaks to me on a very deep level. But if you see me dancing down the sidewalk, there's a good chance I'm blasting "My Shot".
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: When I auditioned for Carmen last year, I briefly worked with Alex Lacamoire, but he wasn't able to come out to Paris for the show itself. He's obviously a brilliant musician, but I also felt like he was such a genuinely lovely person, which can be a rarity in this industry! I'd love to get the chance to really work with him in future.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It would be called "Ambiguous Alto" and I would be played by the queen of ambiguously ethnic women, Rashida Jones.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I've watched the VHS (yes, VHS!) of the original cast of Into the Woods countless times, but to get to see it live...!
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Children of Salt, of course! Hamilton is astounding, but I always also recommend On Your Feet! and The Color Purple for anyone who wants to leave the theatre on a high.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I love to take myself to the movies to watch the latest animated children's movie. I usually sneak in a can of Dr. Pepper and a box of Red Vines and just sort of bliss out into a temporary childhood for a few hours. Putting "adulting" on hold for a while is good for my soul!
What’s up next?: I'll be performing on the Seabourn Odyssey for a few months this fall as well as touring with my female vintage vocal group, America's Sweethearts. There's also talk of remounting Carmen la Cubana in Europe for 2017, so I'm crossing my fingers for that!