Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Spotlight On...Anna Tempte
Hometown: Vipperoed, Denmark
Education: Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute New York
Select Credits: I loved playing Masha in Chekov’s Three Sisters. The cast and crew were absolutely outstanding. It was produced by The Brooklyn Repertory Theatre who is lead by some fierce women. This rendition of the play was set in modern day New York City and featured an ethnically diverse cast, which is more representative of the world we live in today.
Why theatre?: The theatre is a unique and magical place for me. Theatre goers walk into a dark theatre and get transported to another place. There is no other art form where the material is alive and we witness people living in the moment in a non real environment. Theatre is to re live. There is no other art form like it. A painter has a canvas, brushes, etc. A musician has an instrument. Actors are their own instrument. We are a living breathing "canvas".
Who do you play in A History of Servitude?: I play Pedrolino, a shy simpleton man, and Colombia, the sassy servant.
Tell us about A History of Servitude: A History of Servitude is a wacky and wild Commedia dell’Arte performance that is part parody and part improv comedy. A History of Servitude is a comic survey of world history, from the dawn of man to the present. The play examines and celebrates the eternal struggle of the underdog. History remembers men (and to a much lesser extent women, which we point out as well) of greatness, who through conquest, innovation and accomplishment have left an indelible mark on the story of man. But what about the servants of these giants? Using the boldly physical slapstick comedy of Commedia dell’Arte, we bring attention to the contributions of the working class to history, which all too often goes unnoticed. The Great Pyramids of Egypt were built by slaves, but it’s the pharaohs whose names live on. A History of Servitude posits a a comic reminder that the 'little people' are the ones on whose back much of history rests, despite the fact that the masters get all the credit.
What is it like being a part of A History of Servitude?: There is something about working in mask. Much of our personality we define via our face and it's absolutely freeing to “loose” your face and inhabit another. You never know what will happen at rehearsals. What I love about commedia dell’Arte is that a lot of it is improvised. We play these stock characters from the renaissance that we have spiced up to suite modern day. I often leave rehearsal with my stomach hurting from all the laughing!
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Commedia is a rare and unique art form. It's basically street theatre from the renaissance period. Commedia is browdy, zany and wild. There is no “fourth wall" therefore the audience is incorporated into our performances. I believe that artists have been given a gift, we need to use that to better the world. We have a platform where we can be heard and like many before us. Renaissance theatre used comedy and masks to question the authority and speak to the “common” man. I believe that is the longstanding hallmark of good theatre. You leave the theatre or movies with more empathy or rethinking some of your own life.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Lady Macbeth (Shakespeare), Nora (Ibsen) and Bridget Jones (Anybody who knows me will laugh, it’s so me.)
What’s your favorite showtune?: "Pretty Funny" from the musical Dogfight.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to work with Viola Davis, Jessica Lange, John Leguizamo, and Max Von Sydow (My grandmother did theatre with him).
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Renee Zellweger and the movie would probably be called “What Were You Thinking?"
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The Group Theatres production of Waiting for Lefty
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Fringe of Humanity at the Access Theatre
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: City Bakery’s chocolate chip cookies
What’s up next?: We have the months long run now at the Peoples Improv Theatre. After that we are looking to do a traditional 16th century play
For more on Anna, visit www.annatempte.com. For more on A History of Servitude, visit https://departmentoffools.wordpress.com