Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spotlight On...Rebecca Knowles

Name: Rebecca Knowles

Hometown: Medfield, MA (currently Brooklyn, NY!)

Education: BFA Point Park University, additional training at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the American Theatre Wing’s SpringboardNYC.

Select Credits: The Girls in White at 54 Below with Michael Cerveris, PINWHEEL! (world premiere, Random Access Theatre), Save the Robots (NYMF), Pride and Prejudice (Theatre for the New City), Pittsburgh CLO, Dixon Place, Pittsburgh Playhouse REP, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Joe’s Pub.

Why theater?: Oh my gosh, there’s something so powerful about people coming together to sit in silence in a dark room to collectively experience a snippet of human life. I love that theatre helps me to empathize, encourages me to ask questions, and allows me to take creative risks. Plus, I enjoyed playing pretend when I was growing up and I’m always glad to have an acceptable excuse to wear ball gowns on a regular basis, or break out in to song and dance, or dress up like a human fly (all true).

Who do you play in A Month In The Country?: I play Vera, the 17 year old ward who ends up in a rather unfortunate love triangle. She has this amazing arc that I get to delve in to each night over the course of two hours, beginning so full of exuberance and wide-eyed whimsy, and then realizing that growing up and falling in love aren’t quite what she imagined them to be.

Tell us about A Month In The Country: It’s a classic Russian play by Ivan Turgenev who was a playwright around about 40 years before Anton Chekhov. A comedy (no one dies, hooray!) that revolves around Natalya, who’s unfulfilled by her current lifestyle and wants more. (I’m all about a good female anti-hero). She ends up vying for the forbidden love of her son’s 21 year old tutor (definite no-no), a scheme which threatens to destroy the lives of her current lover Michel and her ward, Vera (that’s me!) It’s funny, poignant, steamy(!), moving, and full of love triangles. Let me tell you, a lot happens over the course of a week in the country, let alone a month!

What is it like being a part of A Month In The Country?: I’m so thrilled to be a part of this cast, directed by Susanna Frazer. It’s my first time performing with The Morningside Players and they’re so welcoming and so full of passion for what they do. We have actors of all ages represented in our show so I’ve enjoyed being able to learn from everyone and to see how the show continues to grow and evolve now that we’re in the midst of our run.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love that theatre can exist on a multi-million dollar budget and that theatre can exist in a hole-in-the-wall black box, or in someone’s living room. I think that’s pretty magical and such a unique quality that this art form has. I’m inspired by all of my friends creating their own work, and I’m inspired by projects that move me in some way, whether they leave me laughing or inspire me to think about something in a new light.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I would love to do more classical work but I also really enjoy being a part of the creative process on new works. So ideally I’d love to keep doing a bit of both!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to just be in the same room as Viola Davis because I think she has this incredible capacity to bring such life to human beings. Other people at the top of my wishlist are actors Amy Adams (because of course), Tina Fey, America Ferrera, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rachel Bloom, Brie Larson. Directors Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Banks, Niki Caro, Anna D. Shapiro, Liesl Tommy, and Erica Schmidt. Producers Dana Calvo, Marta Kauffman, Reese Witherspoon, Elizabeth Meriwether. Also Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who is this wonderful Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker whose work I was just recently introduced to. PSA: If you are reading this and know any of these people, please tell them I very much admire their work!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It would be called "Where the Sidewalks Sparkle" because that’s my favorite part of NYC. And hmm, is it cheating to cast myself? Probably. I will think on it!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: So many! I missed A Streetcar Named Desire at St. Ann’s Warehouse last year and would have loved to have seen that. Also Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Ooh, my friend and I saw The Play That Goes Wrong a few weeks ago and I have not laughed that much or that hard since I don’t know when. The comedy is well-crafted and brilliantly executed--I had an absolute blast. So, after you come see my show, go see that show!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Cheese. Anything cat-related. Things that sparkle.

What’s up next?: I'm producing, writing, and acting in my own web series about a plucky feminist princess who trades in her castle for the concrete jungle of NYC. Peek at my Instagram! @rebeccasunnybrookfarm

For more on Rebecca, visit