Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spotlight On...Brianna Kalisch

Name: Brianna Kalisch

Hometown: Three Lakes WI

Education: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK)

Favorite Credits: How to choose!? These two stand out very memorable and challenging productions; Seline in A Serious Case of the Fuckits by Anna Jordan (dir Sarah Davy-Hull) Mother Ubu in Ubu Roi at the Garage Theatre Group (dir Micheal Bias)

Why theater?: I feel like it’s always been theatre, I’ve tried to quit a few times and get a “real job” (whatever that means..) but I can’t stay away. And in this age of technology I can’t help but feel that the arts are all the more important; to connect, to remember we are human, to practice empathy. The arts, not just theatre, make a space for that. And I think that’s an important job.

Tell us about The Anthropologist Save The World: The Anthropologist Save The World is a triptych of plays exploring the precarious role of the individual in an age of climate change via the struggles of a smokers’ cessation group, doomsday preppers faced with their moment of truth, and future interactions between human and robot. We are on at the New Ohio as part of the Ice Factory Festival and run July 26th-29th

What inspired you to be a part of The Anthropologists Save The World?: I was part of the first iterations of The Lecture and The Blackout (which make up two pieces of the triptych) back in 2012.  The mission of the Anthropologist is to create a space “where art meets action”. These plays were born out of our quest to discover what the role and responsibility of the individual is when it comes to climate change. The recent political climate (no pun intended) has once again made climate change a hot topic (okay maybe a pun here..) and has us retackling it. Personally, I’ve learned so much from the research and development of this show and am just excited to share it with other people and hopefully ignite the conversation in a new way.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’m really happy that these questions are so easy…yikes!  what kind of theatre… what inspires me…new, courageous, unapologetic theatre. I know it can be stressful (understatement) to make work that doesn't necessarily have dollar signs stamped into it but I love and am inspired by theatre that doesn’t play it safe.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: So many people I’d love to work with! Very keen to work with The Public Theatre and The Guthrie Theatre along with many others.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: People, Places, & Things by Duncan MacMillan. I saw it in London and its coming to St Ann’s Warehouse in October. Very moving, challenging, and dynamic. Denise Gough is a powerhouse.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think a “yet-to-be-discovered” talent would play me and I hope it would be her big break. I like that idea. It would be called… Flying Elephants And Other Improbabilities…actually I have no idea, there’s still lots of life to life yet - lord willing!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would like to go back and see the opening night performance of Cradle Will Rock where due to the WPA temporarily shutting the show down everyone walked a couple miles uptown to a different theatre and the actors performed from the audience with just Marc Blitzstein playing the piano on stage. I’m in love with this story and the ballsy-ness of the artists.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate, always.

If you weren’t working in theater, you'd be____: running away with the circus! I’m actually working on it…

What’s up next?: Personally I’m working on developing a show that combines theatre and circus and finding a producer who is equally excited by the idea. Otherwise I’m very available to any opportunities! The Anthropologist are also currently developing a show call This Sinking Island, their first kid/family friendly production set to premiere in October at University Settlement!

For more on The Anthropologists, visit