Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spotlight On...Brenna Palughi

Name: Brenna Palughi

Hometown: Center Conway, New Hampshire

Education: MFA from Yale School of Drama

Select Credits: Zelda Fitzgerald in Muse, the title role in Pheadre (Ted Hughes trans.), originated roles in 99 Ways
to Fuck a Swan
by Kim Rosenstock, Babs the Dodo by Michael Mitnick and Flowers by Jose Rivera at Yale; Sophie in Naked in a Fishbowl at The Cherry Lane Theater; The Bird in Birdgirl at HERE.

Why theater?: Nothing beats the audience. Also, it's ride, you get on once the curtain goes up and there is no getting off it until the end of the show. You don't get that in film. It's magic.

Tell us about Scared of Sarah?: Scared of Sarah is a wonderful play by Laura Brienza. It's about fear, siblings, autism, marriage, empathy. It tackles these things honestly, fearlessly and with humor.

What is it like to be a part of Scared of Sarah?: It's great, we have had the great fortune to rehearse at the Lark. It has been wonderful to have a steady home to build our world. Also, every member of the team is unbelievably committed and talented, so that always makes for an amazing process. Everyone is bringing it. Carly Daucher and Nate Grams are playing my sister and her husband and are killing it. Reginald L. Douglas is directing. He is so wonderful to work with. We have discovered a lot together. I am really excited for these next 4 rehearsals before we open. It is always a good thing when you can't wait to go to rehearsal.

What kind of theater speaks to you?: I like challenging theater. Theater that makes me sit up and wake up. I saw Jerusalem in the fall and I thought about it for months after. I thought about the themes and what made me laugh and the performances. I couldn't figure out why I had reacted so emphatically towards Rooster. He is a despicable man but it was devastating for me to watch his fall. I felt challenged by that play. Also Mark Rylance is my favorite. So that was part of it too.

What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like to work with people who know how to do things that I don't know how to do yet. I find if I am working with people who are great actors, designers, directors, writers, etc. I listen and watch. They lift me up and make me a better artist.

What are your favorite audition pieces?: I audition mainly for film and tv so I don't do monologues very much anymore. My favorite audition circumstance is when I get the whole script for what I am auditioning for. When I was using monologues more, someone passed on a great male monologue to me. I used it for years. Sometimes I would get an eyebrow raise when I said I was about to do Charles, but it was a great fit for me. I think it is good to ask a friend to pick one for you and you pick one for them.

Any role you’re dying to play?: Any well written female role that has an arc and is not just there to further the plot for the male character's arc. There are many and I hope I get to play as many of them as possible. I would love to Yelena in Uncle Vanya. I also LOVE working on new plays!

What’s up next?: I just wrapped an untitled short film where I have an epic sword fight so I am looking forward to seeing that after the editing process. Two days after Scared of Sarah closes I am hopping on a plane to Edinburgh to do Naked in a Fishbowl at the Fringe out there. It is exciting to be part of two Fringes!

For more information on Scared of Sarah, please visit