Saturday, August 1, 2015

Spotlight On...Nesba Crenshaw

Name: Nesba Crenshaw

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Education: B.A. Emory University

Select Credits: Currently appearing as Joan/Kramer in Vinegar Tom; Biddulph/Gleason in Serious Money; Loti in Territories: The Spoils

Why theater?: There’s nothing like the rush of stepping out in front of a live audience every night.  And, as a performer, theatre allows you the opportunity to continually explore and discover nuances in your character…subtle ones of course.

Who do you play in Vinegar Tom?: Joan and Kramer

Tell us about Vinegar Tom: Vinegar Tom is a one-act play by Caryl Churchill set in early 1600s England during a particular time of social and political unrest.  It focuses on a village where any misfortune is blamed on witchcraft being ‘practiced’ by women who happen to find themselves on the margins of society.  Churchill intercuts the action with a trio of contemporary singers, commenting on the all too resonant narrative.

What is it like being a part of Vinegar Tom?: I absolutely love this play and what it has to say about society and how we treat those who are seen as unconventional or non-conformist.  It began life as a feminist piece of theatre but I think it has a wider scope.  It’s been a very exciting piece to work on with an extremely talented company.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Well I find theatre of most types engaging, but lately, I’ve been most interested in promenade style which I first experienced in London after seeing/experiencing The Masque of the Red Death by Punchdrunk.  Since then, I have to say that that sort of immersive style of theatre is, for me, incredibly enlivening.  I also found London Road at the National Theatre (UK) equally powerful in a very different way; a true story about a murderer, Alecky Blythe recorded interviews with neighbours on the street where he lived and then, with a composer, used their natural speech patterns to create a musical – or a play with music. I found that production so clever and exciting.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I would love to play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – an oldie but goodie.

What’s your favorite showtune?: I recently saw Sunny Afternoon in London, and, although it’s not a ‘show tune’ per se, I just loved Waterloo Sunset in that production (and, of course, the ‘original’ version).

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Anyone at the National Theatre.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Elizabeth McGovern, "A Woman Abroad"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Anything with Mark Rylance.  I’d pay to see him read the phone directory.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Judith/Vinegar Tom

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: My daughter and I have been known to watch "Dance Moms"…

What’s up next?: Back home to London where the search for the next production begins anew.

For more on Vinegar Tom, visit