The 39 Steps: My Dream Show!
It finally happened! I got to perform in "The 39 Steps" at SPARC theater this summer!
This show meant a lot to me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve wanted to be in "The 39 Steps" since I saw it done at Hartford Stage in college. With such a small cast it’s often hard to get into it - particularly for the one female role… but it finally happened and I could not have asked for better humans to have worked with - or at a better time!!!
Like many artists I have been feeling really torn on theatre. I’d dedicated my whole life to this art form which has included lots of sacrifice. When the pandemic hit - it abandoned me. 14 contracts cancelled and I was left questioning my life choices for the first time. Having the time and distance to realize that I’d been hustling so hard that I had lost a lot of my passion for the art form. What did I love about theatre? Did I love it or was it just all I know? Who was I if not an actor? What was I without theatre? … lots of existential dread! Not a unique experience at all but I was feeling bitter. I think part of that bitterness was to protect myself from the hurt of loss.
Then this show came around and reminded me why I love theatre and why I love being a part of theatre… first "The 39 Steps" is a show that has to be experienced live - it uses the collective imagination to create a world that is silly and truthful. It cannot be filmed or experienced passively. It is an argument for the art of theatre. And the underlying theme that nazis are bad is sadly still relevant.
Secondly, To do this show well - the cast has to have utter trust in one another… and I have never trusted a group on stage more. We took care of each other on and off stage. Performing during Covid is no joke and our friends’ shows were being cancelled left and right. It requires a whole new form of trust to perform these days. I laughed so hard and enjoyed myself so much with these humans and I miss them all terribly. They are each so uniquely talented in their own special brand of weird.
I am so grateful to SPARC Theater for doing this show and to our awesome director, Cassidy Brown for casting me… and to my cast; Charlie Lavaroni, Armando McClain, and Malcolm Rodgers for all the laughs, clap circles, weird monk chanting, and hijinks. Thanks for reminding me why I love theatre and why it’s important in this world still. I don’t love it all and a lot needs to change… and I definitely am still experiencing the existential dread, but I know at my core I am an artist and storyteller and always will be.
That’s not all I could say or is as eloquent as I’d like to be… but oh well - So here’s a ridiculous amount of photos… and I have so many more… Photos by the incredible Gregg LeBlanc