Sarah Nealis returns to the Blogosphere

Hello Cal Shakes fans and aimless internet wanderers alike, this is Sarah returning to the land of Blog for some more notes and musings on life in the theater.

Why am I doing this? That’s the question on my brain right now. It’s a bit nuts. I am currently quite overwhelmed with “double-duty,” rehearsing Pericles during the day and still performing in The Trojan Women at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley at night. These days are crazy. Par exemple, as the French say, yesterday I spent the morning ruminating on what it’s like to reunite with one’s parents (one long-lost, the other presumed dead), then spent a little time romping around a sea of rugs, trying to escape rape at the hands of both Alex Morf and Danny Scheie (yikes!, I mean he’s a dear friend and all, but…YIKES!) at two different times. Not to mention an evening of Greek tragedy over at the Aurora spilling my guts out to my “mother” (Hecuba) and a room of women who think I’m crazy. I mean, really, why am I doing this? And always the same silly answer always comes up, loud and clear, “What else would I do?”

Enough of that. Pericles!!! Joel Sass! I love them both. This show is going to be such a delight to perform, a nice change from rubbing a bunch of poop on my face (makeup), throwing on a bloody wedding dress (paint), and lamenting my being cursed by Apollo (Cassandra in The Trojan Women). Not in Pericles! We all get to play mucho characters, who all move and speak in tempo with their own worlds of origin. We are making up all of these worlds, rather than taking them literally, historically from some big smarty-pants text. Our worlds are ancient, of another element than we are used to; at least, that is our goal. So far, the process if delightful.

Another exciting thing about this piece, selfishly, is that I get to go from playing a daughter corrupted into incest by her… hmmm… confused, lonely, and creepy father, to the daughter of our hero Pericles, who herself goes on a hero’s journey of sorts. And of course, she is good, speaks from the heart and all that. So, you see, very different. Today actually, Ron Campbell (who is playing the creepy father) and I started off the morning by (again!) rolling around on the carpet to create a sort of dance that suggests the development of the perversion of our relationship. Sounds kinky, eh? It’s so much fun. We have a group of truly fearless artists, willing to jump right in and find these worlds that can only exist in the farthest stretches of our imaginations. Don’t miss it!

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