Friday, September 6, 2013

September crazy

Akia here on this fine crisp Autumn morning. Well not quite but those of us in theatre noon IS morning.

We had a big company meeting last night and we had a few hurdles to figure out. I'm always amazed at how theatre folk are to jump in and save the day.

Within a matter of minutes we had solutions and within a few hours two issues done and taken care of.

September is always a busy month for us and some how no matter what there are always a ton of things to be done.

But then the shows open and we say well that wasn't so bad!  The pure joy of what we do erases all of these sleepless nights.

I'm looking forward to seeing how our new ensemble grows into a strong unit, we are already feeling like family. New and old merging into something exciting.

I'm looking forward to this season and seeing what comes

Please join us on our journey this fall...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet Samantha Coppola!




Meet:  Samantha Coppola
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I have recently become a member and am very excited to begin working with my new family.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I am an active member which means I partake not only in the performance aspect, but also learn about and participate in lab sessions, fundraising and backstage work.

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: I was well informed about what things the company expects of its members.  I was a fairly quick and easy process, which we were guided along with friendliness and openness from its current members.  The welcoming into this new family was very special.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Upon receiving a callback after my initial audition, I joined the rest of the individuals who were called back for a long afternoon full of fun.  We did various exercises that required us to interact and get comfortable with one another.  The experience gave us, the audition-ers, an opportunity to not only see what the company was looking for, but ultimately who they were and what they were all about as well. Everyone was very friendly, organized and supportive!

Q: Why did you choose RSPC ?
A: I love what the company stands for and what its members have to offer.  Everyone has such an open mind and a lot to contribute.  It's working and being around such talented and dedicated performers that really brings out the best in me, which is definitely something one should look for when joining a company.  RSPC also has numerous events constantly going on that allow the company to participate and come together as one.

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: I am a student, finishing my last year at The New School for my BFA in Musical Theatre. I also work part time and audition for theatre, musicals and films.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: Being a new member I am looking forward to seeing how the company works in different aspects: casting, fundraising, etc. I'm excited simply to see how the company really works and what's in store for us as new members. I am eager to see how the casting process works and to be a part of the upcoming events the company is holding! Getting to know my fellow ensemble members is also a very exciting part!

Meet Ari!


Meet:  Arielle (Ari)
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I just got accepted into Rising Sun about a month ago, in July.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I'm an actor.

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: I had heard about Rising Sun on the streets, I guess you could say. I have done a lot of indie theater, but had kind of voyaged on to film and tv. I'd been looking for a home, a place to feel grounded in. I had the audition and they immediately asked me to stay for the callback.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: The callback was a four-hour-long playdate with the other callback-ees and some of the staff. It involved improv, dance, devised theater, cold reading, everything. The callback solidified it for me, I had so much fun and felt so artistically free in a way I haven't for a long time.

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: I like RSP's energy. I think they really believe in making good theater, but also in cultivating good artists. I needed a safe place to grow and explore and not be judged, and that's what RSPC is to me.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A:  I still act in mostly film and tv. I just finished shooting an independent feature film a few weeks ago.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I'm excited for our show line-up, and to work with the resident playwright. I'm also excited to build a foundation with these artists. I'd love to choreograph for Rising Sun at some point, too. That's what's so great about them- they encourage you to use and develop other skills.

Meet Isaac!


Meet:  Isaac Dean
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I became a Rising Sun ensemble member about a month ago

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Within the ensemble I'm an actor

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: My experience was wonderful, everyone I have met within the company has been so welcoming to me.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Call backs were so much fun, the ice breaker activity we did to get to know everyone who were auditioning for the company was amazing

Q: Why did you choose RSPC ?
A: I chose Rising Sun because of the great reputation they have for giving young artist the opportunity to grow in their craft, and also the wonderful support system they have for one another by lifting each member up, and encouraging them to do their best

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: I'm a performance artist who writes and directors his own projects as well as act in them.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I'm excited to get to know all the former ensemble members as well as the new members, and also participating in fundraising events to help the company continue to grow

 

 

Meet Larry!


Meet:  Larry Phillips

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I'm brand new.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Actor

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Lots of playing and building on each other’s ideas.

Q: Why did you choose RSPC ?
A: I enjoy companies that produce both establish and brand new plays. I REALLY think it’s important to do both.

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: Write, cry, write, cry… it's a vicious circle.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I've always liked the idea of ensemble. I love idea of work on different plays with the same people. Working with a group and hopefully building professional and personal ties that will last.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: Outside of the Arts, I'm a huge baseball fan.

 

 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Meet Lauren!


Meet:  Lauren Tyrell



Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I recently joined Rising Sun Performance Company and was thrilled to be asked to be a part of such a great group of diverse individuals who love sharing their ideas, and are committed to strong story telling through their pieces.
Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I am an actor as part of the ensemble currently.

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: I had just finished at a two year acting conservatory and was in need of locating a home base where I could continue to grow as an artist. I saw a notice in Backstage that was looking for new ensemble members, and became intrigued. I fell in love with RSPC's manifest in that everyone participates equally within the company when producing shows.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: The callbacks were so much fun. It was one of the best audition experiences I've had where you were required to do a group warm-up, improv, a dance audition and cold readings for an entire afternoon. Everyone present at the callbacks were supportive and engaged the whole time. At one point, we had to do a movement piece to music across the floor. It was definitely a highlight for me because I love the amount of energy and creativity that can used to tell stories using no words.  I love being able to manipulate movement with my body, as it is physically freeing.

Q: Why did you choose RSPC ?
A: I chose RSPC because I knew this was a company that believes strongly in supporting its ensemble, and is not afraid to take risks. RSPC is very proactive in reaching out to the theater community in terms of generating buzz about their work, which comes from the efforts of its members. I really appreciate that and want to be active in creating dialogue with both audiences and other artists within the community.

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: I work as waitress outside of RSPC for a catering company. During my free time, I enjoy being outside when I can. Hiking is one my favorite things to do, so I usually will find spare time to head to Central Park to do some leisurely walking. If not outside, I attend tap or jazz classes.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I am excited for our upcoming performance season and cannot wait to work with the other ensemble members on all aspects of mounting a stage production. As an actor, participating in directing, producing and writing is vital in this industry and RSPC allows such great opportunities. You become more well-rounded. I get to improve as an artist as I challenge myself to be leader and community member in seeing the success of our shows generate positive audience feedback. We have lab sessions that we hold within the company that can range from monologue work to reading a new play. I'm excited to take part in discussions of new works and workshop them with fellow
company members.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Meet Carl!

 


Meet:  Carl Fengler

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Auditioned for and joined in February 2012

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: Primarily an actor but also helping with marketing and networking, connecting RSP to other talented artists in the field, a win-win situation.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: I love being part of a community of artists.  I've made new friends and participated in some wonderful projects here at RSP.  It's also fantastic that RSP has been around for 12 years, that's huge in the theater world, and has already allowed me to meet some great new people in the NYC theater scene.
Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I loved acting in the original Romantic Comedy, One Room Over, RSP put on last Fall.  I played Leonard, a newly wed who made the poor choice to go cheap on his honeymoon with his lascivious new wife and ended up in a haunted hotel in the boonies of Scotland!  I not only was able to originate the role for a talented new writer, I was able to work with two fantastic actresses that traded off playing my love interest each performance.  Both actresses had different takes, which kept me on my toes, and the show was so fun and physical, blood, sex, humor, everyone had a great time!

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: I am looking forward to growing as an individual artist and as a company.  I love exploring the complexities of romantic relationships and personal journey and some of the titles RSP has submitted for rights explore dark, sexy plays that I'm really excited about.  I'm excited about working more with the people I've known at RSP and I'm excited to meet the new members and work with them.


Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I love learning and being in an environment surrounded by curious, creative people so I'm fortunate to work at New York University in Tisch and help Tisch

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: Last year I had the fortune to being acting in two shows for the RSP Hotel Suite Series:  One Room Over and Bug.  It was a wonderful experience to work in rep, in NYC, performing in 7 shows a week for three weeks.  It created a bonding and comradary with my fellow cast mates and company members.  A particularly unique experience occurred when the theatrical run was hit by hurricane Sandy.  The show had to go on so for the first performance after the storm I walked the 13 miles from my home in Brooklyn to the theater in the Upper West side the whole experience felt surreal, like I was transversing a post-apocalyptic landscape right out of a sci-fi film.  It meant a lot that a good sized audience showed up.  Other companies in the East village performed in candle light and so on, it was special being part of the NYC theater community during that time.

Meet Maggie!


Meet:  Maggie Kissinger
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I was one of the dramaturgy interns last summer and was accepted into the ensemble in December!

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: I am an actor and the Literary Associate.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: RSP is my artistic home because of the people and the work we do. I have so much fun working with the wonderful people involved with RSP! I love working on new plays with are resident playwrights, creating new works as an ensemble and producing off-beat plays that help us to grow creatively and intellectually.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I absolutely loved working on BUG by Tracy Letts. There was so much history to dig up and lots of interesting contextual elements with the characters and setting. It was a dramaturg's dream. I also learned a lot from my co-dramaturg intern working on that show. And then once we put it up, all of the blood and violence was fantastic.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: I am looking forward to continue developing 'Henry's Wives', our ensemble-created play on the lives of Henry VIII's six wives.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: I'm excited to work with all of our new ensemble members!

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: I have personally evolved a lot over the past year. I've learned so much about dramaturgy through my internship and now working in the literary department. I've grown a lot more confident in my abilities. I've seen a couple of my fellow ensemble members become more confident in their individual roles as well and I've got to see new staff come on and really help the company to continue to progress.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Outside of RSPC I am a student at Hofstra University, going into my senior year. I'm studying Drama and Speech Communications. I have been and continue to work as the dramaturg on a department show every semester. I'm the dramaturg for Sam Sheperd's 'A Lie of the Mind' going up in the beginning of October so I'm knee deep in research for that right now! I also work at Hofstra Admissions as a tour guide, and absolutely love it. Walking around and talking about how awesome Hofstra is a perfect job for me.

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: This is hard because pretty much everything I've done with RSPC is my favorite experience. I would have to say my favorite experience so far has been our Literary team meetings that started this summer. Tim, the Literary Manager, Gianfranco and Megan, our literary interns, Cassidy, our Company Management intern who just loves dramaturgy - which is awesome, and I get together every other week and talk about dramaturgy. It's amazing. We read a play, whip up a little dramaturgical presentation and discuss! We've read 'Hamlet', 'Hippolytus' and 'Phaedra' (each chose Seneca or Racine's) and now we're each reading a play based on 'Hippolytus'. Our sessions are so much fun and I am learning an incredible amount about dramaturgy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Meet RJ


Meet:  RJ VerChaud

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A:  I just made it in to this FANTASTIC family

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I am a Performer

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. I immediately felt like part of the family. I have been included in all of their events and fun times!

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Callbacks were like no other. At first I was very nervous when I heard it was going to be five hours, but it was so much fun. It truly was a "go for broke situation".  There was really no wrong way of doing anything!

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: I liked the idea of an ensemble theater. I also just felt very at home in my first audition. The atmosphere was amazing.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Outside RSP, I write music

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I am really excited to see the growth of the company, in general and individual performers. Everyone is so talented.

Meet Larry G!


Meet:  Larry Gutman


Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: 3 years

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A:  Guest Artist

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: The high quality of the work

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: Fool for Love, the ensemble, although The Last Supper wasn't far behind.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: More of the same.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: Anything Akia and the group decide to do.

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: It was good then it got better

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Act as frequently as I can

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: What can compare with dying into a cream pie in The Last Supper.

Meet Samantha Cooper


Meet:  Samantha Cooper

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: 3 ½ years

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: Extended Family/Guest Artist

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: RSP is a great group of artists with whom I enjoy collaborating

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: Stripper Lesbians - wonderful cast, fabulous playwright, challenging play.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: Staying connected and working on new pieces.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: The new members.

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: We have grown as artists and individuals.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Company member - Poetic Theater Productions, Founding Member - Brass Tacks Theatre Collective

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: My callback for the company was the most fun I had had in an audition at the time in New York.  Also, meeting some wonderful people!

 

Meet JPB!


Meet:  John Patrick Bray
 
 

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I met Akia in 2003, and David and Anna shortly after. Akia came to see GOODNIGHT LOVIN' TRAIL at Circle in the Square (downtown, as part of the Actors Studio Drama School's Rep. Season). We hit it off!  RSP then planned a night of my one-act plays which was produced in June, 2004 at the 78th Street Theatre Lab. I think we’ve been in love ever since.

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: These days, I am part of the RSP’s extended family. I have previously been an ensemble member, a resident playwright, and literary manager. I also developed RSP’s Resident Writer program, which I take great pride in.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: RSP’s greatest asset is its ability to create and sustain an artistic community. While various artists have come and gone over the years, RSP still stands as a beacon, calling to us, letting us know that we have a place where we are loved.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: It’s a toss-up between HELLCAB (2005-2006) and GOODNIGHT LOVIN’ TRAIL as part of the Frigid Festival. HELLCAB was exhilarating for me. It was produced at UNDER ST. MARKS, and I remember feeling really warm under the lights. Then, we’d head out back to change our costumes. I could see in the window of a tattoo parlor. I remember standing there, shirtless, somewhere around 11 PM, in January, freezing, and being so alive. GOODNIGHT LOVIN’ TRAIL is one of my most produced one-act plays (thanks to RSP, really). RSP’s first production of the play was in 2004. I was thrilled that I could see it again in 2011 with Nic Mevoli (who was incredible in HELLCAB) reprising the role of “Mr. Coffee and Cigarettes.” I’ve watched him grow as an actor, and I’ve watched him truly become the character. That play was produced in the now defunct The Red Room, a space I have great affection for (as I do for UNDER ST. MARKS), and which I miss terribly. It's great to work with a company who's been around the city for so long.  You meet such a wide network of family artists and friends.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: I'm mostly in Georgia these days, but it is my hope to attend any one of the exciting shows RSP has to offer!

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: First of all: Season 12. How many Indie companies in NYC can boast that they are going into Season 12? That's just phenomenal!

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: I think everyone involved has brought something to RSP. In terms of my own evolution - much has happened since Akia and I first met (ten years!). I'm certainly more grounded (comes with being older), less paranoid (comes with being older), and really love my place in the theatre world (comes with being older).

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I am a lecturer at the University of Georgia. I teach dramatic writing and theatre appreciation classes. I am also a member of the Graduate Faculty, and I've delivered papers at ATHE, ASTR, MATC, and Theatre Symposium. I continue to write plays. Some have had productions, some have had readings, and some have been published. Feel free to give me a visit: www.johnpatrickbray.webs.com

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: Some things should just not be put in print. ;)

 

Meet Jenna!!


Meet:  Jenna Rafferty
 

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: 1 year

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A:  Company Manager & Resident Stage Manager

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: RSP is a big, crazy family full of talented people you can always be yourself around. As soon as you join you are welcomed with open arms...literally! We love hugs! It's a group that makes you feel like you belong and you are valued.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I stage managed Bug for Hotel Suite. This will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first show with RSP. I started as an intern during this project and officially joined the ensemble after Hotel Suite.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: I'm looking forward to continuing to work with old members and getting to know and work with new members more. I look forward to seeing the new ensemble mesh and come together to do what we love.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: I am excited for Hellcab! I was not a part of RSP when they put this show up the first time and I have heard nothing but great things about it so I am super excited to have some part in it this time around.

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: Well...I literally went from intern (this didn't last very long), to ensemble member, to company manager in one year!  Crazy, right?! But what a trip it has been! I have got to know our ensemble members more and more and I find that I'm always learning something new about each of them and their talents. We have a pool of people with all kinds of talents and skills that always make me smile and keep me thinking.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I was substitute teaching and I stage manage amazingly talented musical theatre middle and high school kids in New Jersey.

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: I have a lot of favorite experiences with RSP but I think my absolute favorite is that many of us are also very involved with the NYIT Awards...another amazing group of people! My favorite recent experience was the IT Awards nom party! What a fantastic event where the indie theatre community comes together to celebrate our accomplishments!

Meet Ashleigh!


Meet:  Ashleigh Herndon
 
 

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Since early 2012

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: I'm an actor with the ensemble, and I just became Resident Choreographer.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: There are commercial theatre projects, and then there are projects that are done by a group of people who really love what they do. RSP is the latter. Although it's always great to pay the bills with theatre work, I find that some of the most artistically fulfilling moments happen when you are exploring new material, experimenting on collaborative projects, and working with a group of like minded individuals.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I think the most fun I've had recently was during our weekend intensive at the beginning of June. Our literary manager, Tim, conducted a devised theatre workshop. I loved seeing all the individual talents that our group possesses.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: The show that initially sparked my interest with RSP was Henry's Wives. We work-shopped it for about six months last year, and I look forward to approaching this after some time away!

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: Henry's Wives!

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: We come from a broad spectrum of theatre and performing arts backgrounds and interest. We have ensemble members who produce and direct films (watch our indie gogo video from last year!), write music, dance, stage manage, operate marionettes, and rule social media. We had a guest artist opera singer for our Speakeasy. Our members have backgrounds in commercial theatre, educational theatre, street theatre, and indie theatre. We evolve as an ensemble through what we glean from each other.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I'm a dance teacher and babysitter. Currently I am seeking my personal training certification!

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: This past fall, I was in one of our one acts in Room 128. During the five minute play I crammed my mouth full of doughnuts (and often hair). Since this show I have lost all desire to eat doughnuts.

Meet Kimberly



Meet:  Kimberly DiPersia

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I'm a new ensemble member -- I just joined for the 2013-2014 Season.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Right now, I am foremost an actress, but I also provide support and assistance to RSPC wherever they need me - events, fundraisers, etc.

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: I submitted for and was selected to attend their Open Call auditions. The weekend following, I was invited to their Callbacks, which were comprised of improv, team-building exercises, movement, dance, and cold readings.  I was excited to see such a thorough approach to selecting ensemble members - RSPC really gave us all an in-depth getting-to-know-you process - and I immediately wanted to work with them because of it.  Happily, I "made the cut" and was invited to join. The rest is history.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: As I mentioned, callbacks were really exciting.  I felt that RSPC really cared about building a true ensemble and developed an afternoon that was set to do exactly that.  I loved plunging into the improv and ice-breaker activities, which warmed everyone up and got us comfortable.  Then we did dance and movement, which was challenging, but still enough fun to laugh over our missteps.  By that point, I felt like everyone had bonded great with one another, and then we moved on to improv scenes, then finally cold readings - and being so relaxed and warmed-up, those flowed naturally.  I loved reading my scenes and watching others take the stage as well.  It was also exciting to get a peek at possible productions for the season.  I walked away from callbacks thinking, "Yes, sign me up!"

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: RSP not only charmed me with the callback process, but they've also been around for twelve years-- and that's impressive for an indie theatre company in NYC.  RSP is super-organized, has a strong mission statement, and is comprised of individuals who get stuff done. Plus, as shown by recent NYIT Awards Nominations, they do great quality creative work, and that's important to me.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: In addition to cultivating my career as an actress, I am also a founding member and producer of Hanging Charlie Productions - a film production company based out of Astoria, NY. We recently had a film in the finals for the Best of New York 2013 in the 48 Hour Film Project, and we are gearing up for a SAG-AFTRA New Media Web Series, so that's a thrilling part of my life right now.

On my personal side, I enjoy a calm Astoria life with my fiancé and our little dog, Zora, and planning the final touches of our wedding in October of this year. :)

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: RSP is comprised of such wonderful and supportive people, that I've just begun to know. I look forward to working with them all, getting to know everyone better, and seeing what amazing productions we will create.


Meet Christina W


Meet:  Christina L Williams
 

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Since this past June. I'm a newbie.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Acting

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: Well it took me by surprise. RSP has a very exact image of what's important to them as an ensemble and what interests them, interests me as well. After my orientation I thought to myself, what are these people psychic or something? They've just read my mind and I'm a little bit scared but in a good way.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Omg, I've never been to a 5 hour callback before filled with theatrical games, improv, dancing and cold readings. I wasn't even worried about if I was going to get in or not at that point I just knew I had so much fun that day.

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: I wanted to be a part of a company where I could be involved in the creative process and bring ideas to the table and that's exactly what they welcome and ask for. Also they are diverse and work very much like a family and that agrees with me.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I'm still a student so I go see shows, watch movies and read books/plays. I also LOVE to bake, cook too but mostly bake. Family and friends are very important to me so I make time no matter what!

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: To perform but also being involved in the creative process. I've always been curious about lighting, sound, costuming and stage design so I'm looking forward to being a part of that as well.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: Whoever knows how to make homemade cheese ravioli please be my friend!

 

 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Meet Marquis!


Meet:  Marquis Wilson

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I've been involved officially for going on 2 months now. A rookie.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I am an ensemble member/actor.

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: It was nerve racking and really fun. I've never been a part of an ensemble company before, so I was really excited to try it out for a change. And it worked out for me, and I'm happy that it did.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Callbacks were very fun. They also went on for a long time. And they were also still callbacks so I still had to remember that I had a task ahead of me, which was to put my best foot forward as far as auditioning, but the atmosphere was wonderful. I got to know a lot of really cool and nice people, so it was all around great.

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: RSP seemed like a great environment, and when I got to view just how involved everyone is from the start, I knew I made a good choice.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I am a Theatre and Media and Communications double major. I worked as a front desk agent at a hotel. I'm in school full time. I play basketball. I'm a part of an acapella group during school time. I like to make music from time to time. A bunch of things.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I am excited for all of the upcoming events and happenings that I can possibly be a part of, and see all the creative processes of my fellow members. I can't wait to see how it all goes. I really want to get involved in many other ways and be an integral part of the organization, in whatever way I can. All of the opportunities that I will soon see and find out about. It's a new thing for me, and I love getting involved in new things.

Meet Cristina R




Meet:  Cristina M Ramos

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Just a few weeks!

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: I hope to function primarily as an actor as well as potentially a playwright, among many other things!

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A:  I was actually really excited about these auditions. From the moment I started filling out my audition form, I had an inkling this would be the group for me. They were just asking all the right questions! And the format of the audition really gave me the opportunity to showcase who I am as an actress, singer, writer, and just general performer which few auditions really do.

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Unfortunately, I was away for callbacks. I was really nervous that it would hurt my chances of joining the ensemble, and I do feel like I'm one step behind on the "getting to know you" trip, but all the more reason to catch up quickly!

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: I chose RSP because I was immensely excited about the idea of having a theatre community to call my own, as well as an ensemble that I could learn with, take risks with, make mistakes with, and ultimately grow with.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Outside of RSP I work in retail, advise/write/create for Get Smart Mentoring for teens and young adult women, audition like a crazy woman, take dance classes, occasionally stage manage, write whenever I have a modicum of time, learn the ukulele when I have 2 modicums of time, and sometimes dance burlesque under the stage name ChaCha La Brava, among other things :)

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I am really excited about getting to know all of the ensemble members. The whole idea of ensemble theatre is to have such comfort with your fellow actors that you can take some really great risks. I know that level of comfort will take some time, but I am so excited to put in that time this season.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: I just can't wait to share MYSELF with this amazing company and it's equally amazing audiences!

Meet Peter!


Meet:  Peter Buck Dettmann
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Since June 2013.

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Actor
Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Callbacks were an absolute blast. Everyone had such a great attitude, and I felt totally safe, but also challenged in exciting ways.
Q: Why did you choose RSPC?
A: I love the idea of working consistently with the same group of energetic and imaginative theater practitioners, and building lasting personal and professional bonds.

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: I'm currently playing The Clown in "Othello" at the American Theater of Actors, and working on some independent short film projects. I also write for the stage, and am currently working on a short comedy in verse about a catastrophic wedding day.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I can't wait to work with all my new colleagues and collaborators!

Meet Phoebe!


 
Meet:  Phoebe Leonard
Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Since July 2013

Q: What is your primary function within the ensemble?
A: Actor

Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: The audition process was a far cry from any audition I've ever done before.   It was very relaxed, very friendly and I left hoping like hell that I'd make it to the call backs.  It was also the first time I auditioned using monologues I'd written myself, which was terrifying at first but ultimately very rewarding.
Q: What were callbacks like?
A: The call backs were so much fun!  It felt more like an acting workshop than a casting situation.   It was a great way to get to know the current RSPC members as well as the potential new recruits.  It was a great feeling to be in a call back and instead of feeling competitive and insecure thinking "These people are great and I want to work with them all!"

Q: Why did you choose RSP?
A: I'm a big believer in the importance of the ensemble as a whole and RSPC really emphasized their position as an ensemble company.  Being from a long way out of town (roughly 9935 miles to be exact) I was looking for an artistic base and a theatre family in New York that I could collaborate and grow with as an artist.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I'm a screenwriter, playwright and occasional bar tender.

Q: What are you most excited about with the upcoming season?
A: I'm excited by the prospect of collaborating on an original devised show with other ensemble members, and I can't wait to find out more about the productions planned for the upcoming season. This is my first season as an actor in New York having spent the last twelve months studying.  I'm excited to tread the boards again and make some magic with the RSPC crew.  I'm also looking forward to telling my folks back in Australia that I'm performing off-off Broadway!

Meet Hanna!


 

Meet: Hanna Sender

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I just joined the ensemble!
Q: What are you excited about with RSP's Upcoming Season?
A: I'm excited to start working with all of the previous members of the ensemble, as well as with all of the new ensemble members who just joined with me!
Q: Tell us about your experience of entering the ensemble.
A: It was a fun, exciting, and welcoming experience. It definitely feels like I am joining a group of people who are happy and passionate about what they do--both the current ensemble members, and the staff!

Q: What were callbacks like?
A: Callbacks felt, to me, very much like acting classes that I took in school; leave your ego at the door, take risks, don't be afraid to fail, support the work happening around you, and most of all, have fun! I had a wonderful time at the callbacks.

Q: Why did you choose RSPC?
A: RSPC is an established company that is full of passionate people, and it seems like a company that will really allow me to grow and continue learning.

Q: What do you do outside of RSPC?
A: I just graduated college, so I'm doing what many recently graduated actors do--working in restaurants and auditioning!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Meet Sammy D


You've seen her as a Flapper, a Fly Girl, a Murderer, a Meddling Courtisan and a .. Donut. 
She's our resident provider of spunk and sass!
Meet: Sammy DeSimone

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Since 2012

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: Actress--specializing in inanimate objects :)

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: A true sense of team. I come from an athletic background as well as artistic and the fact that this company stands strong with all of their members it what hooked me in the first place. Plus it's so refreshing to see artists working together and encouraging each other in this big city instead of just trying to get ahead.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: This past season I had the privilege of performing in two of the one acts for Room 128. One where I got to play a twisted serial killer...and a donut. Back to back. I have to say being able to juggle those roles in one evening is probably the most I've been stretched for a show and the most fun I've ever had--plus my parents were super proud to see their sprinkle clad little girl!

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: More original works and more works from unpublished playwrights. There's so much material out there and unearthing those magic nuggets has been such an amazing experience.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: I'm most excited to be returning to Henry's Wives--an original RSP piece that retells the history of Henry VIII's wives--from their perspective. Because who doesn't love re-writing history?

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: I joined this ensemble straight out of college last year--and I graduated from a program where I shared a classroom, shared a stage and occasionally shared a beer with the same twenty people. That was completely turned upside down when I was thrown headfirst into a this group of strangers but coming into this environment I have seen myself grow and evolve into a much more mature actress who is willing to take risks due to the nurturing support system of this ensemble

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I'm an avid crafter. Pinterest has got nothing on me!

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: Nothing tops the rehearsal of "Welcome to the Hotel Donut" held in Central Park--in the middle of the afternoon. Let me tell you--all those people got a free show!

Meet Andrea!

Andrea's been with us since our 10th season, she's probably one of our most dedicated ensemble members, she commutes from upstate NY for every RSP event! (thats 2 hours each way!!)

Meet:  Andrea Cordaro






Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: I have been with Rising Sun since their tenth anniversary season in 2010.

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: I am an ensemble actor in the company.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: Let's just begin with the fact the Rising Sun has a hell of a lot of integrity, organization, professionalism, and a warm environment. It starts with Akia Squitieri and trickles down from there. And because of that the company attracts really great talent. I love that artistically we're always doing different types of work. And it's an incredible support network.  Akia runs her theater company like a family. But we also get a lot done, because of our incredible administrative team, and the devotion of our members.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I'm not one for favoritism. I love every role and every show differently. Does a mother pick favorites among her children? Well, she shouldn't!

But I can tell you about a few fun ones. Our last production (and fundraiser) "Shh...it's A Speakeasy!"  was a great experience. It's always fun learning dance choreography from the amazing Ashleigh Herndon. She has incredible patience and her choreography is just really fun and flirty. But perhaps what I really enjoyed was the opportunity to do improv all night and get lost in a character for a few hours straight.

"Crapshoot", a variety style show we performed last summer, was crazy fun. I particularly enjoyed playing the stuffy and ridiculous British dog portraiture artist, Eliza Duke. Why? Because real life pretension can only be made better by the most ridiculous sounding British dialect you can muster!

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: I look forward to continuing to develop my craft with Rising Sun and getting to know some of our new members.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: I am very much looking forward to working with Tim Butterfield on "Henry's Wives" coming this Season. I spent a lot of time with Anne Boleyn during our previous workshop of the piece. Aside from being a dream role, I've cultivated a deep connection with her, and too with the other women in my ensemble. I'm looking forward to seeing her become fully realized onstage.

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: The administrative side has definitely grown. We get the most incredible interns, and it's not surprising when they go on to jobs in major theaters and productions.

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Meet Mike!


Meet Mike, he might have made your skin crawl in his realistic portrayal of Peter in Bug last fall, but we swear, he's truly just a nice quiet guy!  In addition to his wonderful acting work, he's also our resident playwright for 2013/2014. 


Meet:  Mike Aguirre

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Around one year

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: Resident Playwright
Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: There is an amazing dedication to doing great work, and both Akia and Tim have been nothing but supportive towards work-shopping and developing new works.  When I have a new script that's ready to be read, they go out of their way to set up the time, people, and feedback that's needed to keep writing.
Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: I was fortunate enough to play Peter in a production of Tracy Letts' BUG last Fall, a production that was a part of the Hotel Suite.  I've never played a more intense and physically demanding role.  Every rehearsal was exhausting and every performance was thrilling.
Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: It's great to work with a company who's been around the city for so long.  You meet such a wide network of family artists and friends, it feels like a community.
Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: Hopefully mounting a new script that I've been developing with the ensemble...
Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: Outside of RSPC, I teach GED courses (mostly math).  It's actually a great exercise for my brain because teaching math is the absolute OPPOSITE of theater (and let's face it: we need a little break from theater every once in a while)
Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: During BUG rehearsals, Akia and the cast went upstate to a beautiful cottage for the weekend to rehearse.  The city is so busy that it was almost therapeutic to have nothing to think about except the script and the story.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Meet Ryan!


Meet Ryan, he's better known as Cowboy Ryan or Duse around these parts.

His work in RSP's production of Fool for Love just recieved two New York Innovative Theatre Award Nominations! 

Slide up on partner, and get to know our boy from the Lone Star State a little bit better!

 
 

Meet:  Ryan Carter Dusek

Q: How long have you been involved with Rising Sun Performance Company?
A: Around a year and a half.

Q: What is your primary role with RSP?
A: Actor and mischief maker.

Q: Why is RSP your artistic home?
A: The team-work and family like atmosphere keep me with RSP. They are my home away from home.

Q: What was your favorite RSP Show or Role? Why?
A: My favorite would have to be playing Eddie in "Fool for Love". I've always wanted to play him and have great love for the writings of Sam Shepard. The NYITA nominations that came later were certainly a bonus.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing/ experiencing with RSP?
A: More of the same, and helping our new faces find their artistic voice.

Q: What are you excited about for Season 12?
A: HellCab! Hell yeah!

Q: How have you seen the ensemble, including yourself, evolve?
A: We have become a cohesive group where no one person stands out, but we as a group of artists stand as one.

Q: What do you do outside of RSP?
A: I am an actor and bartender.

Q: Favorite Memory or experience in RSP?
A: I loved meeting for speakeasy rehearsals where we just sat and played poker. Now that's a great rehearsal!