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Archive for May, 2012

Dazzling Possibilities

Isabella Andreini“Why are you writing a show about that?” asked my mom when I told her I was writing a one woman show about an actress from the 16th century. Truth is, I’ve asked myself the same question many times.

Isabella Andreini was born in 1562, just two years before William Shakespeare. At sixteen she stepped out on the Italian commedia dell’Arte stage and became a superstar unlike any before her. Women onstage, forbidden entirely in England, were still a bit of a novelty in continental Europe. Most female performers were considered little better than prostitutes. Isabella changed all that. Not only was she a compelling performer, she was well-educated, fluent in several languages, a prolific writer of poetry, and maintained a virtuous reputation throughout her life. All this and she had seven children in the process. Busy lady. Read more

Playing Nice in the Sandbox

Can I contribute too?

We are now about four weeks into rehearsals for The Divine Madness of Isabella. The show centers on Isabella Andreini, a 16th century actress of the commedia dell’Arte. Usually around the time I say that, I see people’s eyes glaze over. But the play is about many familiar things: making choices that disappoint our fathers, arguing with our spouses and BFFs, doing things that scare us because people depend on us, and that moment of inspiration when it all comes together. Read more