Online. I had the privilege of getting a sneak peek of The Subject last year. The Subject is a thrilling film, making its premiere at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. It’s written by Chisa Hutchinson, a wildly talented playwright and screenwriter, who has contributed work and support to Staging Film. It’s directed by the endlessly perceptive Lanie Zipoy, a longtime Muse advocate and advisor. It stars Emmy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis and Jason Biggs in completely engrossing performances. It also features Vanessa Aspillaga who was a Muse in 2018! Follow the film on the festival circuit here.
Prior to the June 11th screening, I interviewed director Lanie Zipoy and star Nile Bullock on Zoom/Facebook Live. Check out our conversation below.
Online. Several theater initiatives and/or companies I am affiliated with have issued statements supporting Black Lives Matter. It's not enough by any stretch, and it can feel and look like performative activism; but, then again, I tend to think all activism is performative until it's not. All said, statements are a start and here is the statement we put out from The Muse Project. It is also currently posted on our website (and some language and grammar adjustments continue to be made to this statement since its original publication to more accurately reflect and correct The Muse Project's goals, intentions, and values). It's more glaring than ever that American theater continues to be dominated and led by mostly White (and, of course, cis-male) voices, and this needs to evolve. My plan with The Muse Project has been and is to get the organization into a well oiled place within the next few years, incorporating passing the torch to new, diverse and inclusive actress-leadership. Thanks to all my non-Black friends & colleagues who are standing in solidarity with our Black artists, colleagues, audience members, & advocates. And thank you to all my Black friends and colleagues - who are inspiring artists, activists, & humans. #BlackLivesMatter
Online. I was interviewed by Alan Winson for the podcast series, Hunkered Down. Check it out here.
Jocelyn Suzanne Kuritsky is an actor, theater producer, and "a creative" – who has appeared in over 20 NYC productions and performed in DC at the Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center and Theatre Alliance. She is a three-time Princess Grace Award nominated performer, and co-founder of the Woodshed Collective – an immersive theatre that has won mega awards. Jocelyn is also the creator of The Muse Project, dedicated to empowering women theatre actors. And – by her own description – Jocelyn is a flitting flirt.
Online. DPS Playwright Ken Urban introduces the original Off-Broadway cast of his play The Awake featuring performances by Maulik Pancholy, Andy Phelan, and Lori Prince for DPS On Air. I loved being in the premiere of this play back in 2013 with Maulik, Andy, Lori, Jeff Biehl and Dee Nelson. (And below Ken's DPS On Air segment is a scene from the play that we shot with me and Lori). Enjoy!
Anywhere USA. Quarantine selfie. Wearing this sweatshirt a lot; thinking about the inequities we’re wading through. Grateful I can mostly stay indoors and social distance. Our greatest social movement right now is social stillness. Furious every day about this administration’s incompetence. Glad Obama spoke out about it and the growing “selfish mindset” in American life. Vote. Bend over backwards to vote and bend over backwards to make sure others can vote. #stayhome #bestill #thelivesofothers #patience #weallaffecteachother #vote #voteineverydamnelection #itmatters
NYC. I am a guest panelist for Seeing Rape, a program featuring new writing from students at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC. Other panelists include: Adrienne Truscott, Jennifer Baumgardner, Karina Aybar, Colleen Cilwick, Musarrat Lamia, & Euxhenia Hodo. The panel is moderated by Shonna Trinch and Barbara Cassidy.
FaceTime. The wonderfully talented Sammy Tunis (photographer, actress, musician extraordinaire) took some snaps of me in quarantine wearing my favorite shade of yellow. Check out more of her work here. #quarantinephotos #greatphotographers #womenartists #ladyskills
Online. If you are bored and looking for something fun to listen to during the pandemic, here is a really intricate, slappy, silly, deep, dark, & wild narrative, musical podcast: Fall of The House of Sunshine. I play the Grand Cuspid in episodes 2, 3, & 5 of Season 1. The podcast has made several lists, including: The Sunday Times: 100 of the best podcasts to listen to in 2019, You Should Be Listening To: "Fall of the House of Sunshine", Refinery 29: These Comedy Podcasts Will Absolutely Crack You Up, Polygon: Game of Thrones is over but these 15 podcasts will fill the void, Woman's Day: 21 Best Comedy Podcasts of 2019.
NYC. The great Lynn Cohen passed away on Valentine's Day, February 14th, at her home in NYC.
Lynn was a veteran stage and screen actor. She was a pillar of the New York theater community. She was omnipresent on the stage, on the screen. She was most famously known for playing Magda on Sex and the City, Golda Meir in Munich, and Mags in The Hunger Games. To me, and to many, though, she was Mistress Lynn -- a constant source of mentorship, support, and encouragement. She was an actor's actor. And she loved women actors with fierce camaraderie.
Lynn taught me that success in this business is much more predicated on vulnerability and generosity than it is on self focus or single minded ambition. She taught me that what is paramount is the drive of curiosity, the genuine love and fulfillment of the (hard) work and challenging collaborations, the interest in other artists, and the deep understanding that our art is a tapestry of thoughtfully woven interdependence. She also taught me that showing up for others is more than half the battle.
The hole that's been left in her wake is pretty enormous. The New York Times obituary came out yesterday. You can read it here.