Susan Gross is an actor and writer whose solo show RUBY premieres tonight, Sunday 10/22 @ 8 PM and will be performed on Monday 10/23 @ 8 PM as part of Tongue in Cheek's Plus 1 Festival. Tickets are $18 at www.tictheater.com and call 1-800-838-3006 (note that each night of the festival features 2 shows for the price of 1 ticket). We asked Susan to tell us more about her piece and process.
What's RUBY about?
It's a very bare-it-all piece, part comedy and part drama, about a woman's struggles with anxiety, body issues, and coming to terms with whether or not she wants to have a baby.
What inspired you to write it?
It's a very personal story that I needed to tell for myself, and hopefully, others will relate to it. I have always performed in the theater. I recently took a stand up class, and liked the idea of being on stage by myself, storytelling, but without the anxiety of constantly hoping a joke would land.
Funny story about your piece?
I filmed a teaser trailer for RUBY with my husband, sort of guerrilla-style. I wanted to convey the loneliness I feel when I want a child and it seems like everyone around you has one. So we walked down to the park in our neighborhood and I saw a stroller next to the water. I told my husband to film me next to it. A few moments later, someone came over and snatched it away. I had to laugh. It was the perfect metaphor for what I'm going through, so we kept that moment in the trailer.
How did you come to collaborate with TIC?
I had auditioned for TIC before and then ran into producing artistic director Jake while standing in line for a casting. We hit it off and wanted to collaborate. I feel very lucky to be supported by this company and have Jake direct RUBY as well.
MAURITIUS opens tonight! We asked the wonderful actor Michael Vincent Carrera, who plays 'Sterling' a few questions, below -- and please come out to see this great piece about 2 stamps, 2 sisters, and a pile of cash.
Tickets are $18 at www.tictheater.com and 1-800-838-3006 for 7 performances, Wed-Fri 10/18-20 and Wed-Sat 10/25-28 @ 8 PM, The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC. Note that the lobby of the building is under construction.
What drew you to the role of 'Sterling'?
I knew I would relish stepping into Sterling's shoes, form the first time I read this play, about 10 years ago. When you get to play someone who is so dominant, so alpha male and assertive in presence, it is a fun change from the polite and acceptable lives most of us lead on a daily basis. With this role, I get to exercise, or exorcise, essences within myself that I normally would put on hold.
Tell us about working with TIC for the first time!
The company, and producing artistic director Jake Lipman, make the actors feel appreciated and part of the creative process. And Jake is so organized and right on with every detail of the company's functioning.
How is MAURITIUS relevant to audiences now?
Although it may not be evident at first glance, this play is so relevant to current events and politics in our country now. At its core this play deals with a group of duplicitous con men and women hiding the truth with "alternative facts," machismo threats, narcissism, and bluster... sound familiar?
TIC's 35th production, MAURITIUS by Theresa Rebeck, opens tomorrow - Wed 10/18 @ 8 PM, and we recently asked our super talented cast member, Derek Long, a few quick questions!
Read on, and get your $18 tickets to MAURITIUS @ www.tictheater.com or call 1-800-838-3006. 7 performances, Wed-Fri 10/18-20 and Wed-Sat 10/25-28 @ 8 PM @ The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC.
Tell us about your character, Dennis, and what draws you to him.
Dennis is a scrappy, smooth operator. He's not decorated with degrees, but charming, confident, positive and a survivor. All are qualities I admire, respect, and aspire to. We share some characteristics. Will let those who know me be the judge of which ones.
How has it been working with TIC Theater for the first time?
It has been a pleasure from the start. The bar of professionalism, care, and passion were set very high right off the bat and I would be delighted to call this the first of future collaborations.
What excites you about this play and what do you think is its draw for audiences?
Theresa Rebeck's work has been in my periphery for a long time, since I started to seriously cultivate and hone my acting craft and career. Happy to add such a play to my resume. And I have huge respect for the names of people credited with the original productions; I am proud to add my name to those associated with Rebeck productions.
In the week leading up to TIC's 35 production, MAURITIUS, we're asking our cast and crew a few quick, fun, questions!
We run Oct. 18-28 @ 8 PM, Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St., 12th Fl. Get your $18 tickets at www.tictheater.com or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
We had to start with the talented Emily Nash, who plays Jackie, the beating heart at the center of this play about two sisters, two stamps, and a pile of cash.
Tell us about Jackie and what draws you to playing her?
Jackie will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She's a younger sister (just like me!), and I love that she's so outspoken, resourceful, tenacious, and darkly funny. I like to think I have some of those qualities. Jackie has been a dream role of mine for a while, and I'm super excited to get to tackle this part and this play with TIC!
Our show revolves around a stamp collection. Do you, or have you, ever had a collection of some kind?
When I was a kid, I had an embarrassingly large collection of snow globes. I would receive them as gifts, and buy them myself on trips, and I accumulated so many that my parents had to buy me a giant shelf for my childhood bedroom to store all of them! I think, thankfully, most of them have since landed in a dumpster (though I did hold on to one or two!).