Ladies and Gentlemen, We Proudly Present Eunice Woods and Jason Clements.
The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World opens on Friday, September 27th! It is a thrill to introduce you to our Julia and Lent, Eunice and Jason.
Get your tickets to see these incredible actors in action!
What are you doing on this show, and how did you get involved?
EW: My name is Eunice and I'm playing Julia. I'm a fan of Tympanic's work and have wanted to collaborate with them for a while. Joshua Ellison, the director, suggested I audition for ..Julia Pastrana.. and after reading the script I knew this would be a fun challenge. I also saw this as an incredible opportunity to, in a small way, give Julia Pastrana what she deserves-- a voice.
JC: My name is Jason Clements and I play the character Lent. I got involved in this production from my last show (Bear Claw with Area IV Theatre). The lighting designer [for that show], Joshua Ellison, was talking about his upcoming directing project and it seemed interesting. I found the audition, auditioned, got a callback, did well and then got the part. It was as simple and complicated as that.
Are there any fears a pitch-black theater forces you to face?
EW: Absolutely! For one, it makes me really conscious of the audience's experience. Also it will be interesting supporting each other as an ensemble when we can't actually see each other. We have to all be super in tune with each other as we try new things and follow our instincts. So as an actor, risk-taking goes to a whole new level.
JC: This show is in total darkness, complete blackness. I may not be a kid anymore but sometimes the dark is still scary. It is hard to tell what is around or what’s coming toward a person. But the scariest thing for an actor is “am I in the right spot?” “What is the audience doing?” “Is there even an audience, I can’t tell.” But my worst fear is that I’m going to run in or over someone. Also the lights. Rehearsing for so long in the dark and then the lights gets turned on it can sting if it is not gradual.
Without the ability to see, what senses do you think will be particularly heightened for the audience?
EW: Definitely sound-- we have a pretty cool soundscape going, but I also think the sounds we make simply from moving around or reacting to each other will carry more weight for the audience. It's funny how our senses activate to tell us someone is in our space. Without sight, the audience will be able to check in with these other senses.
JC: There are, as we know 5 senses to the human body, without the sense of sight to the audience’s advantage other sense will be more aware and heightened. I read recently somewhere that there are other senses besides the 5 that we all know, senses like: feeling pain and heat. I think there is a sense that we use very little that in this show will be present. It is the sense of being able to know when someone is around or next to you, without hearing or seeing them, but feeling them, feeling the energy their body gives off. The audience’s sense that will be heightened will be clearly hearing and maybe some smells, but also this sense of knowing someone is near but can’t tell exactly where and that is something that might make this show more exciting for the (viewers?) or perhaps just the audience.
Though you are an actor, or maybe because you are an actor, was there ever a time you resented being put "on display" as Julia is?
EW: I have sometimes found myself in situations where, as a person of color, I've been perceived as a representative for my entire race or even for all people of color in such a way that overlooked individuality.
JC: As an actor being put on displayed is a bit normal especially when we have to get headshots, which for me is a nightmare. However I have a friend who is put on display more like Julia. I won’t name his name but he is a guy I went to school with who just happened to have a very muscular sculpted body and was fairly shy about it. He liked to work out but as a stress reliever never to look better. However whenever a director would see him without a shirt on they would change the costume design for a least one scene so he would take off his shirt. I always felt bad for him until all the women who drool then I would feel jealous, but I know my buddy did not like the feeling of being put on display for having a muscular body.
In five words or less, why should people come see Julia?
EW: It's time for Julia's story!
JC: What a wild Ride!
..Julia Pastrana.. opens THIS Friday, with a discounted preview performance on Thursday! Get your tickets here!
The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in theWorld
By Shaun Prendergast Directed by Joshua Ellison
Sept 26 – Oct 20 Thurs – Sun, 8pm Berger Park Coach House 6205 N Sheridan Rd (near Granville Red Line)