How did you come to know about Partial Comfort?
I first heard of Partial Comfort when I was at graduate school at Brown. One of the playwrights in my class was Sam Marks--and I became a big fan of his and I was in his first play up there. He had a show going on at or around that time with Partial Comfort so I knew about it through him.
Is this your first experience as a member of an ensemble? What make s it uniqute for you?
I was in a children's theater group all through my childhood called the Lilliput Players. I think that speaks for itself. Partial Comfort is unique though: having playwrights write for a specific group of actors, think about a specific group of actors--that is a real gift and it's rare.
Any highlights from this past year as a member?
This is my first year as a member--so that is the main highlight: that I'm very happy to be included. As an audience member I saw and heard some of the best work of the year at Partial Comfort: Sam Hunter's play A Bright New Boise, which I felt kind of completed this trilogy of Sam's plays that were produced last year that tackle big American themes with real subtlety and precision; also Thomas Bradshaw's play Ashes, which was in the Welcome Mat reading series last year and which completely riveted me. Both Partial Comfort retreats were also very memorable. There is really nothing better than getting to work on a new play with a writer you haven't worked with before. Last year that writer was Jon Caren and I felt really lucky to be paired with him; this year it was Chad Beckim who was writing his play as we were rehearsing it, which is a real treat, and makes you feel very special--like you are actually a part of what is getting made.
What productions/readings/etc. have you worked on recently (within or outside of the company) that you are particularly proud of?
I love doing readings. Sometimes I love readings more than shows. I like reading things cold--I wish auditions could just be cold reads because I think I wouldn't screw them up as often. There is a Bekah Brunstetter play called Miss Lilly Gets Boned that I have read a couple times and was very proud to be a part of. In a couple weeks I'm doing a reading of a new play by Sarah Hamond that Stephen Brackett is directing. Sarah is in a writing group with me and I love her work. The piece is very new and was just the kind of play I was dreaming about getting to work on--it's a two-hander, very meaty. So...I think that will be one that I'm proud to be in. As for productions: as my thesis in graduate school I did the first act of Happy Days. If I ever get to do the second act of that I will be very proud.
Tell us what you've been working on this year. Anything we can look forward to seeing you in in the coming months?
Currently I'm in a new play called Julius By Design by Kara Lee Corthron, alongside fellow Partial Comfort member Curran Connor. It's being produced by a new company called Fulcrum which I think has a really exciting future. Before that I was in A Thousand Clowns at Two River Theater that Davis McCallum directed. It was an old chestnut but I loved it! Davis directed me in the Sam Hunter play Five Genocides last summer, and Davis....well Davis is like a theater wizard. Actors work with him and feel like they have died and gone to heaven: I ask any actor that has worked with him and they all say the same thing. In terms of what's next, in August I'm going to be in a new short play by Tina Howe that is being done at the 59E59 Summer Shorts festival. Tina is one of my personal heros and role models--she was kind of a revolutionary for women writers and I think some people forget that--or take it for granted. I'm also working on a solo show called Becoming Liv Ullman, which is about exactly what it sounds like it's about. I guess it's pretty much a Bergman parody which is kind of cheap because it's so easy--but I'm having fun writing it and I am re-discovering Bergman's films which sometimes feels like prison and sometimes feels like the most useful thing I will ever accomplish.
Catch Crystal Finn alongside Curran Connor in Fulcrum Theater's
written by Kara Lee Corthron
until July 24th at the Access Theater!