2011-2012 Season, Boom Artists, Rep Season, Shakespeare

a few random questions for…Sevrin Anne Mason!

Sevrin Anne Mason returns to Much Ado About Nothing in March, after our successful run outdoors this summer. Sevrin embodies multiple characters during the show, including what director Daniel Talbott calls his “Special Children”, who establish for the audience the sense of love, joy and play that our productions incorporates. So, we asked Sevrin a few random questions…see what she has to say!

Full Name: Sevrin Anne Mason

Home Town: I was born in Aspen, Colorado and grew up in Del Mar, California. Now I live NYC-side while My family currently resides in Los Angeles.  I feel home in all these places for very different reasons.

You play a variety of roles in Much Ado. Do you have a fave?  I’m drawn to my various Much Ado characters for their widely desperate aspects – I really enjoy the mute character we lovingly refer to as “Special Child” because she’s so eager and fun and playful. The toughness of the watchman is a really exciting juxtaposition to that.  I’ve fallen in love with the friar too: playing her from a female perspective allows the friar to identify with Hero differently than a man could.  As the friar I always imagine myself in Hero’s position: that the opportunity I’m offering Hero to redeem herself was never one that was offered to me; that I’ve found myself in a situation where I can give someone another chance in life and give those around Hero a perspective they wouldn’t necessarily experience until after everything has gone permanently wrong.  Maybe this is just my actor’s ego, but I feel like the friar is the moral heart of the play and that means a lot to me.  Honestly, the whole experience of living through all my parts has been a true joy to me.

How has your experience inside differed from working on Much Ado outside this summer?  Working outside was so pastoral, open, expansive.  Everything became a part of the play, and our playing space became the whole park, not just Boomerang rock.  We had to work incredibly hard physically and vocally to tell the story of the play, but there was also magic there: a child wandering into the scene, a cast member absconding with an audience member’s bicycle.  The exact moment a breeze blew through could potentially inform a scene.  We were constantly adjusting to the public and the open air.  And, if you had to use the facilities during the performance running and cutting in line was generally required. 

In the Secret Theatre, the pastoral elements obviously aren’t there and we have to work harder to create an alive space.  Our production team has opened up the theatre so the audience is part of the action, the booth is part of the action, the playing space is the entire room. But there’s still a dressing room that’s separate (and an actors bathroom!) it’s a more private experience. It is literally darker in the theatre and, I think, because of that, the figurative darkness also seeps into the play.  I’m much more aware of the play’s violence and desperation, it’s moments of sadness and pain.  There are things we can do inside we could never do in the park – lifts and rolling around on the ground, but also some more internal moments.  Inside we can afford to be subtle – a decadence we could never accomplish outside.  We don’t have to work quite so hard vocally or physically, and we are much more responsible for creating our own magic. And, of course, we won’t get rained out of our dress rehearsal : )

What’s your favorite place in New York City?  New York City is so full of incredible places, I have many favorites.  There’s a balcony on 52nd street between Broadway and 8th that I’m especially nostalgic for.  But, aside from all the theatrical spaces, the one place that regularly comforts and inspires me is Central Park – specifically the wilder sections where I can hide from the hustle and bustle, watch the birds, experience the seasons.  Walk through the park with me one day, I’ll bet I can show you a couple nooks and crannies you never noticed before.  The park is where I go exploring.

Inspired by Smith and NPR, can you give us your 6 word memoir:  Pursuing dreams.  Gratefully, amid brilliant inspirers.

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