RECAP: Flea Grand Opening

The Flea officially revealed its new digs on 20 Thomas Street the morning of Thursday, September 28. Check out pictures from the momentous occasion!

Meet Lacy Allen of INANIMATE

The Flea’s inaugural show is almost here.  And it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.  Join us as Bat Lacy Allen dishes out some much-desired answers about her leading role as Erica in Nick Robideau’s heartwarming new play Inanimate, where a woman falls in love with a Dairy Queen sign.

I hadn’t heard the term “objectum sexuality” before reading this play, but I do think I was aware that there are people in this world that are attracted to objects.

My first instinctual connection to Erica came from listening to a reading of Inanimate a few months back.  I was instantly drawn to the imagery and flow of how she speaks to objects and people.

Although I can’t relate exactly to what it is like to be an Objectum Sexual, I can relate to a lot of the feelings that come with “coming out to the world” that Erica goes through in the play.  “I just like beautiful things” or “It doesn’t mean anything” are a few phrases that she says she used to tell herself when she was younger when she started to realize she was different.  I am a lesbian.  I distinctly remember telling myself when I was younger that “it doesn’t mean anything to want to kiss your best friend, she’s just your best friend and it’s totally fine.”  Later, I realized what it was and I didn’t want to hide it anymore because I was in love.

I am most excited to explore how Erica becomes truly herself throughout this play.  She already, right at the start, is done with hiding.  So it’s more about her figuring out how to live in a world, and less about her being ashamed.  She wants to be free, and I’m exploring what that means to her, and how she works through the obstacles on her way there.

I do feel like objects have a personality.  Maybe my mind has been stretched from rehearsing this play, but I do feel like a fan has a different personality than a drawer or a desk.  Isn’t it nice to at least just let yourself think that if anything?   When you’re bored?

Working as an actor has taught me a lot about organization and preparation, and to open up my eyes, and take all of the world in, every little bit.

You must be consistent and persistent in this business. You have to do the work. But the greatest thing about this business is that you never stop learning.  You can hone your craft and execute and execute and execute, but there is always something else to learn and another way to grow.

My mom was a theater major in college.  So, when I started kindergarten, she was hired to be the lighting designer for all of the shows at my K – 8-grade school. Every time my mom worked on a show, I would hang out and watch rehearsals, and witness the process of creating something.  I was instantly drawn to the theater community, and both my parents really supported my interest to pursue theater professionally.  The first show I did was in 4th grade, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I’m starting to understand what types of theater I want to audition for because of The Flea. I used to audition for everything, but I’m really starting to get a grasp on what it is that I really want to do and the type of work I want to do.

I discovered The Flea because I had a bunch of friends in the show “The Mysteries”. When I saw the show, I fell in love.  I ended up going to the opening night cast party.  Everyone was so supportive of each other and collaborative and kind. Then I went in for the last round of general auditions, and here I am now!

I would like to think that everything in this world has a soul.  Whether or not that’s my childhood speaking to me right now or not, I’d like to think that I somehow still hold that sort of connection with inanimate objects.  I still sleep with my stuffed animal “Super Grover” from Sesame Street.

Watch Erica’s journey and the rest of the talented cast of Inanimate from August 21st (first show!!!) until September 24th.

Meet Maki Borden of INANIMATE

Get to know the incomparable Bat Maki Borden before seeing him in Nick Robideau’s Inanimate in The Flea’s new downstairs theater, The Siggy.  

My character’s name in Inanimate is Kevin Russell and I find myself relating most to his self-deprecating humor.  He makes fun of himself and owns it.

My favorite quality in a new play is when it goes down a hole no one else has gone down before.  With Inanimate, I love that we are asked to empathize with people we might otherwise overlook or consider weird.

I’ve been working in theater since I was 10 years old. After my father died when I was 8, my mother thought it’d be a good idea to put me into a community theater. I’ve been working stages ever since.

My earliest memory on stage is introducing a band in a variety show, and then, forgetting my lines when I got up to the microphone.

There is an inexplicable exchange of energy that’s achieved in a room of people.  That’s what I love about theater: you are sharing the same breath and space with actors and audience.  This makes the theatrical experience something more powerful and lasting than most other forms of art.

What I’ve learned from being an actor all these years is that you have to be confident in your vulnerability.  At the same time, you also have to be confident in your playfulness and choices.  You need to fall in love with trying something, and also fall in love with failing over and over again.

When I first moved to New York four years ago, a lot of people, whom I trusted, told me that The Flea was one of the best places to work as a non-union actor.

The Bat Company is unique because it’s a watering hole for young, exciting artist who want to push the boundaries.  I love working at the Flea because we do stuff most people are afraid to do.  Plus, I get to work with a whole bunch of amazing artists, both established and up-and-coming ones.

My advice for actors just starting out is to do everything you can, no matter how small the project, or much you get paid. Get experience and don’t be afraid to fail.

I would die if someone compared me to Phil Hoffman, John C. Reilly, or Dan Harmon.

My motto in life is he who ain’t busy being born is busy dying.

Extra Credit: Meet Rachel Lin

For our final cast interview for Two Class Acts, we had some questions for Ajax actress and SERIALS producer Rachel Lin!

Hi Rachel! Tell us– who do you play in Ajax?

Meg, a first year adjunct instructor of Classical Drama.

You share this role with fellow Bat Olivia Jampol. What has it been like to share a role with her? 

It’s a huge compliment to be cast in a role also played by Olivia Jampol! Who could wish for a more beautiful & intelligent counterpart? It’s inappropriate how much we all like each other. Our brilliant stage manager, Kaila Hill, keeps us all in line.

And what else might we have seen you in recently?

I recently made an appearance in Tiny Little Band’s presentation of their upcoming show Your Hair Looked Great by Jerry Lieblich directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz for Prelude. I also got to share the stage with some folks I really admire in Nikole Beckwith’s short play, Nobody Likes Themselves directed by Kevin Laibson for F*ck It Club at the New Ohio. And of course, everyone’s favorite late-night, episodic play competition: SERIALS.

In fact, SERIALS starts again up this Thursday evening– our last cycle in The Flea’s current location! What does it feel like to be acting in the last show on White Street?

It’s bittersweet. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to a childhood home. I’ve met people I consider to be the top theater makers of my generation here – actors, writers, directors, producers. I’ve sat in the audience of the Downstairs Theater and witnessed some of my favorite performances ever. I can mark my growth as an actor on the walls of this place. It’s a huge privilege to be able to pay tribute to all those artists who’ve come through here.

The other final show on White Street is the one-act Squash, which centers on a squash-enthusiast. If you could choose one person to play squash with, who would you choose and why?

Bill Murray. The answer to questions like this is always, Bill Murray. Also, I think he’d have a sense of humor about my lack of hand-eye coordination.

Ha- Ben Lorenz had the same answer! As you know, both Ajax and Squash also deal with the idea of the student-teacher romance. How about you? Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? (You can feel free to give us details, if you want!) 

Absolutely. My freshman writing seminar instructor my first semester of college was a total babe. He also happens to be a pulitzer prize nominated playwright now. He’d have us write a poem to read aloud to the class every week, and would bring one in as well. Swoon.

Very swoon. And last but not least, how would you describe yourself in any three fictional characters?

Eloise, Napoleon Dynamite, Oren Ishii from Kill Bill.

An excellent combo. Thanks, Rachel!

To catch Rachel in both SERIALS and Ajax, make sure to get your tickets and join us for last call on White Street! 

An Interview with Mara Nelson-Greenburg

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Behind the Myth: Who is Poseidon?

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