JAMIE REZANOUR (Mother Damascus) makes her TheatreSquared debut. New York credits include playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theater of Harlem), and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble). Favorite Regional credits include playing Cassandra in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (The Public Theatre), Aouda in Around the World in 80 Days (Berkshire Theatre Festival), and performing in the world premiere of Seven Spots on the Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse). Her next project will be performing in another world premiere play called Queens for a Year at Hartford Stage in the fall. Television credits include appearances on Blue Bloods (CBS) and Blindspot (NBC). She graduated with an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University.
How did you get involved with the Arkansas New Play Fest?
I submitted a video audition for RJ Damascus and Kholoud reached to me and talked to me about the play and her concept, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. So here I am.
Is this your first time working in Arkansas? How do you find it? Expectations vs. Reality?
This is my first time working in Arkansas. I honestly did not know what to expect when I first came. To be very honest, I did not think there was much theater in Arkansas, let alone a new play festival; but so far, the experience has been great. Everyone is so welcoming and everyone seems really dedicated to their own projects. Its very exciting.
How does working on a play in development compare to working on a published script?
I love being a part of the developmental process as an actor because I feel like I have a real say in how the play evolves. And its a great privilege to be a part of a play's genesis.
Do actors need to have a different kind of skill set to work on a play in development (new pages everyday)?
Yes, I think so. You need to be very flexible because things will change constantly and you have to also be very open and willing to collaborate. That's what the whole process is about. So, the more ideas you can bring to the table, the better the process is.
How do you think the Arkansas New Play Fest compares to other new play development workshops that you have been part of in the past?
I've workshopped plays before, and I think the process is very similar. However, I like how this play festival does a performance after one week and then rehearses for another week and does another performance. I think that's a smart way to gauge how audiences will respond to the piece. And there's just a great sense of community and friendship at this play festival that I really like.