Exploring Fedra

October 12, 2009

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Lookingglass Theatre's 51st World Premiere Fedra is an explosive retelling of Phaedra that would make Euripides, Seneca and Jean Racine blush. This story of power and lust is set in a re-imagined Haiti that stands as the world's greatest superpower. Only the fiercely mischievous pen of Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks (Black Diamond) could so ignite the hidden power of this enduring myth. Award-winning Ensemble Member Laura Eason (Around the World in 80 Days) directs. Raven Foundation founder Suzanne Ross interviews these two women as a part of the Raven Foundation's Theater Events.

J. Nicole Brooks (formerly known as De Anna N.J. Brooks) is the newest ensemble member with the Lookingglass Theatre Company. As an actor she has appeared in Summertime directed by Joy Gregory, and RACE directed by David Schwimmer. Brooks also wrote the Jeff Award nominated political satire Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten which she co-directed with David Catlin. She currently has a project in development in the gglassworks program and continues to create other projects for film, television, and the stage. Other professional affiliations include Collaboraction Theatre Company (Chicago), and abootlegbuppie Productions (Los Angeles). She is a proud graduate of Northern Illinois University and resides in Los Angeles, California.

Laura Eason joined the Lookingglass ensemble in 1991 and has served as a writer, director, actor, musician, co-director of artistic development, and, for six years, was Lookingglass' Artistic Director. Now primarily a playwright, she is the author of more than fifteen plays, both original work and adaptations. Her plays have been commissioned and produced across the country by Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Walkabout, Andhow, Sojourn and Two River Theaters, among others, and read/developed at New York Theatre Workshop, MCC and New Georges in New York and SF Playhouse in San Francisco. Laura is the recipient of an NEA artistic development grant and two Jeff Awards for new work and adaptation (shared). As an actor, Laura performed in New York at BAM, Lincoln Center and in Metamorphoses on Broadway as well as regionally at Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep., the McCarter, Arden, Steppenwolf, Goodman, and in more than 20 productions with Lookingglass. Laura is an Affiliated Artist and Kitchen Cabinet Member with New Georges in NYC and an Associate Artist with Sojourn Theatre in Portland, OR. Originally from Chicago, Laura lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Suzanne Ross is the author of two books – The Wicked Truth: When Good People Do Bad Things and The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. In 2007, Ross co-founded the Raven Foundation with husband Keith. Based on the principles of mimetic theory, the foundation seeks to make religion reasonable, violence unthinkable and peace a possibility by challenging conventional wisdom and opening the door to new reasoning. Suzanne is a graduate of Bucknell University and a certified Montessori educator. She has extensive experience as a corporate training consultant, and is a former editor of the literary journal, StoryQuarterly. She is the former Director of Christian Education for a United Church of Christ congregation. As a member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, she has attended and presented at the annual conferences. Suzanne is a member of the Education Committee of Imitatio, Inc. She lives, works and plays golf with her husband Keith in Glenview, Illinois.

 

Recorded Monday, October 12, 2009 at Lookingglass Theatre.