Works by Women

Supporting creative work by women

Interview: Sarah Koestner

Sarah KoestnerSarah Koestner will be seen in Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company‘s production of John Kolvenbach’s Love Song June 8 through 24, 2012 at the Access Theatre in downtown Manhattan.  Sarah stars as Joan, a woman worried about the new woman in her eccentric brother’s life, in this 2007 Olivier-nominated play for Best New Comedy.

Sarah earned her MFA at Rutgers University with William Esper. Her regional credits include Over the River and Through the Woods and A Month of Sundays at The Public Theatre (ME), The Maids with The Garage Theatre Group and She Stoops to Conquer at Centenary Stage. She has also been seen in TheatreworksUSA national tour of Curious George.

She spoke to Works by Women about working on Love Song, her dream roles, and her busy schedule.

WBW:What excites you about working on LOVE SONG?
SK: All the characters in this show are so richly and specifically drawn. John Kolvenbach (the playwright) has given the actors so much to work with. The character that I play, Joan, is such a riot purely on the page. I had a ball lifting her “off the page” and bringing her life.

WBW: What can audiences expect from the Olivier-nominated play?

SK: I fell in love with Love Song the first time I read it. It’s that rare play that has everything in it. It’s poetic, funny, touching, sarcastic, etc. it has it all. I love its message about life, living it fully and being in the moment. (As an actor and yogi this really appeals to me.)

All of these characters really resonate with me. Every single role is so beautifully and specifically drawn that I think as an audience you’d have a hard time not identifying with them. And for me that’s why I go to the theatre– to see humanity in all of it’s pain, joy and messiness on stage.

WBW: You starred in Sean Reycraft’s exquisite play One Good Marriage as Stephanie. What was it like working on that two-hander about a great tragedy?

SK: Wow- you know it? That’s an awesome play. It’s similar to this one in the way that it’s written, very poetic and colloquial. I was lucky enough to work with an actor on that play who I had worked with before (and really enjoyed working with.) It’s SO important that we have a close and intimate relationship (in the play) and our prior professional relationship laid that foundation. After all, the characters had been through something amazingly tragic together and survived it! (The play takes place on our anniversary; on our wedding day everyone at the reception died in a gas explosion.) One of the great things about that play is how many funny moments there are in it, despite the dark circumstances and how we welcome the audience into our anniversary party as we tell them the story of our lives.

WBW: What is one role you would love to play?
SK: Oh boy– there are so many I can’t give just one!! Blanche in Streetcar (of course), I’m dying to be in August: Osage County— I would love to play any of the sisters and Becca in Rabbit Hole— that’s such an elegantly written and heart-breaking play.

WBW: What’s next for you?
SK: The day after Love Song closes I’m flying out to Fort Worth to play Roxanne in The Understudy. I feel so blessed to be doing two meaty roles back-to-back!

WBW: What are the challenges facing women in American theatre?
SK: Today most major regional and Broadway houses are still doing seasons comprised of plays written by old (or dead) white men. It’s funny (or painful depending on how you look at it) because the majority of theatergoers are women, but when we go to the theatre most of the characters are white men!

WBW: What gives you hope for women in American theatre?

SK: I feel like a dialogue has begun, just look at the fallout from the announcement of The Guthrie’s season last month. I have faith that the tide is slowly turning. I’d say the majority of theatre artists I know are women, a lot of them are out there creating their own work, their own opportunities, which is key to turning the tide. The fact that I’m going down to Texas to do the The Understudy written by the fabulous Theresa Rebeck gives me hope! She is one of the few female playwrights who has been consistently able to crack the glass ceiling of “Broadway.”

Love Song plays June 8 – 24, 2012 at Access Theatre (380 Broadway). Tickets are $18 here.

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 by in Interview, Theater.

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