By Christie Vela, Introduction by Jeffrey Schmidt
In September, Christie Vela will be joining Theatre Three as Associate Artistic Director, and I’m excited for many reasons. I’ve been saying that our aesthetics are aligned but not the same, meaning that the theatre will be adding a new voice to its ranks to help fulfill the mission of nurturing artists, audiences and authors. This is important to me, because T3 should never be viewed as just one person’s theater. For the majority of the theater’s history, T3 was run by Jac AND Norma. And theatre is always better when it’s collaborative.
I’m keeping this intro short, cause Christie will have plenty of opportunities to introduce herself. Plus, many of you already know how awesome she is. She is making her acting debut at T3 in The Armor Plays! And you don’t want to miss the kick ass performance she gives. Check out what she has to say about the show.
What?! You mean I get to play an old-timey posh British lady of the manor AND a dystopian -future-World leader of an underground resistance a la Mad Max! What’s not to love? This is an actor dream come true. We don’t often get the opportunity to play two such disparate characters in one evening. And not just that, one play is a straight-up farce and the other a pretty serious action movie! Okay, not an actual movie, but pretty close.
Here’s what I wasn’t expecting: that the women in both plays are actually the same woman. Facing the same struggles and just trying to live their best lives, or at the very least, trying to insure that their children will have the opportunity to live their best lives. Here’s another thing I didn’t expect: the Victorian play takes WAY more out of this old broad than the future action-movie type play. Wearing a corset is hard yo’. I’ve worn plenty in my life as an actor, and I remember a time when I was all for it. It definitely helps you as an actor to move differently, informs your character and all that jazz, and hey, it’s totally sexy. I’m not gonna lie. But as you get older hopefully wiser and stop buying SPANX and become more attracted to caftans and yoga pants as street wear, that corset business gets old. Real old. Real fast. And bless the person who is in the room with you when that tight Victorian underwear comes off, because you’ve been holding all that “air” inside and it’s gotta come out one way or the other. Oh stop, THESE ARE THINGS OF LIFE PEOPLE, get over it. Any woman who denies this is bowing to the patriarchy and THE ARMOR PLAYS are the opposite of that.
Lastly, I didn’t expect our playwright, Selina Fillinger, to be so young! She’s a baby. Like a genius baby, who was born with second sight and speaking complete sentences. I am incredibly excited to be saying her words.
When I am in the middle of acting in a project, I don’t always have a clear picture of the big idea; I am too busy being selfish for my character. Things become clear to me the more I do the play. However, THIS play has already taught me, that it’s not always about the winning, it’s the fighting that counts. Sometimes, just RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE is the win. Come see us RAGE.