Interview with Allison Boenig

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Allison is an actor and aspiring creator in all facets of the theater, from production to direction to performance. As Allison just finished working on the production team for Shakespeare in the Square’s Twelfth Night, she is developing a love of working in all departments of the play-making process. Allison is currently working as an intern at a production company, SegalNYC, which produces theater, film and digital content that focuses on female audiences, where she hopes to acquire skills pertinent to producing in the entertainment industry. Currently studying Drama at New York University, she receives her training through the Stella Adler Studio of Acting,  and hopes to go on to perform particularly Shakespearian classical theater. Allison is also a poet, and an aspiring playwright. She also loves dark chocolate, Full House re-runs, and long walks in the West Village.

Why Theatre?

Theatre to me is the one avenue of art where what makes us most human–what ails us, haunts us, delights us, frustrates us, leaves us contemplative– is personified to the viewer in an unavoidable exchange, always leaving them with something to take away. The world of a play as it is created, like life, is preciously ephemeral and serves to give theater-goers what they’re hungry for: unadulterated humanity, truth in high-stake circumstances, the staying power of extraordinary experiences. Theater is poetry, vitality, art with a pulse and a breath, and all of this endlessly excites me. As Stella Adler once put it, “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one” and thus, we must preserve its existence in the theater.

Why Ardor?

My first encounter with Ardor as a text was when I attended the stage reading of the play this past August. I immediately fell in love with the poetry which the characters spoke in…as if the language of the play is their tool, the chisel they use to attempt at digging deeper into what troubles, tempts, and propels them. Matt has written some of the most contradictory, enigmatic, self-indulgent and thus, human characters I’ve had the pleasure of watching and learning from, and the world that he’s crafted is one I’d want everyone to experience.

What is your approach to stage management for Ardor?

Stage management for Ardor has allowed me to form a relationship with a theatrical text which I never have before while working on a production team. Similarly to an assistant director, I am required to note the discoveries and new nuance found in the play from a spectator’s perspective, which morph and develop and show up in new colors at every rehearsal, which is consistently exciting.  I not only exist as a right hand to our playwright/director in terms of assuring the fluidity of rehearsals, but I’m also translating Matt’s unique directing approach  (staged in the spirit of Peter Brook and Andre Gregory) onto the final performance space.

What Inspires you?

I am inspired by philosophy, fine art, music in every sense of the word, poets such as Cummings, Whitman, Sexton and Pinsky, the quiet nooks of central park, avant-garde theater movements of the late 20th century, the often stealth but always present existence of our eminent mortality, impressionistic sunsets, the unabridged love humans can and do feel for one another.

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