Allison Bloechl is a Hedgerow Theatre Company member heading in to her third year. She has previously been see on stage in Hound of the Baskervilles, Boeing Boeing, and Bullshot Crummond. Below, Allie answers a few quick questions about her time at Hedgerow and the upcoming show Angel Street, better known as Gaslight.
1) What is your experience with Hedgerow Theatre? How did you learn about the theatre?
I’m a fellow going into my third year at Hedgerow where I’ve been able to work in all aspects of the theatre in addition to honing my craft as an actor.
2) What makes a great play for you?
A great play is something that evokes a response whether that’s laughter, tears or learning. A play should change the people experiencing it from actors to audience.
3) What is one book every artist should read, one class every artist should take, or one play every artist should see?
My absolute favorite book in the history of ever is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s an amazing story, but what’s more, it delves into the act of storytelling itself, both explicitly and through it’s many stylistic oddities. Also Meisner’s “On Acting” – particularly the chapter on Duse’s Blush.
4) Why do you like Gaslight?
I love Gaslight. I studied it in college in a Feminist Theories of Theatre class and it has always stuck with me. It tells such a realistic story that a form of psychological manipulation after it. It is characters acting in ways that real people act – holding the mirror up to nature, if you will – and show us as people the ugliness that can lie in the dichotomies of power and sex. It’s so important for people to experience it. I am certain that many of our audience members will leave our theatre knowing a lot more about manipulation and will hopefully be to use their experience at Hedgerow to stand up for themselves when they are being gaslight (an experience that happens to virtually everyone) or realize when they are gaslighting someone else.
5) Who inspires you?
In third grade I did a project on Jim Henson, the founder of the Muppets, and I fell in love with something he once said. He was asked if he subscribed to any particular faith and he responded “my hope in life is to leave the world a little better for having been there”. It’s a philosophy that I think everyone should try to live by and that’s what I respect so much in other people. Whether it’s artists tackling important shows like Gaslight, scientists finding life-saving vaccines or someone who just makes people laugh.
6) What’s a great story from a previous show you would like to tell? Tell it:
Every fall Hedgerow does a dramatization of the works of Edgar Allan Poe where different middle schools bus their students to our theatre. It was the last day before the show opened, and our director, Penelope Reed, wanted us to do a run through in the morning when the shows would be, so our bodies could get used to it. So we’re all backstage, kinda just hanging out getting ready to go when Zoran Kovic, who does the curtain speech for all of the Poe shows, comes into the theatre and calls out “The Buses are Here” which is the usual sign to get ready to go on show days. All of us backstage thought he was practicing for the next day when real buses would be there, and one of us called back to him something along the lines of “ha ha very funny”. Then Penny swoops into the theatre and says “Nobody Panic! Nobody Panic!” which of course makes us all panic. We all went into action mode, turned our final dress into our opening performance, and it all turned out great!