Alyssa is making her debut with Pigeon Creek as Chiron/Martius in Titus Andronicus. Alyssa has also performed with Shadblow Theatre, Stark Turn Players, and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Alyssa received a 2013 Irene Ryan Acting Award nomination for her role in Kindertransport at Grand Valley State University. Alyssa has a BFA in Theater from Grand Valley.
1) Give us a brief summary of your acting history: how’d you start acting, where/what did you study, how did you end up in Grand Rapids, etc.
I have always been something of a performer: always putting on shows, always telling stories (this got me into trouble sometimes). I didn't start to really start living and breathing for performance until I was in high school. My very first leading role in a play was as Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is what ignited my love of Shakespeare. I went on to study Theatre at Grand Valley State University, and participated in the Shakespeare Festival for all 5 years I attended. I have also done work with the Grand Rapids Civic Theater and with local companies like Stark Turn Players and Shadblow Theatre. I have been offstage for over a year now, am I am very glad to make Titus Andronicus my comeback show!
2) What drew you to audition for this production?
I have always loved the play Titus Andronicus. As one of Shakespeare's lesser known works, its always fun to see it performed, and even more fun to see it performed with a non-traditional, full female cast. I was drawn to it the second I heard about it.
3) Pick one aspect of PCSC’s “original practices” style (thrust staging, audience contact, crossgendered casting, doubling, etc) that was new to you and tell us about your experience with in in this production.
I have only ever worked in thrust staging one other time, and it was over a year ago, so it was a little interesting to get back into the swing of it. Also, with the majority of my theatrical experience being with proscenium staging, there aren't a lot of chances for direct audience contact, and it was fun to be able to play with that.
4) What do you do when you’re not acting?
I work for a non-profit called IKUS Life Enrichment Services, where we provide life skills and job training to adults with mental, developmental, and physical disabilities, as well as providing direct home care to those with low mobility. I enjoy my work, but it is always nice to go home at the end of the day to my awesome husband, Ryan.
5) What is the next production or project you’ll be working on?
Nothing in the works at the moment, but I am always on the lookout for good theatre. I am especially looking forward to possibly working more with Pigeon Creek in the future!