Sarah Robinson produced and directed one of the highlights of the 2012 Fringe, Sarah Kane’s Crave. She’s also a regular feature on the boards in Philadelphia, appearing recently in SmokeyScout Productions‘ Carter’s Play and B.Someday’s Criminal Genius (part of George Walker’s Suburban Motel series), among other shows. For the 2013 Fringe Festival, Sarah is starring in Lucinda’s Bed, produced by BrainSpunk Theater, about a childhood monster that continues to haunt well into adulthood.
Sarah talked to Phindie about the play, BrainSpunk, and the monsters under her bed.
Phindie: So what’s Lucinda’s Bed about?
Sarah Robinson: Lucinda, a young girl trying to be good, is introduced to temptation by monster under her bed. The monster stays with her as she goes through life, embodying various temptations and challenges. The ways in which Lucinda chooses to deal with the monster determines whether she remains a good girl or becomes a monster by the end of the play.
Phindie: How did you get involved in the project? Did you know the BrainSpunk people before? Tell me about the company.
SR: Oh, we met online—by which I mean that BrainSpunk put out a call for actors on the TAGP listserv, and I answered. The company recently relocated from NYC to Philadelphia, and has changed their focus from gay theater, to works that are rarely produced in the Philadelphia area.
Phindie: How do you connect to your character? What about her is familiar to you?
SR: Lucinda is as much of a geek in high school as I was. I used my memories of how I held my body in middle school to access her point of view, and then built her movement from there. As she ages, I’m playing with the idea that her center of gravity becomes lower, and her back stoops a little from the burdens she carries.
Phindie: Were you scared of monsters under the bed as a kid?
SR: Terrified! I was convinced that Cookie Monster was going to come out from under the bed and get me in the middle of the night. My mother would fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of perfume to make “Monster Spray.” Every night, she would spray under my bed so that I would sleep.
Phindie: What about that fear is relevant to us as adults?
SR: Hmm… I suppose it’s good to know what fears are rational, and which fears are not. Continuing to be afraid of Cookie Monster isn’t rational or helpful, but listening to that little voice that tells you to get out of a potentially bad situation is rational AND helpful.
Phindie: You’ve produced and acted in a bunch of Fringe work before. How many shows is this for you?
SR: This is the fifth show I’ve worked on for the Fringe and I’ve enjoyed them all.
Phindie: What do you like about the festival experience?
SR: I love knowing how many shows there are out there that I can see at any given time. I love the sense of celebration in the air. I also like how random some of the performances can be, especially at the late night cabaret. Those shows can really get me thinking about work I’d like to do the next year.
Phindie: Are you involved in the production side? If not, what do you miss about producing, what do you enjoy about not having those concerns.
SR: I’m not involved in the production side of Lucinda’s Bed, and I’m totally okay with that. I love directing, and I’m very comfortable doing stage carpentry, but producing is a unique challenge in that you to make sure “all of the things” are taken care of—and I’m happy to be able to be taking a break from it this year.
Phindie: What do your monsters look like today?
SR: To be serious for a moment: I have a monster under my bed named Depression. The only way he goes back under the bed is if I ask other people for help—which is okay, since I had to learn to ask for help when I wanted to banish Cookie Monster from under bed!
Phindie: Yeah. That one’s a beast. Thanks Sarah.
SR: Thanks. I hope your fringe is going well.