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Meet Actor Anna Katen

Anna performs in Reach/Recover, the next #newworkshop selection in Now & Then's 3rd season. Artistic Director John Perovich had a chance to speak with Anna about the process. Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen will be presented to audiences this Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM

John Perovich (JP): Anna, thank you for joining us at Now & Then for the very first time! Let's jump in: Can you share a bit with us about your character for Reach/Recover?

Anna Katen (AK): Karen is very much trying to find her place in the Universe now that she feels that all she worked for is gone. She is an excellent representation of something I think most, if not all, of us have felt. That desperate, panicked longing to keep hold of someone or something that is slipping away from you, no matter how necessary you know it is.

It’s been great to explore her bitterness and how that manifests itself with her lashing out at the people who matter most to her. While Erin described her characters and how thoughtful and logical they were in their decisions to leave their relationships, Karen is still very much in the phase of mourning—she wants to scream into the void.

JP: Thank you for that thoughtful overview, Anna. Can you share a bit of your process with us? How has it been different for this workshop of Reach/Recover?

AK: As an actor, my process usually involves a lot of repetition and exploration with my fellow actors. This show has involved a lot more script work outside of rehearsal, marking beats and exploring intention, due to it being such a quick process. There’s a very exciting energy that comes with knowing you don’t have long in the room with your collaborative crew. I think that has made making choices on our feet that much more fun! It’s also been wonderful working with Christopher to make changes and clarifications as we go along. It’s not often that you actually get to sit down and discuss things with your playwright while you’re bringing their world to life.

JP: Luckily at Now & Then, we're fortunate to work with writers on a regular basis, but—you're absolutely right—it is not something that happens often. We're thankful for each opportunity—and thankful to share the experience with theatre artists and audiences! Final question: There are so many options for seeing theatre in the valley or staying at home to stream entertainment. Why should audiences come see Reach/Recover?

AK: The vast spectrum of art you can take in during a single weekend in The Valley is astounding, but one of my favorite things about the theatre scene is how welcoming and encouraging it is for new and developing works. Reach/ Recover explores the very relevant topic of creating that coveted human connection and the obstacles—external and internal—that we all face in trying to do so. Live theatre connects you to the person on stage, the person next to you, and the person down the row from you. You are all part of a unique, fleeting moment in time. Feeling that electricity takes your breath away in a way Netflix will never be able to do.

JP: Well put, Anna. Leave the streaming for another day, friends—and get thee to the theatre!

Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen will be presented to audiences Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM. For info and tickets, click here.