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Meet Actor Dawn Rendell

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

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

Dawn Rendell (DR): Annie is a college professor. She's super smart and can tell you pretty much everything about space—from when the universe formed to what it will be in the future—but she is feeling really lost and disconnected personally. She got married and became wrapped up in her marriage and career, and—unfortunately—ignored her own needs and friendships. Now, she is struggling to connect with her husband and has no one to turn to. I think lots of folks will identify with how she lost a little bit of herself and is now trying to regain that.

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

DR: I'll be honest, I identify with Annie a bit. So, this has been an easier process for me. While I'm not married, I'm around the same age and work at a university. I know that feeling of getting a little lost in your career and then realizing there are things you didn't do that you meant to when you finally get a moment to come up for air. Sometimes, when you get wrapped up in what is happening immediately around you, you don't realize you have drifted away from the people that used to ground you. While I usually start to make some acting decisions when I'm reading a script by finding things I connect to and thinking through what it would feel like to be in that space, I really feel a character come together when I'm with the cast and we can work off of each other. On Sunday night, we had our first read through, and there is this pretty intense dialogue with Annie's husband. Getting to respond to Devon's take on the husband really helped to get to the raw place that Annie is at in her marriage. There are some talented folks in the cast. So, that really helps to up my game.

JP: Yes, we have a great team joining us! Reach/Recover features Lauren McKay, Natalie Andrews, Devon Mahon, Dawn Rendell, Anna Katen, Jordan Blanton, and Erin Coté. I can definitely relate as a performer in needing the rest of the cast to inform choices—there's only so much that can be accomplished alone. 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?

DR: There is such a great theater scene in the valley! It's one of the things I love about living here. It's not everywhere that you can see everything from Shakespeare, to golden age shows, to the newest show to show up from Broadway—all in one weekend! I love that this community can also support new works, like this one. I think pretty much everyone will find something to connect to in this show. In this day and age, connection looks so different, and we can all feel a little adrift and alone at times. So, the themes of reaching out, holding on, and trying to connect are more relevant now than ever. There are some great moments in this show, and the music is moving. Not only will audience members get to support a new work, but I think they will also get to experience something very human. Unlike Netflix, being in the room lets the audience and actors connect through a shared experience—isn't that what art is all about?

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.