So many artists bridge multiple artistic fields – it seems almost necessary these days if you have any hope of surviving as an artist. I’m constantly wondering if there will ever be a day when I get to focus on doing just three things instead of thirty! But it’s always a joy for me to meet artists who are managing successful careers in more than one field, because their sense of vitality is contagious! Brigitte is one of those artists. She’s an actor, director, writer, and activist – and she’s written a beautiful play titled FLY GIRL FLY.
This lovely play is about longing, art, and the magic of stillness in a constantly moving landscape. It was a big hit with the playwrights who read the script during our peer review process, and I can’t wait to see it this Sunday.
Readers, may I introduce you to Brigitte Viellieu-Davis.
Brigitte: A festival celebrating the work of women? I like everything about that – celebration, women, great work. I’m in.
LBDI: Describe your writing space…
Brigitte: I recently renovated my home office, and told my husband it is OFF LIMITS (he has a man cave in our home, so it’s all good). I used the Feng Shui Bagua Map for my desktop and my book case and the placement of my desk. I made a Pinterest Board for what spoke to me . I’m a Feng Shui novice, but there’s definitely something to it. And it’s amazing how decluttering and purposeful placement opens up the space to create in. Even visitors remark on the energy of the room.
LBDI: If you could be any cartoon character for just 24 hours, who would you be?
Brigitte: Bugs Bunny, of course – he gets away with everything. Or Betty Boop (no explanation needed).
LBDI: What was your first play titled/about?
Brigitte: It was a collaboration developed over a few months of etudes and improvs with director Daniella Topol and a group of 6 actors — our source material being seven stories from the LIVES section of the New York Times Magazine. We wove the characters’ lives together into one piece with intersecting journeys. It was called “Lives of the Times.”
LBDI: Which playwrights do you admire and what about them inspires you?
Brigitte: Tony Kushner – “Angels in America” changed the way I think about live theatre; Anton Chekhov, and our American Chekhov, Tennessee Williams – for their complex and fierce female characters; Thorton Wilder for timeless truth telling; Jane Anderson because she tells stories nobody else tells. And I’ve worked with Eve Ensler and Anna Deavere Smith — they have influenced me tremendously in seeing the arts as an agent of civic dialogue.
LBDI: Why do you write for theatre? (as opposed to other written media…)
Brigitte: I just write. I know the theatre the best because I’ve had the most opportunity to work in the theatre, but I’ll write anything. Right now I’m working on a screenplay. I just love stories…in all their forms.
LBDI: Paper or Plastic?
Brigitte: I bring my own bags everywhere. I always have a chico bag in my purse. I like my ocean, I like my trees. My back yard is a certified urban wildlife habitat…no kidding. I compost, we have rain barrels, recycle…I’m not messing around when it comes to Mama Earth.
LBDI: What is your spirit animal?
Brigitte: I use bird metaphors often in my work. Besides “Fly Girl Fly,” “Frida Liberada” (Frida Set Free or Uncaged), my play about Frida Kahlo, comes to mind. What kind of bird? It changes with my mood. Beware my “bird of prey” days. 🙂
Brigitte Viellieu-Davis is an actor, director, writer and activist who has performed extensively in regional and Off-Broadway theatre, including Westside Arts, Hartford Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, City Theatre, Peccadillo, Bricolage, Portland Stage, Capital Rep, The Public Theatre, Urban Stages, The Drama League, 24 Hour Plays, Gorilla Rep, Irondale Ensemble Project, and the Moscow Art Theatre. Television credits include guest star roles on Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl, Law & Order, Law & Order: S.V.U., One Life to Live, All My Children, As the World Turns and Guiding Light. She is the playwright and director of Frida Liberada, about legendary artist Frida Kahlo, and The Whole World’s a Talkin’ for young audiences. She holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University/Moscow Art Theatre and a B.A. from Purdue University. Brigitte has worked closely with some of the most exciting pioneers in socially relevant and activist theatre, including Eve Ensler (Brigitte played Eve in the Regional premieres of The Good Body) and Anna Deavere Smith & The Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue. – See more HERE.
The Planting the Seed Festival runs this week for 3 performances only
at the First Congregational Church Theater in Prescott.
Showtimes – Jan 2nd @ 7:30, and Jan 3rd @ 2:30 & 7:30.
Tickets just $14 online or at the door!