Founding Artistic Director, The Edge Productions Edge Credits: Corie in Barefoot in the Park, Director of The Vagina Monologues, Ivy in bare; a pop opera Selected Credits Elsewhere: Celeste in Saturday Night (Grantland Street Playhouse), Gilmer in Godspell (Theatre Intrigue), Isabella in Measure for Measure, Imogen in Cymbeline (NonSuch Repertory Theatre), Gwendolyn Fairfax in The Importance of Being Ernest (Under New Management), Sarah in The Prisoner's of War (Alphabet Theatre Co) She trained in New York at the Ward Acting Studio, in London, England at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and The Mountview Academy. You can see her next performing in BASH by Neil Labute - The Edge Productions first show going to Toronto! For more information & full list of credits please visit her website at www.miriamrgoldstein.com
Why did you become a theatre artist?The catharsis of theatre. It's the only medium that can inspire that kind of communal therapy or revolution. Going to the theatre when I was young made me feel like I was a part of something - that feeling just increased with time.
Was there someone who inspired you in particular?
There are so many people who have inspired me along the way but William Hutt in The Tempest, about 15 years ago - maybe longer - made up my mind to do this for a living. He was incredible to watch. Watching Paul Gross play Hamlet reaffirmed it. He came to that role with such humour and was so grounded in his performance. Seeing Lucy Peacock gather a giant white sheet that had covered the stage while she slowly went insane as Lady Macbeth challenged me to step up my game. Ethan Hawk in Cherry Orchard and Winter's Tale showed me how wild you can make your performance. Watching a motorcycle riding Polish acting troupe perform Shakespeare, my friends who created Hamlet Anywhere - my mother, who after being told she couldn't be a writer, picked it back up again years later and is now doing what she should have done from the beginning. There's inspiration in everything I see, everyone I work with... even if it's just inspiring me not to make their mistakes.
Did you find anything unexpected while reading the text before starting rehearsals?
Yes! Almost everything came as a surprise to me. I walked into this project with a preconceived idea about the play. Every time I read it I became more interested or discovered something I hadn't seen before. A play that I thought was more about hate and revenge than anything else is, in fact, about love. How far love can drive you in any direction. Who knew?
What is the most interesting discovery you've made during the rehearsal process?
That no ones hands are clean in Merchant. No ones hands are clean and no one is evil. The sheer humanity, of the interweaving stories, is incredible. Also, my love for Jessica grows and grows. She's normally mostly cut from the show but we've given every story arc it's time onstage - which means I really get the chance to explore who Jessica is, her decision making, how the events of the play really take their toll on her. She's an incredible person.
Why do you think theatre is important?
As I said earlier - catharsis. If you can make even one person say "I know that feeling." or "I'm not alone." You've done your job. The theatre is an empty space - we have the freedom and the privilege to fill it with anything. Whether that be political revolution/commentary, examining the human condition, something visually inspiring or giving people a break from their reality and taken them into ours. A director once told me "actors are the luckiest people in the world. They get to experience the farthest reaches of the human experience, have the wildest adventures, suffer the most extreme traumas - and they come back from it all unscarred - all while making people feel like they're part of it." That is the best description of theatre I've ever heard. It's how I work as an actor and as a director.
How do you pick pieces for The Edge Productions?
Same way. Do I have something to say about it? Do I have an interest in going there? Can I do something interesting with it that maybe people haven't seen before? And is it saying something important or dealing with an issue that needs to be talked about. Very rarely do I find myself picking something that doesn't fit in to at least most of those categories - if it doesn't I'm doing it for the fun of it.
Why run your own company? Why independent theatre?
I came home from England and there wasn't any paid work in Windsor, or work that particularly interested me. There are a lot of theatre companies here that do great stuff but it's not the type of expression I got used to being a part of. I started my own company because I had something to say. I have no problem with larger, sponsored, established theatre companies/festivals. I'd love to work there and be a part of it too. I grew up going to them. They're the only companies that really do repertory theatre, which I love. I was taught if there isn't any work for you or you don't see work you like - make it. So, I did. It's not complicated.
If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I'd make it more supportive. Some of my friends in the UK, like me, run their own theatre companies. They all plug everyone else. If you visit their websites not only do they talk about what they're doing but they talk about what everyone else in town is doing too. From West End Theatre to Bar Tours. They believe, and I agree, that generating interest in the theatre world at large is beneficial to everyone. If someone goes to see their show, visits their website and they link to someone else doing something in their down time - you're promoting a habit making change. Instead of saying "What is this company doing now?" They'll just keep attending the theatre.
What are your dream projects, both as an actor and as a director?
I'd love to get my hands on everything! I've managed to play some of my dream roles already (Imogen in Cymbeline which I'd love to revisit) but Ophelia in Hamlet, Katherine in Taming of the Shrew, Hermione in Winter's Tale, any role in Sunday on the Rocks, any of the sisters in Three Sisters.
As a director? I have so many projects in mind but Hamlet has been living there the longest. There's an idea I've had cooking since I was in University.