Need a little hilarity in your life? Let us introduce you to our latest featured member, Allison Page. A comedic jack-of-all-trades, Allison's work has been bringing smiles to faces for years. This month her first full-length production as a playwright, aptly titled Hilarity, is opening at the Exit Theatre. Producing company DivaFest was awarded a CA$H grant for the project last fall.
|TBA Featured Member Allison Page.
Tell us a little about your theatre work.
I think it's fair to say that most people who know me, know me as a comedy person. I'm the cocreative director of Killing My Lobster, so I spend most days surrounded by a pack of the funniest people I can find. There are worse ways to spend your time, definitely. Outside of KML I act, write, and direct all kinds of funny and not-at-all-funny things. I'm a huge believer in collaboration and not being precious about things. That's an aspect of comedy that carries over into everything else I do and is probably why I'm not sensitive about whether people like my work or not. I make things because I want them to exist, which is the only part I can really control anyway.
What's one of your favorite shows that you've worked on?
It's been a few years now, but I played an alcoholic dancing bear in Megan Cohen's BEEEEEEAAAR as part of SF Theatre Pub's Pint Sized Play Festival and it was absolutely the time of my life. I still get stopped on the sidewalk by people saying, "You're the bear, right? BEER BEEEAAAR!" and it has scored me free BBQ on multiple occasions. If I can parlay a performance into ribs—that's livin' the dream to me.
What do you like about the theatre scene here in the Bay?
Just like every other theatre artist in the Bay Area (especially comedians), people are always asking me why I haven't moved to Los Angeles or New York. For me, the answer is that I feel I can do everything here. I don't feel pigeonholed. I can be an actor/writer/director/producer/comedian/dramatist/juggler* if I want to. It's a kind of freedom that I think can be hard to secure in some places. People want to be able to say, "This is _____ and they are unquestionably a _____," but I don't feel that here. I can try things out and not feel branded with them forever.
*I am not a juggler.
Do you have a resource or piece of advice you'd like to share?
Don't wait around for people to validate your talent. They won't do it when you need them to. Do it yourself. Feel good about that. Shut up. Do it again.
Anything coming up soon that you're excited about?
My first full-length play to be fully produced is opening March 5 at the Exit Theatre. It's called Hilarity, and DivaFest is doing the awesome task of producing it. I'm not a nervous or anxious person by any stretch of the imagination but this premiere makes me feel all kinds of stuff. Thinking of myself as a playwright is sometimes bananas to me, but I think most of us suffer from Impostor Syndrome anyway. It comes with the territory. Hilarity is really important to me for a lot of reasons. It's a play about a comedian who happens to be a woman. (Hey, write what ya know!) Even just at that level, I've not seen a play about that. Actually, how many stories about comedians who aren't middle aged white guys are there? (Look, I've done a lot of Googling. It's a tiny baby number.) She's also an antihero and a general nightmare. Again, that's sort of man territory when it comes to main characters. The play isn't about her being a woman, she just is one. That alone breaks the standard and I can't wait to bring her chaos to life.