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Tackling the title role in the first reading of a new play

I love my playwright friends.  They are smart, inventive and you get to know them in person as well as through the different facets of their work.  Over the years, Richard Vetere, Frank Cossa and Michael Swiskay come up.  Sometimes the plays get read, even produced, and it’s a delight to see their vision coming to life.

Yesterday I read in Michael Swiskay’s “Orbiting Ezmerelda.” Ezmerelda Gottwald is a powerful art dealer from Prague yet vulnerable wife, the play is about a surreal yet plausible art scam.  I had already read the screenplay version and it was so satisfying to explore it aloud with an audience.  The feedback from the playwright—that I was “imperious” in the title role.

Highlighting the evening was the Q&A, devised by the producers of the reading: www.creation-completion.org.  They set up a board game where the audience, the playwright and the members of the cast were given fun things to brainstorm about.  A very unique approach to giving and receiving feedback, and it definitely opened everyone up to a more playful and less judgmental approach, exploring producing scenarios and how it would affect the vision of the play.

Playwright Arthur Giron was in the audience, and I got a big hug at the end of the play: I was his #1 for the off-Broadway two character play “Emilie’s Voltaire” a few years ago, but production went in another direction. His musical “Amazing Grace” is opening this year on Broadway. I am thrilled he got to see me again as the leading lady! xx

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Flo Ankah
Actress | Director | Songstress
A French New Yorker at heart, Flo Ankah works as an actress, director and voice-over talent (Listen Up Philip, Loving the Silent Tears, Edith Piaf Alive). Her voice is in commercials and feature films for prominent directors. As the songstress 'Floanne,' she performs at Joe's Pub, Symphony Space, MoMA and Feinstein's/54 Below.