"The Tempest Ladies" is group of 6 women who studied in London together at the Shakespeare's Globe and after performing their final scene together, decided to take their chemistry in both work and friendship to the next level and continue performing classical text, specifically "The Tempest" both nationally and internationally! Come see these talented ladies on June 2nd at 7pm and 9pm at The Players Loft in NYC (115 MacDougal Street, 3rd Floor) for fun night of Shakespearean theatre! Click here for tickets!

Stella Berg:

Stella was born in NYC and lived here for her first eleven years of life before moving to Istanbul, Turkey with her family where she attended Middle School and High School before returning to the US to study drama at Syracuse University. She graduated with two things: a BFA in Acting and a titillatingly talented and deliciously ambitious theater company called the ‘Tempest Ladies.’ The ensemble formed in London while they were studying at Shakespeare’s Globe their Junior year and have since performed their flagship production of ‘The Tempest’ nationally and internationally.

1.Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I am constantly inspired by other artists of different mediums. Both of my parents are superb artists: my dad is a metal sculptor and my mom is a painter. My boyfriend is a mind-bogglingly great musician. I don’t know who or what can claim credit for the initial inspiration because admittedly I didn’t know I was any good at acting until way down the line when someone else told me I was. Now I owe them everything because I can’t imagine doing anything else.

2. How did you come up with the idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? The six founding members studied in London together at the Globe and five of us did our final scene on the Globe stage together. We had amazing chemistry and worked well together. Upon returning to the states we decided we wanted to continue making theatre together. We chose to continue working on classical text and chose Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest.’ The name was a default that eventually stuck.

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? I’m excited because it’s a very different show than the last time we performed it. We have two new ensemble members who bring their own energy and light to the group which inevitable give the entire show a different feel. But we’ve also re-examined many of the scenes and added a lot of really great elements to the show. I can’t wait to play in front of an audience and see how they react to it. And I’m excited to show and share our work to an even wider audience. We have our friends, family and fans who have been our loyal supporters for a long time but this time around we have more people that aren’t in our immediate circles coming to see it.

4. What is your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? We’ve been through a lot together by working on this show for as long as we have. It’s been three years now of blood, sweat and tears, tears, sweat, tears, blood, chicken wire, marketing meetings, prop building sessions, rehearsals, performances  but at the end it’s so, so worth. It’s so rewarding and wonderful to come out of it and look at our collective work. We’re all passionate about our show, loyal to each other and we have a really beautiful trust as a group. I feel safe going on stage knowing that if I drop the ball one of my Ladies will pick it right back up for me.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? On my swing. I listen to music and run scenes in my head. I get inspired and then create new stories, scenarios and characters and begin to act them out. I look very strange and often mentally unstable but I come up with a lot of my ideas/things I want to experiment with when I defy gravity a little bit.

6. Favorite skin care product? I don’t have one. That may be why my skin is so infuriatingly bad right now.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? I’ve been fortunate to have been given many a gem in the way of advice but here are a few of my favorites:

 *Wisdom arrives in silence.

 *One's ability to succeed is always proportional to one's willingness to fail. Besides, all failures are temporary, all tigers are paper, and life is a many splendored thing.

*Really, all one has to do to transform their life is remind themselves to think and behave a little bit differently, each day.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I always enjoy dreaming about Cem Misirlioglu. He’s a musician and really sexy.

Laura Borgwardt:

Laura is an experienced actor, teaching artist, physical comedienne, and good listener. Laura recently graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Acting and now resides in New York City. During her time at Syracuse she studied abroad in London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, interned at Writers’ Theatre and Lookingglass in Chicago, and took part in the Arielle Tepper Semester in NYC. She has spent a lot of time as a bag lady in the one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe but likes acting with other people as well. She is a founding member of The Tempest Ladies and of CO/LAB Theater Group–an educational theater organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities–and is currently a teaching artist with TADA! Youth Theater.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My sister is a supremely talented singer and my brother is the funniest person I've ever met, so I naturally had to find something that I was remotely good at in order to save face and not tarnish the Borgwardt name. How cliche as a middle child to choose acting. I joined a summer theatre program taught by local music teacher Lynn Najem, who later became my mentor and boss as she took me on as her assistant. Lynn has inspired me not only as a performer but as a teacher and a human. So many things inspire us at different moments, it's impossible to list them, but these are a few of my top.

2. How did you come up with the idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? After our trip to Edinburgh it became clear to us that we wanted to continue working together in this way and form a company. The Tempest Ladies name was born out of a nickname our fellow Syracuse students got to calling us our Senior year. I think maybe we spent a little too much time together. It was really just our common love of leotards that brought us together, nothing more.

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? The show has changed in exciting ways and I'm looking forward to getting us in front of an audience. We are really focusing on making the piece clear, engaging, and accessible. Our goal is to tour the show around in the Fall to schools, libraries, community centers, etc. A lot of our marketing work has intensified in these past several weeks and I can't wait to see all of our hard work pay off!

4. What's your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? I am constantly inspired by these ladies. They should have been included in my first response. Tasks that seem daunting--both artistic and otherwise--are much more managable with the force of an ensemble doing the work and pooling together their insanely creative ideas (some lean more towards just insane...but that's when we collectively decide that perhaps wearing black queen-sized nylons over our faces might be something we drop). I also love changing people's ideas about Shakespeare. My favorite people are those who come up afterwards and say "I really don't like Shakespeare usually, but I loved your show because I could understand it all and it kept me interested." Making people feel smart. Surprising everyone including yourself.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? The park, my bedroom, the subway, at work. You can pretty much practice anywhere. If you don't mind looking a bit crazy.

6. Favorite skin care product? This green crap that I just got as a sample from Sephora. Thanks Domenique ;) It looks nasty at first but disappears and makes your face look pretty. Also this gritty stuff I use as facewash is brilliant. Gosh, I suck at product placement. Aveeno something.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? 

 **Do what you love. Even if it changes day to day.--unknown, please contact our PR rep to claim this piece of advice if you remember giving it to me.

 **Just smile and nod.--Uncle Jim (on dealing with some people)

**Don't worry, be happy.--Bobby McFerrin

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I can't tell you his name, but if I close my eyes I can picture him. Yup, there he is.

Julia Giolzetti:

Julia is one of the newer members of "The Tempest Ladies." Originally from San Diego, Julia represented her high school at the Old Globe Shakespeare competition. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where the legendary Stella Adler Studio provided all of her classical training. Since graduating, she has appeared in Bank of America and Windstream cable commercials, Spike TV shows, and her voice was used in a multimedia ad for HBO’s Big Love. Julia has acted all around NYC: Theater for the New City, HERE Arts Center, Manhattan Rep, Wings Theatre & the Workshop Theatre Company. Recently she was nominated for a NY Innovative Theatre Award for PINK!, a hilarious yet terrifying thrill ride into the dark and dangerous world of 12-year-old girls. She’s also tackled many of the Bard’s roles, including Juliet (San Diego Playbill Award), Luciana, Viola, and some dudes as well–Henry V’s Boy & Snug the Joiner. She is delighted to join this brilliant and beautiful group of ladies. For more on Julia be sure to visit http://www.JuliaGiolzetti.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was always obsessed with "behind the scenes" stuff when I was a kid. I must have watched the making of the "Wizard of Oz" 100 times as a 4 year old. I would pester my parents with facts about the actors, like how Bert Lahr was a famous comedian and that Judy Garland was only 15.

2. How did you come up with the idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? I am not a founding member, I was cast through a Backstage ad back in February so I'll let the others answer this one!

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? First of all, my mom is coming from San Diego to see it. She's the reason I'm an actor, she always drove me to rehearsals and supported my decision to move to New York and attend NYU. Also, I'm very excited for people to see this work. It's an all-female cast that doesn't comment on the fact that we're girls playing boys--they are just roles after all, and it's so great to portray all these different men.

4. What's your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? There is such a camaraderie and mutual support in this group of actors, and it's wonderful to be new and still feel so included. It's so much easier to act off people you trust, and I know that if something goes wrong, we'll be able to get past it together. And this play is just so fun, I hope people can see how much fun we're having on stage.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? Woah, good question. Probably at home, my dog Baxter acts as my scene partner and is a very good listener!

6. Favorite skin care product? Haha, I have loved Aveeno products ever since I had the chicken pox. So soothing.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? My scene study teacher at Adler freshman year, Alice, told our class to "write the letters." It basically means that doing your homework can only make your performance better. If your character writes a letter to another one, or has a conversation off stage, figure out for yourself what the character said or did. Write the letter to the other character, and then when you hand it to them, you'll know what it says and how they may react. For a show I did recently at Theater for the New City, "American Soldiers." I actually wrote a goodbye card to my sister who was leaving town for good, and it completely changed how I acted about giving it to her.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Filming a dramatic candle-filled love scene with Ewan MacGregor, Johnny Depp, or Patrick Wilson. Or Aaron Eckhart. Or Christian Bale.

Holly Hart:

Hailing from Stamford, CT, Holly became involved with theater at a very young age playing the frog (yes you read correctly) in Cinderella. Holly attended Syracuse University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010. A founding member of The Tempest Ladies, Holly is proud to start her professional career with some of her best friends. Past credits include: The Tempest (Ensemble Member), Fables (Beautiful Girl), The Bird and The Two Ton Weight (Chorus), A Young Lady of Property(Martha Davenport), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Sookie), Fully Committed (Sam) and Steel Magnolias (Annelle).

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was very shy as a kid and my parents got me into performing to help open me up, so I’ve been inspired by the power that performance has to help people.

2. How did you come up with the idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? The six founding members studied in London together at the Globe and five of us did our final scene on the Globe stage together. We had amazing chemistry and worked well together. Upon returning to the states we decided we wanted to continue making theatre together. We chose to continue working on classical text and chose Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest.’ The name was a default that eventually stuck.

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? I’m excited because it’s a very different show than the last time we performed it. We have two new ensemble members who bring their own energy and light to the group which inevitable give the entire show a different feel. But we’ve also re-examined many of the scenes and added a lot of really great elements to the show. I can’t wait to play in front of an audience and see how they react to it. And I’m excited to show and share our work to an even wider audience. We have our friends, family and fans who have been our loyal supporters for a long time but this time around we have more people that aren’t in our immediate circles coming to see it.

4. What's your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? There is a certain chemistry you develop after being in an ensemble for two years now. There is nothing quite like it. I can read exactly what one of the other ladies is going to do and they can read me like a book. It’s a wonderful way to work and create art.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? The park.

6. Favorite skin care product? Olay (maybe they will let us endorse them from this?).

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? Felix Ivanov: Guys it’s not a play, it’s a game.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My awesome, sexy, funny, wonderfully Greek boyfriend Giannis.

Laura Bess Jernigan:

Laura is another one of the newer "Tempest Ladies" and is honored to be a part of the group. A graduate of Meredith College in North Carolina with a BA in Theatre, Laura was previously seen in an off off Broadway limited run of "Henry V" with Kill Mike Theatre Company. Previous credits in North Carolina include Echo in "Eleemosynary" (REP), The Skryker in "The Skryker" (REP), Elizabeth in "Elizabeth: Almost By Chance A Woman" (Stillwater Theatre), Maid Marian in "Robin Hood" (Cary Players), and Marcus in "Titus Andronicus" (Bare Theatre).

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I started out as a singer, singing in the church choir and shool choir and such. Then one day I saw a touring production of Les Miserables, and I thought "THAT! That's what I want to do!" and the more I studied and the more classes I took I just slowly moved more and more towards straight plays.

2. How did you come up with idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? I'm one of the new girls, so I'm going to pass this to one of the founding members.

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? I’m excited to be performing with these women! They're all incredibly talented and have done an amzing job with this show so far, and I'm honored that Julia and I get to add ourselves into this. I'm also really excited about the new stuff that Julia and I got to be a part of creating. It's been amazing to be part of a group who is so open to the new people doing their own things with the parts. It's been incredibly collaborative.

4. What's your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? Every single one of these ladies is a pro. If you're in a scene and you feel something different and something comes out differently than it did yesterday, their all right there with you, ready to see where the scene goes next.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? My family has a lake house in the middle of nowhere North Carolina. It's incredibly peaceful. I like learning lines there.

6. Favorite skin care product? I've really been loving Paula's Choice products lately. Wish I could afford them more often. And I use Aveeno calming foam everyday. Love that stuff.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? My step-brother, who is the only other person in my family who is in this business (except he's a behind the scenes guy) told me when I graduated college that whatever job I got make sure I made rent in a week. Now I haven't been able to achieve that goal yet, but I certainly wish I could.

8. If you could drem about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Nathan Fillion. Best sex dream I ever had.

Jana Stambaugh:

Jana comes from Clarksville, Maryland where she was told to be whatever she wanted to be. With the aid of Barbie and the American Girl Doll collection, Jana began experimenting with story telling at a very young age. Whether Ken and Barbie were breaking up or American Girl Molly was saving the day, Jana was writing, directing, producing and acting in the entire affair. Having studied at Shakespeare’s Globe in the Fall of 2008 and having graduated from Syracuse University with a B.F.A. in Acting in the Fall of 2009, Jana is thrilled to be in New York City.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Barbie and Ken-they get the credit for my first acting impulses. There was always so much drama in creating stories for them. My parents-they always told me to be whatever I wanted to be. God-because he gave me a gift and an opportunity to use it.

2. How did you come up with the idea to create "The Tempest Ladies"? We were studying at the Globe Theatre for a semester in London. We couldn't get over how accessible the Globe Tutors made Shakespeare. We were thoroughly trained in voice, text and movement. Movement was particularly fun because it allowed us to experience a very physical approach to Shakespeare, which was something we had never encountered. Coming back from London, we knew we wanted to create a piece of our own, using women to play a mostly-male cast and creating visuals with our bodies to enhance the pictures so eloquently depicted in the text.

3. What excites you most about your upcoming performance of "The Tempest Ladies"? The space-The Players Theatre will be such a treat to work in. The people-I'm so thrilled to have friends and family attend who haven't made it out before. I'm also really excited to meet our new ensemble members' besties. The future-this is only the beginning. We have big plans for where we want to go next. I'm excited that this performance will kick-start big things.

4. What's your favorite aspect of performing together as a group? I love working as an ensemble. Not only can you do more with a group of people, but there is something so comforting and encouraging about constantly supported by five other people on stage. You may be delivering a soliloquy, but you're not alone. You're accompanied by music, bodies, and energy that cannot be compensated for with only yourself.

5. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? The Park. The Subway. The street. Sometimes I pretend I'm on my cellphone just so I can run through a monologue. It's fun.

6. Favorite skin care product? Hmm...I would have to lean towards Clinique's 7-Day Scrub.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? Shoot for the stars and hit the moon...be gentle with yourself.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Umm, I think I would want to have a conversation with someone wonderfully funny-like Lucille Ball or Stephen Colbert.

 

John Treacy Egan

Howard McGillin