Artist Spotlight: Ana Maria Campoy

BLOOD/WATER/PAINT [ Mainstage production, Feb. 2015]

Role: Susanna

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What about the story of Artemisia or the play Blood/Water/Paint are you most intrigued by right now?
Honestly it depends on the night. I find myself watching or listening to a different scene every night. Joy has given us an extraordinary play. My fellow actors amaze me every night with their generosity as scene partners, their risk-taking, and drive they have every performance so far.

What part of working on Blood/Water/Paint are you most excited about ?
I was lucky enough to be a part of the reading a couple of years ago and Susanna was much more reserved character then. One of my favorite parts of this process has been seeing how Joy would write, edit, and rewrite various monologues or entire scenes. It felt as if we were both trying to crack her, trying to discover her voice together. It was exciting to come to rehearsal every day to see what new discovery Joy had made about her.

I also love all my scenes with Annette as my older sister, Rebecca. I am the oldest of three and we are all very close. Rebecca and Susanna’s relationship is filled with energy, love, and contrariness, like all sisters. Joy really did encapsulate what it’s like to have a sister; it makes me miss having my sisters and me altogether. It also serves as a good reminder for me to call them more!

Besides that, our designers are a dream. There were several collective mini-celebrations had among the cast when we were saw our set and lighting, our costumes, or heard the music. We all feel so lucky to be in the handles of such talented, passionate people.

Throughout the process so far, what has been the biggest challenge for you?
I thought that the scene I have with the Elders would be my most difficult going into the rehearsals, mainly of nudity. However, Amy creates such a safe space for actors that being vulnerable in that way is easy.

Susanna was a tough nut to crack. I have discovered that she comes to decisions only after she has exhausted all recourses, meaning she listens and observes much more attentively than I do in my daily life. She catches minor details in people’s sentences and pierces to the heart of their meaning. I do hope that I can carry some of her thoughtfulness with me after this show.

What is your favorite piece by Artemisia Gentileschi? Tell us about it, and why you love it!
I love her self-portrait that is featured in the play. When I first saw it, I gasped. I couldn’t believe how contemporary it looked and I love how Artemisia fully acknowledges that she is an artist on par with the rest of her colleagues.

One cool fact about the painting my character is based on, Susanna and the Elders, was restored under X-ray light and it was discovered that the original Susanna was getting ready to fight back with a knife in hand! I have to thank Evelyn Dehais for sharing that with Alex Highsmith and me. Of course both our reactions were one giant, “YESSS ARTEMISIA!!” (If you want to check it out look here: http://rgfellows.tumblr.com/post/104940213390/rgfellows-kanyewestboro-calanoida-susanna)

The more I learn about Artemisia, the more I learn about how strong, driven, and talented she was. We are so lucky that her art survived and that she never gave up on herself.

What  other female artists do you love that you wish everybody knew about?
I have a lot of female visual artists in my family. My apartment is full of their photographs, paintings, and carvings. Most of my family is in Mexico so being surrounded by their art is like having a little bit Mexico with me always. Their work is beautiful. My cousin, Fernanda Ballesteros, and my aunt, Yolanda Veytia, both have websites you can check out (http://fernandaballesteros.com/ and http://www.yolandaveytia.com ).

Any favorite quotes, or moments from rehearsal that you are willing to share?
Any moment you can get Amy Poisson or Evelyn DeHais to laugh-they both have the most infectious laughs- is pretty great. We laugh a lot which is necessary thing I think with a play as heavy as this. That said, I can’t really think of a specific moment, but am grateful that we found levity through this process.

Tell us about any upcoming projects  that you’re excited about!
I am currently directing middle school students at Seattle Public Theatre in I’M MIGRATION a new play by Jesse Glick, written in response of what is happening to young refugees at our southern borders. Performances are FREE on March 7th and 8th at 2:00pm at Seattle Public Theatre.

Also I’m getting married this August! I can’t wait for our family and friends (most who have never been to Seattle) come to celebrate with us. Some people I haven’t seen in years, so we talking about how we will all be dancing until the sun comes up. That’s something that I am MOST excited about.

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BIO:

Ana Maria Campoy moved to Seattle in fall 2010 to participate in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Professional Arts Training Program as the Education Intern. There she worked on various programs like TeenSpeak, I(mmigrant)Speak, Playwriting Project, and Seattle Rep’s inaugural year with the National August Wilson Monologue Competition. She now works as a teaching artist for Seattle Rep’s Education Department and at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she’s also the Community Education Programs Assistant. Through her freelance teaching artist work she has worked with YouthCare, University of Washington’s Graduate Teaching Program, and Seattle Public Theatre leading her to have worked a variety of populations from homeless youth, to children of migrant workers (where she was overjoyed to get to teach in her first language, Spanish), and young recovering drug addicts. She is a passionate and proud advocate of the performing arts, believing that performance provides communities a voice and individuals self-exploration.

As an actor, some of her favorite Seattle roles include Georgia in First Born in Seattle’s 2012 Fringe Festival, Abbey in Duane Kelly’s Rousseau and Hobbes at ACT’s Central Heating Lab, and Sophie in Pork Filled Production’s The Clockwork Professor. She has also worked with Book-It Repertory Theatre, Arouet, Ghost Light Theatricals, eSe teatro, and quiet productions. Most recently she seen playing six different characters wrapped inside the main character, Nemesis, in the funny, dark solo play The Gifts of War in a theatre and dance collaboration at Velocity’s Founder’s Theatre. She is also currently in Book-It Repertory Theatre’s Touring production of Alice in Wonderland as Alice.

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