An Interview with

Beverly Poole

director of Albatross's staged reading:

Imogen Says Nothing

by Aditi Brennan Kapil

What drew you to Imogen Says Nothing?

Each aspect of this play contains something that interests me! I am a total nerd for Shakespeare and the Elizabethan age. I am also a staunch intersectional feminist. I always want to know about the women who have been erased from history. There is an absurd element to this play that just delights me, and creates a lot of room for having fun. But more than that, there is an anger expressed in Imogen Says Nothing that feels incredibly powerful right now. A lot of us are angry right now, and we have every right to be when we look at the world around us. We still live in a world where people are kept in cages. How do we channel that anger? When do we express it? What can we change?  When do we make this story ours?

What is your history with Shakespeare?

I fell in love with the way Shakespeare uses language when I auditioned for my first Shakespeare play way back in high school. I love Shakespeare so much, I accidentally started teaching it while I was in college and never looked back. It is such a joy to work with language that powerful. I hope Shakespeare is a gateway into all of the other powerful artists who have used language to make a statement.

What about a stage reading elevates this story in a perhaps new or exciting way?

We get to strip all the bells and whistles from the play, and just hear the story. I am so excited about the cast for this play — they are really going to get a chance to shine!

What do you think will surprise audiences about this story?

Everything. The bears are the least of the surprises!

Who/what are your artistic inspirations?

I have worked with so many fabulous directors in Seattle who have shaped the way I see story and what I look for in a play. Shout out to Tom Dang and Maureen Hawkins, as well as countless others I have worked with.

What do you hope the audience will take away from this play?

Often plays that are described as feminist leave me a little cold, because I feel like the scope of their feminism is too narrow. We learn more about the intersectionality of our world every day, and I want stories that reflect all of that. It's a tall order! The absurd aspect of this play (which you will have to see to understand) raises Imogen Says Nothing up to a parable in my eyes, and manages to contain a lot of the intersectionality that I frequently see lacking. It isn't a perfect allegory, but it is a good story and I know it can start a lot of conversations. Also, maybe it will inspire us to maul the systems and people that hold people down in order to raise themselves up. Maybe we will be so inspired we start a new movement. Bears for equality!

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