STORRS. Connecticut Repertory Theatre will hold a screening of Robert Greene’s award-winning documentary film Actress, starring Brandy Burre. The film centers around Burre’s steps to return to acting after a hiatus to focus on motherhood. Burre was named “Best Actress of 2014” by Richard Brody of The New Yorker for her work in the film. The screening will be held on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at the von der Mehden Recital Hall, followed by a Q&A with Burre. Tickets will be available at the door and cost five dollars for student tickets and ten dollars for general admission. CRT subscribers will receive free admission. Information is available at crt.uconn.edu or at (860) 486-2113.
After receiving her MFA from Ohio University, Burre moved to New York to pursue an acting career. Following a successful stint in a recurring role on HBO’s hit show The Wire, Burre and her partner decided to move to Beacon, NY to focus on building a family. Burre’s neighbor, director Robert Greene, moved into the house next door that same month. After befriending each other, Greene decided that he wanted Brandy to be the subject of his next film. He approached her about it, and Burre says that at the time “agreeing to the documentary was a huge leap of faith. Of course, I was hesitant at first and Robert had to do a bit of coaxing to get me on board. Even he wasn’t sure what we were after when we began the journey of filming. From his previous films, he knew he was interested in exploring the idea of “performance in a documentary” and from there our free form collaboration began. There was an element of unknown– what footage he would be able to capture and how he would form that into a narrative?”
What makes this film unique is that Burre is an actor playing herself in her roles of actor, mother, partner, and woman. In sharing so much of herself, Burre stated that her “goal was simply, to be truthful in front of a camera. But, that begged the question, “what is my truth?” Indeed, a profound question I found not so simply answered. And one that every individual at some point in life might be forced to ask themselves. It is within the asking, that the movie becomes universal in its scope. That idea that we all play the ‘role of our lives,’ not just the ‘actress.’”
The film, released in 2014, was a critical success. It has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and made Paste Magazine’s Top 100 Documentaries of all Time. It continues to captivate audiences around the world with its heartbreakingly honest depictions of a world crumbling and one woman’s strength to survive it.
Burre is currently a guest artist at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. She is working on The Laramie Project, directed by CRT’s artistic director Vincent J. Cardinal. As a documentary theatre piece, Burre has had no problem transitioning from the documentary screen back to stage. The Laramie Project tells the story of the gruesome kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student. Several weeks after the incident, members of The Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to conduct interviews with Laramie residents. The play is made up of transcriptions of those interviews, collectively telling the tale of how a town recovers in the face of tragedy. Performances of The Laramie Project begin on October 8 and continue through October 18, 2015 at Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nafe Katter Theatre. Tickets are now on sale at crt.uconn.edu or 860-486-2113.
Directed, Edited & Photographed by Robert Greene
Produced by Douglas Tirola & Susan Bedusa
Starring Brandy Burre
Thursday September 24, 2015 – 8:00pm
von der Mehden Recital Hall
Tickets: $5 Students and $10 General Admission / Free for CRT subscribers.
Running Time: 92 min
Cash only – at the door.
CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. CRT productions are directed, designed by, and cast with visiting professional artists, including Equity actors, faculty members, and the department’s most advanced student artists. The synergy between professional and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment.