by Sarah Petersiel (PTP 2003)
Because of Dell'Arte ... I've woken up in Saskatoon!
And Mexico City.
And domestic hot spots like Ames, Iowa.
Drawing a direct line between my time at Dell'Arte and my life now would be easy, even for a dummy. I'm Co-Artistic Director of Under the Table – a small physical comedy ensemble rife (infested?) with DA alums. We've toured a lot, tapping frequently into the family network. Shout-out to Sara Katzoff and her Berkshire Fringe! Shout-out to Tim Cunningham for getting us the in in Norfolk, VA! Shout-out to Michael Fields and his Colombian connections!
For nine years I worked for the Big Apple Circus' Clown Care Unit and am now a hospital clown with Healthy Humor's Red Nose Docs. Clown doctoring is a line of work/passion my classmate Stephanie Roberts turned me onto during our time in the PTP trenches. During a recent hospital shift, a kid shouted at me with glee: “YOU'RE DUMB!!!” Something welled up in me. It was pride.
I'm also a Teaching Artist at the New Victory Theater, where I'm happily pigeon-holed among the physical theatre types. At both Healthy Humor and the New Vic, I work alongside other DA alums. What do I do in my free time? Live with and see shows by and eat food in the shape of: Dell'Artians. I'm not trying to out-DA anybody, just expressin' that the institution has a welcome hold on my life.
So thanks very much Dell'Arte – thanks teachers, classmates, ensemble-mates, fellow alums. While I sometimes dream of being a simple tax preparer and leaving behind the vulnerability and hustle of the theatre world, I'll most likely let that dream die. Dying dreams being the note on which I prefer to end all blog posts, with reiterating my thanks coming in a close second.
Sarah Petersiel is Co-Artistic Director of Under the Table, “Dr. Eleven” with Healthy Humor's Red Nose Docs, a Teaching Artist at The New Victory Theater, and Dancify That's Official Timekeeper/Grim Reaper. Visit: underthetabletheatre.com