What do you enjoy most about being part of the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company?
I love the opportunity to work consistently with an excellent group of actors, designers and artisans.
What’s the project you’ve enjoyed working on most at Dallas Theater Center?
This such a hard question to answer!!! Truly. I’ve been so fortunate to act in a wide variety of bold and innovative projects—I honestly can’t pick just one. Sorry! ;0)
Do you have any advice for people who feel too shy to do something like acting, dancing, or other performance art?
My best advice would be to offer that dabbling into acting, for example, is a wonderful risk to take because the work you do and the experiences you have will be positively applicable to many aspects of your real life! For example, improved listening skills, observation skills, confidence, empathy and analytical skills.
What role has meant the most to you as an actor and why?
I would say that playing Medea in Medea was the most broadly rewarding and challenging project for me, personally. It was wildly gratifying on every level—physically, emotionally, intellectually. It was an incredible collaborative experience, too.
SALLY NYSTUEN VAHLE and CHRISTIE VELA in Medea, photo by Karen Almond
Is there a role you’ve always dreamed of playing?
I’d like to play King Lear in Shakespeare’s King Lear, Mother Courage in Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Ranevskayan in The Cherry Orchard, Winnie in Happy Days, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And…..I could go on…..but I’ll stop there. ;0)
Who is your favorite playwright?
I love Michel Tremblay and Lynn Nottage.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
I’d be the Bionic Woman so my bad knees would be forever transformed.
Aside from acting, what’s your favorite thing about theater (directing, writing, set creation, etc.)?
I am in awe of playwrights and the collaborative process that occurs between directors and designers.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you have to shelter-in-place?
The unexpected time with my family has been an amazing gift… I’ve been baking bake bread, spending time outside walking a lot and have been grateful for time to reflect and reevaluate.
Have you discovered a new show, book series, movie, or other art during your time away from the stage?
Yes. I LOVE to read. I just finished Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance— I learned a lot from the book… I recommend it. I’m also teaching myself embroidery.