Julia was last seen onstage in SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (Alicia) at Theatreworks. Other recent credits include THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (Antipholus) and THE ART OF DINING (Elizabeth Barrow-Colt) at Theatreworks, and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME (Punk Girl) at the Fine Arts Center. Julia can be seen next in an original work streamed on Facebook by the COVID-19 Theatrical Response Team on May 17th, and in Theatreworks’ live stream of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS on May 28th. Find out more at www.juliagreene.me.
Julia Greene as Alicia in Theatreworks's SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS
Julia Greene: Westport, CT
TW: Home now?
JG: Colorado Springs, CO
TW: How are you doing right now?
JG: Pretty good! I've been reading a play every day, doing some live streamed performances with the COVID Theatrical Response Team (check 'em out on FB!!), getting creative with cooking, and learning how to watercolor, so I'm staving off the boredom pretty well. And my family and friends are all in good health, so I'm really really thankful for that.
TW: What are you listening to on Spotify (iTunes, Sirius, etc) or watching (on Netflix, Hulu, etc)?
JG: Fiona Apple's new album! And Tiger King, Waco, Derry Girls, The End of the Fucking World, I Am Not Okay With This, Insecure.... and a lot of movies. I'd recommend Tiger King to anyone because it's absolutely bonkers, and Waco was very well done but incredibly hard to watch at the end — though if you're not familiar with what happened, it's one of those true stories that all Americans should know about.
TW: What is the best gift you have ever received?
JG: Does it count to say my health, and the love and health of my family? Feeling pretty grateful for that these days. Otherwise, I'm gonna defer to my answer about my most treasured possession...
TW: When and where were you happiest?
JG: Man, there are too many answers to this one! One answer is that I went to a summer camp when I was kid, and that place was bliss. I remember it as a sunny spot next to a little lake where you could hunt for a hidden blueberry bush and everything smelled like pine. I got into ridiculous shenanigans with my friends, but it was also a place that tried to teach you how to spread love and be at peace. It was an easy place to grow and learn how to take a deep breath as a kid, and I'll always cherish that. Those are really important lessons when you're figuring out who you are, and deciding who you want to be.
TW: How do you eat an Oreo?
JG: I twist off one of the cookie pieces. It's all about that victory when you haven't split the cream... and if there's a glass of milk, I'm down to clown.
TW: Who are your heroes in real life?
JG: Bill McKibben and Greta Thunberg both inspire me for their leadership in the climate crisis, and make me want to do more to help the planet. And Amanda Nguyen, the founder of Rise and force behind the Sexual Assault Survivor's Rights Act, inspires me for her activism in such an important field.
TW: What is your most treasured possession?
JG: When I turned fifteen, my older sisters gave me a beautiful blue notebook full of well-loved poems they wrote by hand. I was curious and hungry to understand secrets of the human experience, in that way where you just want to be an adult when you're a kid, and it felt like an invitation to explore real wisdom. Whenever I find a poem that strikes a deep chord with me, I add it to the book. I hope I'll carry this same notebook with me through my whole life, culling snippets of truth in a continuous exploration of what it means to be alive.
TW: Which talent would you most like to have?
JG: Can I be a wizard? For that wizardly haute-couture. Also, I like making people laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, best way to build community, and just the best! What else do we live for?! If you ask me, we're here to have a good time and to share that joy with others. So if I could be talented
at making people laugh, I'd feel pretty fulfilled.
TW: Who are your theatre idols?
JG: Robin Williams and Billie Piper. Robin Williams was a complete genius and you can learn so much from watching him do anything, and I really had goosebumps all over at the end of Billie's performance in Yerma.... she reeled me in to identify with her, then transformed so fully to a woman that frightened me to my bones. It was very powerful.
TW: What is Comedy of Errors all about in one sentence?
JG: Two sets of long-lost identical twins end up in the same city on the same day as their father is set to be beheaded, and must race against time to overcome mistaken identity, enormous debt, and a very desperate housewife in order to save their father and themselves.
TW: Why does Comedy of Errors matter now, especially in the age of COVID-19?
JG: Live performance is all about community. When an audience empathizes for a character living and breathing only feet away from them, their heartbeats begin to synchronize. I can't think of a single thing more magical, more unifying, or more important to exercising our empathy and connection with strangers. This is why it's so important that theatre is accessible to everyone, and that cost isn't a barrier. We brought Comedy of Errors around to all sorts of places throughout the community, for free, and at a time when we are so isolated from one another, we need to connect with strangers more than ever.
TW: One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers?
JG: Theatre is an ancient art and isn'tgoing anywhere — I believe it's in our nature to be enchanted by live storytelling. But I think that if people have the chance to make the art and be the storyteller, the magic of watching live stories becomes much more potent. Acting is very therapeutic for a lot of people because it's a safe way to express difficult emotions, and therefore should absolutely be available for kids to learn how to let anger or grief or depression take shape, to externalize it and to let it transform (in addition to learning the imaginative, fun, team building aspects of theatre). When those same kids become adults, they'll care much more about what the theatre has to offer them, because they've experienced it firsthand since a young age.