Stephanie Altholz, Tara Sissom, and Amy Kelly took Sacramento by storm with their hit play, Treatment. All three are now rehearsing for the first show on the Sofia stage, One Man, Two Guvnors, and they thought the patrons would enjoy a tour given by them. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill asked them some questions while they gave their tour of the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts.
What was the first thing you did when you entered the Sofia for the first time?
AMY KELLY: I cried. I started tearing up. See, I’m even doing it right now. I just had no concept what it would look like. I had only seen it as a hole in the ground. I wasn’t prepared to see it.
STEPHANIE ALTHOLZ: I felt a deep, deep sense of unworthiness. I felt certain we were all going to be fired and replaced.
TARA SISSOM: I christened the upstairs bathroom.
If you could have any room named after you in this building, what room would it be?
AK: The Children’s Theatre. I’m gonna do a lot of ridiculous things in there. I hope to make a lot of children laugh.
SA: Probably one of the stalls in the bathroom. I pee… a LOT!
You know it’s already named.
TS: The Tea Bar. I want the whole restaurant named after me: The T-Siss Bar
That one is named too.
TS: I don’t even care. Name it after me.
What was the first show you ever did at the old B Street? How did you feel then and how does it compare to rehearsing for the first show at the Sofia?
TS: My first was Make Someone Happy. It was absolutely petrifying. I was onstage with John Lamb, Peter Story and Dana Brooke and I felt so undeserving, so untalented. They were so calm and professional and my hands would be shaking cause of the terror. I felt inferior. And now I feel superior with this play. Someone should take me down a notch. This play has given us so much confidence and a breath of fresh air creatively.
AK: My first show was Well, directed by Jerry Montoya. I was really excited. I got to play multiple parts and I also got to see Buck as an Artistic Director. He was my acting coach as a kid, so it was really neat to see him in such an important role. The difference between then and now… we have nicer bathrooms, we don’t have to go to a million places to rehearse but we still have the same level of play.
SA: The first show I was ever cast in here was Swiss Family Robinson. I was absolutely terrified. I was just an intern and the cast featured Kurt Johnson, John Lamb, Jamie Jones, Michael Stevenson. I was just in awe of their talent and I so desperately wanted to be as good as they were. But now, I’ve far surpassed all of their talent. Thank God. I’m really good… really, really good.
What’s the first drink you’ll order at the brand new B Street Bar (featuring cocktails and everything)?
AK: I’ll get a whiskey on the rocks with a squirt of soda water. I’m not a complicated drinker.
SA: I’ll order the most complicated thing on the menu. And then I won’t drink it. I’ll just stare at the bartender in the eyes as I slowly poor it into the trash.
TS: A shot.
TS: Jack Daniels! Lucky No. 7.
What surprised you most about the new theatre?
TS: There’s a painted segment backstage. It’s all white. And nothing can touch it. Nothing can be in that path. There’s literally so much space, that there is a path reserved for an emergency. That would never have happened in the old space.
SA: I’m surprised it actually happened. It’s always felt like a faraway dream. It’s mere existence is mind-boggling.
AK: The size of it. It’s like… you have a dream home, you build the dream home, and then that moment, when you’re inside the dream home for the first time it’s crazy! I didn’t realize it was my dream theatre until I was in it and now I know it’s my dream theatre.
Any fun new fun stories in our new home?
TS: I wanted to test the durability of the rehearsal floors by tap dancing on them. And a couple of minutes in I left a scuff. And I freaked out! I thought Buck was going to kill me. So I got on my hands and knees and started scrubbing really hard and I buffed it right out. So these floors are bomb! They have high tech durable buffing power.
AK: I came to see Peter Story, he was at the theatre working on things and he was wearing pajamas. Man was already at home.
SA: So we were all a little concerned that this amazing new complex would change the soul of B Street, but on the second day of rehearsal for One Man, Two Guvnors, our stage manger pantsed me in the hallway. Everyone can rest assured that B Street’s soul remains unchanged.
Tickets are selling fast for One Man, Two Guvnors. Go to bstreettheatre.org and secure your tickets today, so you can see the first show ever at the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts