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Jill Cary Martin

Theatre Artist

Time in Greater OC: All my life

Neighborhood: City of Orange

Hometown: Northern OC

What are you currently working on?

During the COVID hiatus, I have participated in two productions from the Shakespeare canon produced on Zoom and broadcast on YouTube, completed a “staged” reading of Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” as the all-knowing narrator (busier than you think), plotting to return the Helena Modjeska house for some Shakespeare presentations, plus monthly readings of plays with an ever-expanding local actor group, as well as the ongoing participation as an OCTG Board Member.

What's been inspiring you recently?

My constant inspiration is derived from the theater artists who continue to create and expand theater practice in this challenging time of the pandemic! I have also been engaged through the efforts of our own board EDIA committee to ensure that all diverse voices are acknowledged and raised up through our art.

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

I have been privileged to work at our local regional theater, South Coast Repertory, where I was inspired by numerous actors, among them the gracious Nan Martin, the perfection of Kandis Chappell, the humanity of Dakin Matthews, the rigor of John de Lancie, so many others. I still exchange messages with founding member, Ron Boussom, physical performer extraordinaire. The late, great Diane Doyle was my mentor as a fledgling teacher in the Young Conservatory there; learning so much about the process of becoming a performer for the stage from her and giving it back to my own students.

What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?

Whenever I see “and voiced by local theatre legend, Jill Cary Martin…” that just tickles me.

What kind of theatre excites you?

I have seen devised pieces that astonish me for the inventiveness and expression beyond that of a traditional production of a previously scripted work, as well as interactive theater work both as audience/participant and actor/participant. I like theatre that makes me sweat: assuredly as a performer, but also as an audience member when the work shares a story well-told through connected ensemble work and production elements

What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

One of the craziest tasks of my role in Johnna Adams’ play, “Sacred Geometry…” was to weave a God’s Eye throughout a ten-minute monologue to a section of an audience moving in promenade fashion through a production. I did the monologue usually six times in a performance, teaching audience members how to make their own unique talisman.

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

Go ahead, audition for, submit for everything, get your voice out there.

Go ahead, promote your things...
Stay tuned.

Jill Cary Martin
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