I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Special - Working in Theater: An Interview with Performer, Franchesca Harper

In today's installment of our Working in Theater series we bring you an interview with multi-talented performer, Franchesca Harper (FH). Dance is clearly in Franchesca's genes as her late mother, Denise Jefferson built the Alvin Ailey Dance school,  and her young daughter, Harper Cohen is also a dancer. In addition to her dance and choreography credits, this multi-faceted entertainer has also recorded music, appeared on Broadway, and taught at New York University among other things. For more of Ms. Harper's numerous credits visit thefrancescaharperproject.org/artisticdirector/. She is currently starring in JAG Productions presentation of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill in the role of Billie Holiday, a role that was played on Broadway by the iconic, Audra McDonald. JAG Productions is located in Woodstock, Vermont.

How you get started in performing?

FH:  My mother was a dance teacher so I fell in love with dance from an early age watching dancers work in the studio.

What is your favorite dance you have performed?

FH:  A work called “Limbs Theorem” by William Forsythe.

What is your favorite show you have been in?

FH: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.

Do you prefer dancing or acting and why?

FH: I think they both feed one another.

What kind of dance and/or acting training have you gotten?

FH: Growing up up in New York I was lucky to be exposed to the best training. I have studied with Joffrey ballet school, the School of American Ballet, the Alvin Ailey school, Darvash, Barbara Walczak, and acting mainly with Susan Batson.

What is the best part of what you do?

FH: Working with people.

What is the worst part of what you do?

FH: Not living up to my plans.

What dance would you love to perform?

FH: don’t know yet, I don’t think it exists yet.

What show would you love to perform in?

FH: Caroline or Change.

Who are some other actors and dancers that you admire?

FH: Viola Davis, Thandi Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Donald Glover, Meryl Streep, Jill Clayburgh,  Merril Ashley, Alicia Graf, Desmond Richardson, Tai Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Maria Calegari, Virginia Johnson, Baryshnikov, Sean Lavery, RenĂ©e Robinson.

What is it like to step into a role that the iconic Audra McDonald originally created on Broadway?

FH: Daunting while at the same time liberating. I pushed through thresholds and fears and found discoveries within myself.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

FH: Be persistent and commit no matter what! The accumulation of your experiences becomes your craft in the end.

We thank Franchesca for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information regarding JAG Productions presentation of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, visit https://www.jagproductionsvt.com/

Tune in tomorrow for this week's Sunday Scoop.

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