Hi. It's been a minute. How are you all doing?
The last seven months have been at best stressful, and at worst, absolutely horrifying. I could list everything that has been on my mind lately—#blacklivesmatter, please vote, wear a mask, etc—but this isn't the place for it. Instead, I'm going to let you know some of the moments that have brought me joy and come close enough to actual acting to scratch the itch temporarily.
STEADFAST with Clutch Productions
Presented in three parts as part of the EmpowHer reading series, this epic story about the suffragist movement grapples with the deeply embedded racism of the movement, while drawing parallels to the struggle of women (especially BIPOC+ women) today. I played Pepper, a spunky "rich girl" who sees her privilege as a stepladder to doing more for those who have less.
Fourteen by Alice Gerstenberg with Metropolitan Playhouse
A society grand dame, her eligible daughter, and their unflappable butler prepare for a dinner for fourteen. But when one guest cancels, leaving a table of unlucky thirteen, the game is afoot! A comedy of extreme disproportion.
A Star Wars Christmas Carol for Branford Parks & Rec
Exactly what it sounds like: a parody of a galaxy far, far away meets A Christmas Carol. You can still see it here.
This October, I headed back to HERE (my third show in the space!) for a brand new experience-- coming onto a new play as a last-minute replacement on the first day of tech. I learned the show in two days, and opened The Worth of Water by Tira Palmquist with this absolutely killer cast & crew October 4.
"Ballenger is intense and intuitive... Ballenger as DJ and [Clare] Latham as Elle provide the most fully developed, provocative and evocative performances in the piece. They listen keenly and seek connection through eye contact to a maximum."
I had an absolute blast returning to Geva (just over a year after Steel Magnolias) for a spell to participate in the first reading of the annual Festival of New Theatre. After just a day and a half of rehearsal, we presented a staged reading of a fabulous new play. I love working at Geva-- can't wait to see what's next with this project!
by Carolyn E. Kourofsky
Solitude is inspired by the true story of Edith Bone, a doctor and journalist who is unjustly accused of being a British spy in 1949 Hungary. In solitary confinement for seven years, how will she survive?
I had a great time playing Ellen, a young, troubled mother, in the short film MARBLE-EYED TANNER. It was a particular joy to have the opportunity to work with our director, the fabulously talented and kind Harry Lennix. Looking forward to seeing where this little film goes next! Thanks to John Ort for bringing me in for this project.
I was thrilled to join Irish Rep for TWO staged readings of O'Casey plays this spring.
I had the enormous pleasure to spend a week digging into Edward Precht's moving new play, Down South, culminating in a reading at the Drama Bookshop.
Shady Mae Beauford is a single mother raising her adult son with Down Syndrome in coastal Carolina. As America's Bicentennial approaches, a young couple with a radically-different parenting style moves in next door, and this tenuous mother-son bond begins to unravel as Shady Mae is forced to confront how much independence to give her only child. Meanwhile, a nest of loggerhead turtles hatch on the beach and Hub wonders: will they find their way?
Featuring: Wendy Rich Stetson as Shady Mae and Eddie Barbanell as Hub, with Becca Ballenger, David Jackson and Joshua Turchin.
Workshop Assistant: Marina Montesanti.
Design Collaborators: Emmie Finkel and Megan Lang.
Emily (Becca Ballenger) is torn between her entitled background and the lives of the "flesh and blood" workers. Ballenger is defiantly determined as her character yearns for the closeness of the families in the mill town. - Aisle Seat
Below, the cast with Monica Wood (far right) and director Brendan Burke (far left).
Director Melisa Annis has cast the show beautifully, navigating able actors through waves of humor and pathos… We see Charlotte and Jonny physically mature; a tribute to two fine actors. Ballenger brinks perkiness, passion, and fierce fervor to her role… [Kathy] McCafferty and Ballenger as mother and daughter are spot-on and share some stunning scene work.
- Aisle Seat by Lori Schneider
Recent Titles from Audible