2014 Best Leading Actress in a Play Nominee Interview: Sasha Castroverde as Claudine in The Lyric Stage Company of Boston's "Rich Girl"

Photo by Elie Smolkin

Photo by Elie Smolkin

Before we announce the winners of the 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Awards, we are proud to present our Nominee Interviews.

NOTE: If you or your production was nominated for a 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in a Nominee Interview, please email us here.

Sasha Castroverde has a unique talent to portray insecure and fragile characters with agency and determination, creating a dynamic mix. Her Claudine was riddled with layers of rich complexity, as Sasha removed societal and familial expectations, revealing the strong women underneath. In her Interview, Sasha discusses her most misunderstood performance; explains Claudine in Rich Girl; and chooses between wealth, power, and fame!

Sasha, let’s start, as always, with the basics: Who are you?  What do you do?  What brings you to Boston?  What is your theatre background and experiences?

Hello! I am an actor and a fundraiser. I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I moved to Boston to attend Emerson College where I earned a degree in Theatre. I have been working in the theatre community here ever since.

Who was Claudine in Rich Girl?  What is this story?  How is it different than The Heiress or other similar stories?  Why do you think the play is relevant today?

Claudine is a young woman who is looking for her place in the world and is struggling to find her voice. Over the course of the play, we see her growing pains as she falls in love for the first time and tries to make a life for herself outside the shadow of her mother. I believe what makes this play different from The Heiress, and still relevant today, is that, as a modern woman, Claudine has the agency and the choice that Catherine (in The Heiress) did not have.

What has been one of your most misunderstood role or performance?  Why?

This honor would likely go to a late Pinter play that two friends and I did the summer after I graduated from high school. We were a good two to three decades too young for the piece; I switched roles with another actor halfway through the rehearsal process; and, the night before we opened, I went on a mad dash to locate and purchase the same costume that another actor would be wearing because that was somehow pivotal to the plot twist we’d just “uncovered.” Needless to say, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, so I suspect the audience misunderstood this one too!

What are some of your professional goals?  Personal goals?  What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?

My immediate professional goal is to earn my graduate degree. I miss academia and I am excited to jump back in.

A personal goal is to do some redecorating, and extensive viewing of HGTV has led me to believe that this will be a piece of cake.

Where is your “safe space”?  What do you do there?

Well it wouldn’t be very safe if I put it on the Internet!

Talk to us about Claudine’s relationships in the play.  How did you understand them?  What do you hope that the audience got out of them?

I feel that Claudine’s journey in Rich Girl is shaped by her relationships with the three other characters in the play: Eve (her mother), Henry (her boyfriend), and Maggie (her confidant). Eve’s perceptions of Claudine have cemented Claudine’s sense of self and identity; Henry’s love affords Claudine the possibility of growth and change; and Maggie’s guidance empowers Claudine to determine her own fate.

What kind of theatre moves you?  What kind of theatre bores you?

I am moved by theatre that illuminates the human experience. Generally, I am bored by theatre that is over-conceptualized to no real end.

What quote inspires you?  Do you find the person who said it to be inspiring?

I collect inspiring quotes and affirmations so it is rather difficult to pick just one! This is a theatre website after all, so I’ll go with: “Rejection is God’s protection,” which a dear friend and fellow actor shared with me.

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Photo by Mark S. Howard

What has been some of your favorite roles that you have played?

In chronological order: Tracy in The Philadelphia Story, Lala in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and Yaz in Water by the Spoonful

Wealth, fame, or power? Why?

Power. For good, of course.

Do you have any upcoming projects or productions?

Graduate school applications!

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

Many thanks for your support of the Boston theatre community!