Marissa Molnar

Company Member - Marissa Molnar (Photo by Bjorn Bolinder)

Marissa has been a jubilant member of BKBX since 2012. Physical roles include the two-hander The Screwtape Letters National Tour and Synetic Theater’s Helen Hayes Award-winning wordless adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Speaking roles include regional work in NJ/DC at Two River Theatre Co/Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Co, and Round House Theatre; film includes White Reindeer, premiered at SXSW and bought by IFC. Marissa has directed/choreographed several original pieces in NYC, and recently started The Alterity Project, a new collaboration about identity. B.A. Music: American University. marissamolnar.com

Why Mime?

I love that mime crosses linguistic and often cultural boundaries. Everyone understands body language. And I love that the audience of mime can't be completely passive-- they're not participating in a physical way, but their imaginations are automatically engaged... And by projecting their own memories and ideas onto the visually blank canvas that we present, they experience the stories in a personal way. It's like a cross between reading a novel and watching a film, except also it's live theater! 

When did you first encounter/learn about mime?

I was in this terrible, terrible production of The Brothers Karamazov in DC. It was over three hours long, the lead actress quit halfway through the run, the whole cast got the flu and threw up for a week backstage in a communal bucket... It was epically bad in every way. The Russian director had dramatically just split from this Georgian husband-and-wife pantomime-acting team over artistic differences, and each camp had started their own company. I kept hearing that the Georgians were the real talent, and one night, 3 of my castmates and I secretly went and saw the Georgians' production that was running at the time, a silent version of Hamlet. We had no idea what we were in for, and we were floored... The entire story was told physically without words, and it was brilliant. It was the most creative and innovative thing I had ever seen. That production ended up winning multiple awards and put that company on the map; two years later I joined them and became a company member for 5 years before moving to NYC. 

How did you find Broken Box Mime Theater?

I was working at this one-room dance studio in Brooklyn, and one day I was in the office while a group was rehearsing without music or speaking. There were just all these long blocks of silence, and it caught my attention. When one of them came to make the room rental payment, I asked what they were doing, and Becky said: we're mimes! And I said, no way! Me too! And we were like, whoa, weird. I kept up with the company and saw a couple shows, and eventually when auditions rolled around, we decided to join forces... And it was a fantastic decision. :)

If you had a solo mime piece about your life, what would it be called and why?

It would be a horror piece. "Falling Up Stairs: Bloody Tales of a Klutzy Dancer"

What is your favorite thing about mime?

The fact that you can go anywhere and create ANYTHING. Also, miming having superpowers. 

What sound do you love?

I love the sound of leather-soled shoes on stone stairs. 

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

First contact with aliens!

Or!

Humans create life from scratch!

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Teleport. 

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

Creating a show from nothing. There would probably be miming in it. 

What story does your family always tell about you?

My mom likes to tell a story of when I was two and she told me to stop pulling the leaves off our fake plastic tree (it was the 80s, and tragedies like fake plastic trees happened all the time). So I looked at her and held her gaze as I slowly pulled a leaf off, held it for a moment, then opened my hand and let it fall to the ground. She likes to say that this was her first indication that she was in trouble.  I'm sure I don't know what she's talking about.

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