On Facebook and here on the SITI Company blog, SITI has been spotlighting alumni of our many training programs. Today, we have the great pleasure of spotlighting Ali Kennedy Scott, who started training with us in 2012 and was a member of the inaugural SITI Conservatory. Ali is an Australian actor, writer and theater-maker based in New York City. Her past work includes The Day the Sky Turned Black, Calderon’s Two Dreams, A Serious Banquet, Thank You for Being a Friend, Dream Plays – It Ended, and Aussies for Hillary. She can currently be seen performing her solo show Just Not That Woman at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe. Ali is now a deeply valued member of SITI’s Board of Directors, and we are thrilled to introduce you to her.
You can learn more about Ali and her work here, and can find tickets to Just Not That Womanhere. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us!
1. When did you first train with SITI?
Skidmore 2012 followed by the inaugural conservatory.
2. What are you most excited that you’re doing or working on right now?
I’m opening my new solo show Just Not That Woman in Vancouver tonight! It examines how our implicit biases are used and abused by magicians and politicians to influence us to make choices that we believe are of our own volition.
I play a magician, who examines magical concepts and teaches the audience some delightful tricks, as well as 7 characters with varying opinions on the 2016 US election. It’s quite a rollercoaster ride, audiences see magic tricks that bring gasps of delight, rather shocking political commentary, some pretty hilarious memes, and very heartfelt discussion of the state of the world. And as a performer it’s incredibly rich.
3. What is the most important thing you learned from SITI?
SITI has taught, and continues to teach me more than I can ever consciously know. A few of the most important elements:
I discovered my feet as an integral part of my body, rather than as an accessory for moving my head around.
I discovered micro-movement. I found I had the ability to access both bold movement that is visibly perceptible, and smaller shifts that are felt more than they are seen.
And I began my journey to access stillness, silence, and the capacity to let an audience meet me.
4. What in your creative life are you proudest of?
I’m proud of every collaboration. I’m proud of every attempt to meet people in a space and make something that seeks to engage with the moment, with history, with humanity. And I’m very grateful to be able to be a theater-maker. I’m in awe of theater’s capacity to allow us to better understand ourselves, our world, and remind us we aren’t alone. During my very first solo show, The Day The Sky Turned Black, which was about the Black Saturday Bushfires, an audience member who had fought the fires approached me with tears streaming down his face and told me watching my play was healing. That meant everything to me.
5. Tell us about a piece of art that has recently inspired you.
Aquasonic – it’s an incredible performance, by 5 musicians who play specially created instruments in human sized glass tanks, submerged in water. It’s truly extraordinary. It took the composer/lead performer 11 years from conception to her first performance and now they are touring this beautiful, haunting piece around the world. The musicians hold their breath for what seems like a minute at a time having undergone significant training for the last decade. Sonically it’s spectacular. Visually it’s still stunning as hair and clothing wafts and floats in the water tanks. And it’s a reminder that revolutionary work can take many many years and that exceptional training and perseverance can lead to exceptional work.
Photo by Al Foote III
Keep up with our blog to read and learn more about SITI Alumni and what they’re up to by following SITI’s blogs at siti.org/blog. If there’a an alum you want an update on, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!