Unexpected - Opening Friday! - Holds Up Magical Mirror

By: Brelby Theatre Company
Marina Sharpe
Marina Sharpe
GLENDALE, Ariz. - May 18, 2017 - PRLog -- Marina Sharpe plays the role of Olivia in unexpected and has been in theatre since she was first cast in a middle school play at age 11. After a three-year absence from acting following high school, Marina has jumped back in to the theatre world with both feet, this being her ninth show in the past two years. Initially drawn back into acting by the role of Lady Macbeth with Grassroots Shakespeare Arizona in the fall of 2015, Marina found her way to Brelby Theatre Company in fall 2016 by being cast in their production of Macbeth, this time as First Witch. Since then, she has performed with Brelby as Clara in Quest for Claus: the Musical (her first musical in five years) and Cecilia in Better Half (part of Brelby's Night of Shorts, which featured six original works by local playwrights). She has also taken on the roles of Evelyn in The Shape of Things, Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew, Helena inA Midsummer Night's Dream, and Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing, to name a few.

"In the world of unexpected, Olivia is a young woman who always knows what she wants – even though she may not know what's best," according to Sharpe. "Olivia is driven by her confidence, by her ability to love, and – at times – by her own bravado. I knew I wanted to audition for this show as soon as heard about it, due to my somewhat obsessive love for Greek mythology, but I was first drawn to this particular character because of the description she was given in auditions – that of all the female characters in the story, she's the most self-confident, and the most ready to shake things up and take her story into her own hands."

Mia Passarella is an Arizona, actor, designer, and visual artist. She plays Emma inunexpected. Passarella holds her BA in Theatre and a minor in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. Although acting is her main passion, that hasn't stopped her from trying out many other aspects of the theatre. In the past, Mia has stage managed, assistant directed, written plays and designed costumes, sound and puppets. In addition to being a theatre artist, Mia also owns and operates her own visual art studio, My Little Sparrow Art, and often takes commissioned work in addition to producing her own original work. Previous acting credits include Victoria in The Waiting Room, Grace in missing grace, Subway Ghost in Ghost: The Musical,Amy March in Little Women: The Musical, and Lilith in She Kills Monsters.

"Emma is the oldest of the three sisters," Passarella explained. "She is obedient, strong willed, and sometimes a little snarky. She has a difficult time following her heart, yet still has a great capacity for love and compassion. The play is about love. That's the obvious answer to the question, "What is the play about." Love in its many forms. Romantic love, familial love, friendship, young love, rekindled love, and everything in between. It's also about growing up and learning to stand firm in your own beliefs, about conquering your fears and sacrificing for the ones you love. And it's about being able to truly see someone for everything that they are. Seeing all of the things," she said.

Sharpe said unexpected is "a fairy tale, really – about the ways that love changes us, about the ways we grow and change for the ones we love, and about the lessons we teach each other. My favorite part in the process of creating this show," she continued, "would be the opportunity I had to sit down with our incredibly talented playwright, John Perovich, to collaborate on creating Olivia's music. He had already given the lyrics for her songs in the script, but we took the time to chart out chords and find a melody specific to this unique first production of the show, as well as being specific to my own portrayal of Olivia."

Passarella jumped in, "I love developing new works and I relish any opportunity to work with John Perovich. I respect him so much as a playwright and an artist and I am lucky enough to be able to say that this is my second time acting in a world premiere of his work, which I think is pretty darn cool. I'm also just really excited to be doing a comedy. I've worked on a lot of really heavy material the last few shows I've been in and its nice to be able to flex my comedic gears a little bit with this one," she said. Sharpe concluded, "Audiences should see unexpected for the same reasons they would see a blockbuster movie or a Broadway show – to be entertained by a story of adventure, heartbreak, love, and loss, yes – but also to take a look at the mirror it holds up to our own experiences. The show may be told through a lens of magical realism, but the characters are very real – what they feel, how they act, the ways they perceive themselves and those around them – and there's something for an audience to gain in seeing how these very real characters grow and change through their own trials in the face of love."

UNEXPECTED plays May 19-20, 26-27, June 2-3, 9-10 at 7:30pm May 21, 28, June 4 at 2:00PM. Tickets are available by visiting the official website, brelby.com/tickets. General admission is $25 per performance. Admission to unexpected is included in the benefits of Brelby's ShowGO subscription: brelby.com/showgo. The Brelby Playhouse is located at 7154 N 58th Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301.

Cassandra Symonds
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Tags:Historic Downtown Glendale, Brelby Theatre Company
Location:Glendale - Arizona - United States
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