Four years ago, when Anna Pieri took on the task of stage managing Theatre B’s production of The Laramie Project – Ten Years Later, which included a brand new script that was being rewritten during rehearsals, a performance at The Historic Fargo Theatre and a live stream simulcast with the writers and New York creative team, she didn’t quite know what she was getting into. “No, I did not realize how big a project it was. There were some big challenges, especially with a script that changed almost daily. But, when it all came together, it was incredibly powerful to be part of such a project that stretched across the country and included Fargo.”
So when the chance arose to work with Theatre B on the World Premiere production of Scrooge Macbeth; or, A Shakespearean Christmas, where the script was likely to change almost daily, she thought she had a good idea of what to expect. “I thought I was prepared, but, actually, it’s been kind of terrifying. I’m working with people who are almost intimidating with how easily they work with each other. I’ve really had to get over my own insecurities and try to keep up with the rest of the company. The entire process has challenged me to trust my instincts as an actor.”
Theatre B Executive Director and fellow cast member Carrie Wintersteen offered a little different perspective. “It’s been such a blessing to work with Anna, you feel she’s holding on to you, so if you get lost, she’ll pull you back. She’s willing to go with whatever you throw at her. Also, she’s a really versatile performer, making bold choices and lots of them, and has a bag of tricks that’s pretty deep.”
Anna is finishing up her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from NDSU this fall, where she has appeared in many productions, including a production of ‘Pterodactyls’, pictured. Anna has spent time working professionally at the Scioto Society in Ohio, appearing in several productions there including the outdoor drama Tecumseh!
In Scrooge Macbeth, Anna plays Renee, kindergarten teacher and co-artistic director of the Heartland Community Theatre. The cast includes Theatre B Ensemble Members Scott Horvik, Blaine Edwards, and Carrie Wintersteen. “It’s been such a gift to work with a group of artists so passionate about making theatre, new theatre, here in this town. Blaine and I (who are married in the show) sat down the first night and described what a typical day looked like for our characters. And I’ve learned so much. Just watching the way Carrie would change her tactics, just slightly, from what she was getting from Scott, and how that totally changed the scene they were working on has been inspirational.”
What’s up next for Anna? She’s going to the KC-ACTF festival in January to audition for the Irene Ryan scholarship and the United Professional Theatre Auditions in February. And she hopes to audition for the next Theatre B show, Gruesome Playground Injuries. Find out more about Scrooge Macbeth at Theatre B.