Interview with Dana Brooke

By Blake Gillespie, Guest Blogger

She calls New York City her home, but Sacramento has become somewhat of a second one thanks to the B Street Theatre. Dana Brooke is an actor who recently was the lead in an indie film called Laura Gets A Cat and she is frequently flown out for roles in B Street productions. Currently, she’s on stage alongside Jahi Kearse, a fellow out-of-towner, in the play Lungs. Written by Duncan MacMillan, Lungs explores a modern dilemma of being both concerned with the environment and being thoughtful on whether or not to become parents. The play asks is it responsible for bringing ten thousand tons of CO2 into this world, even if it is adorable and looks like you?

Dana Brooke was born in New York City and grew up in various locations up and down the east coast, among them, Miami, FL, and Asheville, NC. She has studied and lived in the States and abroad; she works in theatre, film, and television, in cities around the world. Dana currently resides in NYC in a little apartment where she grows a jungle of house plants. And she always enjoys coming to Sacramento for work/play.

When was the first time you came to Sacramento to perform and what was your impression of theatre in this city?

 The first time I came to Sacramento was actually to do the B Street apprenticeship, which was an all-consuming, all-hours, full-time gig.  There was no time to explore anything else in town, so my impression of theatre in this city consisted solely of B Street productions.  Having said that, I loved the work that was being done at B Street, from the very start.  The first play I saw when I got here was a piece by Jeff Daniels, called Boomtown. Tim Busfield and Kurt Johnson were in it.

As you kept coming back what changes in the city stand out to you?

 Growth.  There’s just so much more of everything.  The first time I returned to do a show, there was exactly one restaurant that was open after we’d get done at night.  If I recall correctly, I think they were open until midnight.  Now there are a ton of places; so many new restaurants, so many new bars, so many late-night options.  The grid has just grown exponentially in terms of what it has to offer.

When you are away from Sacramento what do you miss? Is there anything here that you can’t get back home and you sometimes crave?

This will sound goofy, but I miss the trees and gardens.  Of course, we have trees and parks at home, but have you seen these Sacramento trees?  Come on!  Everyone’s gardens are so plentiful…I love to walk around the grid and notice all the flowers, all the fruit trees, figs, loquats, mulberries, all the citrus.  And the little vegetable and herb gardens.  I also miss the produce when I’m away.  Again, I know it sounds stupid, but the fruits and vegetables here are amazing.  I’m always blown away by the abundance of local varieties.

The grid and its surrounding neighborhoods have become a hotbed for young people and young couples. Why is LUNGS a play that will resonate with people living in this area in this particular moment?

This play is about so many things. It’s about being in love (the best and worst parts of it), it’s about trying, and making decisions, and being scared, and diving in, and all the things that come with attempting to build a life with someone. It’s about the kindness we give to each other and the havoc we wreak on each other. It’s about making our way as best as we can, all the while hoping to leave as little wreckage as possible in our wake. And it’s told through the eyes of two people who could be any of us. It’s universal. It’s the stuff of life. Oh, it’s also about the impending apocalypse. And it’s also really, really funny.

LO_RES_Final_MG_0392_B-St. Theater - Lungs Play_1

Photo Credit: Rudy Meyers

Lungs is showing at B Street Theatre until June 18. Call the Box Office for times and availability. 916.443.5300 Tickets are also available through the B Street website.

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