Dorothea Gloria plays a voiceless student in NYC theater debut

The Marsha Gates character deals with a lot of existential crisis. Photo by Marina McClure

In “The Sandalwood Box,” college student Marsha Gates loses her voice. On her way to speech therapy, she encounters Professor Claudia Mitchell, who captures the most captivating catastrophes of the world and preserves them in a sandalwood box.

Dorothea Gloria, an actress from the Philippines, plays Marsha Gates. She has performed professionally in various theater companies back home such as Repertory Philippines, PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association), and CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) to name a few. In 2014, she earned Broadway World’s Best Featured Actress for her role as Jean in Repertory Philippines’s “August: Osage County.”

She graduated from the three-year conservatory at Stella Adler in New York. Currently, she is a member of the Private Theatre and The Bats, which is the resident company of The Flea Theater’s emerging actors.

“Marsha Gates is a college student who lost her voice because she was overwhelmed with the catastrophes happening in the world and how unpredictable and uncontrollable life really is. She goes through a journey of trying to run away from the clutches of the ‘Unseen’ only to be faced with the fact that the ‘Unseen’ will always be part of our lives as human beings living in the universe,” Dorothea said defining her role.

An actress at Repertory, PETA, and CCP in the Philippines.

Playing Marsha was very hard in beginning but Dorothea was able to relate to the millennial character.

“(Marsha) deals with a lot of metaphysics and existential crisis that I thought was going to be a challenge to connect to. It was certainly a challenge but I could clearly connect her with my own vulnerability in this world,” she said. “Being a millennial, I do believe that a big part of our psyche is questioning what we’re doing with our lives every day. Are we living it to the fullest? Are we reaching our potential? Is there a way to open more doors?”

“The Sandalwood Box” is directed Kate Moore Heaney, Tyler Thomas, and Michael Raine who are resident directors at The Flea. Kate is a NYC-based director, producer, and dramaturg committed to promoting empathy and investigating social, political, and human rights issues through theatre. Tyler is a theater director and choreographer.  Michael, a choreographer and teacher, has been a member of the faculty of NYU’s graduate acting program since 2008.

The Flea Theatre founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jim Simpson and co-founders Kyle Chepulis, Sigourney Weaver and Mac Wellman. It was envisioned as a local community theatre at Lower Manhattan. The original intent was to keep it going for five years. When 9/11 happened, the theater “felt compelled to offer the community a way to come together to encounter the catastrophe on human terms.”

The Flea is located on 20 Thomas Street, New York City.

© The FilAm 2019

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