What is a Reedie, Anyway? (continued)

Photos by Matt D’Annunzio

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Rosalie Lowe

“This silver leaf mask is a relic from my childhood and maintains a meaning for me that fuses ideas of magic with theater.”

Rosalie Lowe


Hometown: Ketchum, Idaho

Thesis: Text in Space: Experimental Adaptations of Canonical Plays by Three Contemporary Directors

Advisers: Kate Bredeson (theatre), Catherine Witt (literature)

What it’s about: An investigation into the styles of director Ariane Mnouchkine and director Elizabeth LeCompte, as seen through their re-imaginings of texts by Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. And how my own direction of Horror, or Her Mirror, an adaptation of a Henrik Ibsen play, places me between them.

What it’s really about: Women directors imagining or imaging text written by men.

Who I was when I got to Reed: Resolute and private. I grew up in a small town in the Rocky Mountains. I felt disconnected from my peers and never fully comfortable in expressing myself. I was very isolated.

Influential book: The Theatre and its Double by Antonin Artaud.

Favorite spot: The west lawn. It has beautiful skies and is so calming.

Random thoughts: From the moment I came to Reed I felt this immediate sense of release, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Everyone was very open with each other. It has a lot to do with the Honor Principle. We all took care to make sure everybody got the honor and respect they deserved for what they had to say. That really allows for a beautiful and immense growth for every individual. People feel inspired to take advantage of the moment.

Cool stuff I did: Played several roles in Reed Theatre productions. Directed two plays: Horror, or Her Mirror and Miss Firecracker Contest. Acted in two movies. Reed Arts Week. Learned how to embrace the relentless showers and appreciate sunshine on a whole other level. Navigated Portland on my bike. Learned French. Delved into metaphysics and the plurality of worlds. Questioned what it means to be a human being, an earthling, and an artist.

How Reed changed me: Reed has made me fearless in a way I never thought I would be. It has given me a sense of community, providing incomparable connections to wonderful, unique, inspiring, and intelligent individuals. Here I have found companions for life. Within this community I have discovered the compelling uncertainty that comes with the acceptance of chaos; this has allowed me to embrace life in all its capriciousness. I have also overcome writing paralysis and doubt in the power of theatre.

What’s next: I’m moving to New York to learn the theatre business.

“Our long habit of seeking diversion has made us forget the idea of a serious theatre, which, overturning all our preconceptions, inspires us with the fiery magnetism of its images and acts upon us like a spiritual therapeutics whose touch can never be forgotten. Everything that acts is a cruelty. It is upon this idea of extreme action, pushed beyond all limits, that the theatre must rebuild.”

—from Theatre of Cruelty by Antonin Artaud