Averie Bueller: Captain, My Captain!

Averie Bueller Interview by Jen Bush

Averie Bueller plays Captain Lou in Sassafrass & The Captain.  She sees her craft as a storytelling vehicle.   “I’m an artist because I want to tell stories. Stories that aren’t mine, that are life changing, that need to be told.”  She is hoping to impact her audience on an emotional level so they can be distracted from life’s woes for a while.  “I love to reach someone and make them feel like they escaped reality for an hour or so”.   Averie’s strength as a performer emanates from putting her body and soul into all she creates. “I’m an artist because my best instrument is me. My voice. My stamina. My heart. I create to relate.”

Sarah Elisabeth Brown’s send-up of S&M mores, Sassafras & The Captain, part of the 2022 Fresh Fruit “Return to Live” Theatre Festival.

THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY: Thursday May 5 @ 6:00 p.m.; Friday, May 6 @ 8:45 p.m. 
Sunday, May 8 @ 1:00 p.m. at The WILD PROJECT, 195 East 3rd Street, NYC 
For further info: 
freshfruitfestival.com  

When Sassafras, a role-playing submissive femme dyke, decides she wants to become a top, she upends her steady relationship with teddy-bear butch Captain Lou, and brings an old flame, the roguishly handsome boundary-pushing masochist Micky Penny, into the mix for an experiment in non-monogamy. Chaos ensues as Sassafras practices new skills of dominance, faces competition from the unassuming southern belle 50’s housewife next door, and gets schooled by the supreme Goddess of been-there-done-that, Mistress Chelsea. Can this young couple grow their love big enough to include these new elements? Or will they be shipwrecked on the sea of dyke drama? It remains – to be seen! 

Sarah Brown’s uproarious play has been reworked for this new production. Sassafras was made into the award-winning 2004 film, Mango Kiss 

I had a nice chat with Averie Bueller to find out more about her interesting career and her contributions to this production.

What drew you to this project?  Everything about it! The history behind it, the story it tells, the characters that come to light. I felt like I would be a part of history if I was cast. And of course the lovely director and playwright. I knew I was in the best company. 

What is your creative process?  My creative process honestly never stops. I feel like it happens through me daily with the places I go and the people I meet everyday. That adds to my information on how to tell the story. To relate. Just keep having experiences. Never stop learning and listening. Some days I could be in a room for hours going over lines and blocking and other days I could be walking through the park watching. Just listening. 

Do you find a sense of added responsibility when dealing with plays that tackle serious, mature, or timely subject matter?

I do find a responsibility when it comes to tackling mature or timely subject matter. I love having so many people with different backgrounds of the queer community and come together to teach and aso learn from one another. This cast and crew does just that. I know the responsibility is on me as the character, but I also know I have incredible support on the matter from this cast and crew. I feel safe to have the responsibility. 

What’s so good about off-off Broadway/indie theatre? The character of the space of an off off broadway theater is magic. You can taste it in the air. To have a smaller space to invite people to. To bounce off energy and inspiration is a gift. 

It’s obvious the world is steadily reopening. What do you feel is different now than before pandemic? Another thought: what should be different now than before pandemic?

What’s different now is the energy. Sometimes. I think we all don’t feel as free to breathe, love, and play. But I hope we can still do that for ourselves, but maybe even be safer now. Be more direct. Ask questions. Hopefully this pandemic has made us want to create just a healthier and safer space to play.

What’s next for you? What’s next? I just want to continue feeling like a working actor. Never stop. Keep searching. Keep playing. And I hope to see you all again. 🙂

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