In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the cast of No Rules Theatre Company’s production of Boeing Boeing, meet Sherry Berg.
Joel: Tell us where local theatregoers have seen you on the stage and the roles you have played.
Sherry: Most recently, I played Cheryl and understudied Miss Nelson/Swamp in Adventure Theatre’s Miss Nelson is Missing. I have also performed with Landless Theatre (2012 Mashups), Nu Sass (Occuplay: Tent of Dreams, DC Fringe 2012), American Century (Stage Door, Big Mary), 1st Stage (Flora, the Red Menace, Charlotte), Lean & Hungry (The Taming of the Shrew, Kate/Widow), Molotov Theatre (Extremities, Marjorie), NextStop (Go, Dog. Go!), Go, Dog. Go!)(The Fully Monty [Helen Hayes nom.], Estelle; Working, Roberta/Delores AKA “The Waitress”), Studio 2ndStage (The Rocky Horror Picture Show [Helen Hayes nom.], Transylvanian). Readings with Disco Jesus Productions, Spooky Action Theater, and The Hub Theatre. You may have also seen me on the big screen as Xora the Fortune Teller in Crash Rhinos Productions’ family-friendly film, MOUSE dad (DC 48 Hour Film Project Best Film winner, 2014).
Why did you want to become a member of the cast of Boeing Boeing and work at No Rules Theatre Company?
I had never done a farce and felt like all the skills in my wheelhouse were propelling me to embark on this hilarious ride. I have wanted to work with No Rules ever since I met Joshua Morgan at Arena’s Piano Bar Showtunes Open Mic the night before Thanksgiving in 2012. He was accompanying. I was there to sing. It doesn’t matter what I wanted to sing because Josh poo-pooed it right away and insisted that I sing another song from my book – “Funny Girl” from Funny Girl-the film. The laughs and joy that filled the room from performer and audience member alike will stay with me a long time. From that point on, I knew I had to make art with Josh again – and working with No Rules was how I was going to do it. Also, let’s not forget my No Rules season audition last October that just turned into a major laugh-fest. I knew the people of No Rules understood my humor, personality, and skill. They gave me so much love.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character?
I play Gloria, a TWA flight attendant engaged to Bernard. She is a modern gal with strong opinions and goals of living the good life. She’s also a foodie with refined taste-a spread of frankfurters, sauerkraut, and whipped cream are among her favorite eats, but a hearty breakfast of pancakes and ketchup is what she adores most.
Now, anyone who knows me, and not even well, will pick up on the fact that I love condiments. All types. With my food. All types of food. More tomato-pastier and commercial the ‘ment, the better. Mustard sandwiches? An old staple. Globs of ketchup atop grilled chicken bits and dried oatmeal with old bay seasoning to give the conglomeration real bite? Yep, made that one up in college. As a kid, my favorite dinner was mashed potatoes, peas, and A1 – and don’t you DARE waste that A1! You poured it, now lap it up. And I was heartbroken when I found out that McDonald’s stopped making their fabulous hot mustard sauce. I’d dress my homemade salads with it.
Have you appeared in another production of Boeing Boeing?
No. I’ve actually have never seen any production of Boeing Boeing. I’ve tried to make it dozens of times when it has played around town, but could never get to it.
What’s your favorite line and scene in the play?
This is tough because there are so many good lines/line deliveries in the show, but if I had to pick just one, it’d have to be Nick Kowalczyk’s/Bernard’s “I’m having a nervous breakdown!” Something about a very, very attractive man looking a hot-ass mess and losing his sh*t just kills me. I love playing opposite Jamie Smithson (Robert) in the scene where we have a very fascinating “chat.” And that’s all I’ll say about that.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced preparing for your role, and how has Director Matt Cowart helped you meet these challenges and helped you shape your performance?
I approach a piece and a character almost the same way every time: 1) I don’t get it 2) What? 3) Where are we? 4) Oh, I see the forest! Look at all the pretty trees! 5) omgomgomgomg look at that tree! And that one! And look! That tree has pointy leaves and that tree has oval leaves!!! Ie: I’m looking at every effing little minute detail, my imagination is running amuck (it’s fun! but I lose my way…my intention).
In the first week of rehearsal, Matt totally picked up on my method. Instead of stifling me, he encouraged me to play. In an environment completely void of judgment, where ‘wrong’ was never used in his vocabulary, I was able to keep my inventive nature, but also keep focused on what Gloria wants. He has already given me/instilled in me great tools to use when it is time to invent/investigate a new character for a project in the future. Plus, (disclaimer #2), he’s all about losing the scripts even on the first day of being up on our feet – I’ve loved this because it’s helped me learn my lines promptly and has let me live and breath in my character from the get-go.
Have you ever been to Germany, France, or Italy?
Joel!!!! Whyyyy do you make me feel bad? Now all the intellectuals will think less of me!! Ughhhhh. No I have never been to Europe.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in Boeing Boeing?
They couldn’t tell I was wearing spanx. 2) How easy it all is. Because really, it’s just a bunch of door slams…
Review of ‘Boeing Boeing’ by Michael Poandl on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet the Cast of No Rules Theatre Company’s ‘Boeing Boeing’: Part 1: Helen Hedman.
Meet the Cast of No Rules Theatre Company’s ‘Boeing Boeing’: Part 2: Nick Kowalczyk.
Meet the Cast of No Rules Theatre Company’s ‘Boeing Boeing’: Part 3: Jamie Smithson.