By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán
An artist in the complete sense, Eliza Jane Schneider, can do practically anything on stage-from singing, to playing an instrument, to doing a 180 from one character to the next. Showcasing her many talents, Schneider opened Freedom of Speech on July 11th at the Diversionary Theatre. It is a Moxie Theatre presentation, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.
This one woman show is based on a true story. Eliza Jane decided to take a road trip across the United States…in a used ambulance. The goal? Talk to different people and hear their story in order to get information for her UCLA thesis project. “Everything in this play is actually something somebody said…it started in college…I thought it would take me about a month…I am still on the road” explained the actress during a UT-TV interview. What started in school escalated to a 34 character show that has received multiple awards. It has played all over the country, including Broadway.
Known as ‘the woman of a thousand voices’, Eliza Jane in Freedom of Speech masterfully blends all of the different dialects she picked up during her trip into the narrative. The performance shines with her artistic skills –hair styling included. Her acting even takes a seat in the second row when she starts singing –long, high, challenging ranged notes- or playing the violin and guitar. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience different impressions. They will meet Ida the diner waitress from East Side NY; Eduardo Salazar, a marine from San Angelo, Texas; be touched by “Little Miss” pageant runner up Celina and even experience a “miracle.”
This show is a piece worth seeing indeed. “I basically take the audience on this 103,000 mile journey through America. Play 34 of the people that I met and, save you the gas money” added Schneider who recently relocated to San Diego. “I got knocked up by a San Diegan” the actress jokingly said to UT-TV.
The Moxie designers include Jennifer Brawn Gittings (scenery and costumes), Sherrice Kelly (lights and projection) and Kevin Anthenill (sound), with Ryan Heath (stage manager) and Angelica Ynfante (technical director/properties).Freedom Of Speech at Diversionary Theatre
Thursday through Sundays at 8PM Sunday matinees at 2PM, through August 11.
No performances July 25-28
Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
General Admission –$27; Seniors, Students, Military, AASD–$5 off general admission.
Call 619 220-0097 or visit www.moxietheatre.com to purchase tickets.
For more info on Schneider visit www.elizajane.com
Alejandra Enciso Guzmán is an arts consultant and reporter in both Tijuana and San Diego. @Riselah / @Riselaheng