To the outside world, Angela appears normal. She is a middle-aged caucasian woman who works as a home insurance agent in the midwest, has a husband and lives in a typical suburban neighborhood.
One afternoon Angela is trapped in her basement as she awaits the arrival of a tornado. During her time alone, Angela turns on her laptop, hits record and begins to discuss the trauma she has endured through her life. The reflection eventually provokes her to reveal the real reason she has taken shelter.
The actress who tells Angela’s story, Elizabeth Braatan Palmieri, reflects on her dynamic character and how she worked to bring her to life.
“It took about a month of rehearsal, practicing five hours a day and piecing it all together,” Palmieri says. “I wanted to emphasize and understand this character because she is the warning sign no one ever saw coming or knew they needed.”
Originally written to be performed live, NATURAL SHOCKS is a one-woman show being presented over Zoom by the Greenhouse Theatre Project. The play is based on Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy and focuses on today’s acts of violence, relationship abuse and firearms in America.
“This piece causes a lot of process and reflection based on the subject matter,” Palmieri says. “Even after a performance I have had people tell me they are still thinking about it.”
The final virtual performance will take place June 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.