Featured Artist: Karissa Barber (Barber Media Productions)

This Featured Artist is Presenting:

Masterwork

Can you describe how you go about making your work?

Since this is my first time writing a show, I decided to write from my personal experience balancing being a professional actress, wife and mom. I started by simply writing the struggles I had, as well as the struggles my mom friends and fellow actresses shared with me into a single document and saw what themes emerged. From there it becomes a mix of feedback from artists I trusted, late nights scribbling dialogue and editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting.

What’s drives you as an artist/company?

Storytelling. I love a good story, whether it is in a book, a film, on stage or a friend’s epic experience. If the story captivates, I want to tell it.

How did you begin making work?

As a female actor in this industry, I got stuck playing roles written by men that barely touched on the female narrative. When I hit my 30’s, the roles available to me were even narrower in depth and much fewer, so I decided to stop moaning about the limits and be a part of changing the industry. Thus my journey into being a playwright/producer began!

One thing our readers might not know about you?

My childhood dream was to go to Africa. In November 2013, I got to fulfill that dream when I went to Uganda for five weeks to adopt my two youngest sons.

One thing our readers might not know about your work?

This is the first show I’ve written. TiFf is my playwright/producing debut!

What do you most like about the work you will present at this year’s festival?

It is honest and something every artist can relate to: balancing passion and responsibility. All the feedback I’ve received has been how accessible and relatable this piece is to everyone who reads it. It’s a universal piece that tells my deeply personal story. That’s a great match!

Why should audience members choose you?

My show has a riveting argument, playful dialogue, charming romance, and a little tragedy. You will get the broad range of theatre all in 60 minutes! Plus my co-star, Christopher Roden is hilarious and has an awesome, full ginger beard.

Artist in a Nutshell

"TiFf is my playwright/producing debut!"

Have you ever performed in a fringe Festival before?

Describe your most memorable fringe Festival experience.

I closed out Orlando Fringe 2016 in the audience by seeing the very last show of the festival with the festival producer. It was a completely sold out house and the energy was electric! And the show went on to win BEST SHOW and BEST FEMALE PERFORMER.

Have you ever been to Florida or Tampa before?

What are you most looking forward to about your visit?

I hope to visit every local brewery while I’m in Ybor City. I’m a G&T drinker, but love supporting local breweries doing their thing.

Why did you choose the Tampa Fringe?

As a first-timer, it made sense to premiere my work at the first ever Tampa Fringe.

What do you hope to get from presenting on the Tampa Fringe?

The Fringe community is full of adventurous, deeply inventive creatives and I’m looking forward to getting to know many of the artists local and abroad who regularly perform on the Fringe circuit.

Describe the context of your work and where you come from?

My context is my life. Being a creative while balancing marriage and motherhood is not an easy task, but a rewarding one.

Where is home and what is it like?

Lakeland, FL is home and it is an up and coming town with an emergent artist/entrepreneurial community focused on local talent and ingenuity. And it’s the perfect location between Orlando, Tampa and beaches on both coasts.

Anything else you would like to say?

Michael Citak is a Florida painter who has generously allowed us to borrow his work to feature in our show at Tampa Fringe.

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