After three weeks of touring Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errorsaround New York's five boroughs, The Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit sets up residence at the Shiva Theater for a limited sit-down run. The Shakespeare-for-all initiative brings the Bard for free to New York audiences who have limited or no access to the arts, and for the sit-down run at The Public, all tickets are priced at only $20.
Flor De Liz Perez has been part of the last two Mobile Unit productions, appearing this year in The Comedy of Errors as Luciana. The NYC-based actress recently starred across the pond as the fiery Veronica in The National Theatre's mounting of The Motherf**ker with the Hat.
Below, she talks with BroadwayBox about the joys of touring Shakespeare, secret London hotspots and falling for Santana.1. My favorite line from The Comedy of Errors:
Ooh! This is a tough one. My cast mates are brilliant and everyone has made the language they speak come alive in some really unforgettable and specific ways, so in every scene there are gems that pop out (especially during the genius improvs of our clowns, Bernardo Cubría and Lucas Caleb Rooney, who play the twins)! But I'd have to say one of my favorites is spoken at the end by Emilia (beautifully played by Zuzanna Szadkowski): "After so long grief, such festivity." Super simple line but it has deeply resonated with some of our Mobile Unit audiences on the road; audiences that may find themselves in tough situations but are hungry and eager for a laugh, for a moment of shared humanity...for a good time! 2. Shakespeare character I would consider my spirit animal:
Rosalind from As You Like It. I find her endlessly appealing—her vivacity, her complexity of thought and feeling, her boldness in challenging both male and female behaviors, and her romantic sensibility. Definitely love her. 3. What I love most about The Mobile Shakespeare Unit experience:
Our audiences! Packing up each day into the van with the other actors (which is also its own memorable experience!), pulling up to a new location each day and greeting our new faces is an adventure. We meet some of the most generous and playful audiences on the road, who are willing to take an imaginative ride with us. 4. Favorite movie about mistaken identities:
Face/Off! I think it is an incredibly memorable and smart action film, with Travolta and Cage giving some creepily nuanced performances as they mimic each other. 5. Most cherished souvenir from my travels abroad:
My friendships! I had the great blessing of making some really great friends-for-life in London. 6. One non-tourist spot in London everyone who visits should check out:
Head out to Zone 2 and get off at Maida Vale (off the Bakerloo line). The neighborhood is known as Little Venice, because of the canals out there, and it's a lovely neighborhood. Also, there's a fantastic pizza place there: The Red Pepper (8 Formosa St, W9 1EE). Fresh artisanal pizza like I've never had before. 7. The Motherf**ker with the Hat memory I'll never forget:
I loved the moment when, during tech, the ensemble and artistic team gathered in the Lyttelton Theatre to watch the first scene transition (our sets moved on automated trucks). We were so blown away by Robert Jones' set design and the automation that we burst into some lively applause. It really was impressive and a very exciting set to play on each night. 8. Album I completely wore out in high school or college:
In high school, I was all about Santana's Greatest Hits, the 1974 album. It belonged to an uncle of mine. I remember hearing the song “Black Magic Woman” for the first time at his house and was captivated by it...I HAD to hear the rest of the songs. I then "borrowed" the album...for many years :) (thanks, Tio!) 9. Performance I saw that made me want to be an actress:
Wanting to be an actress was born out of several experiences, including being inspired as a child by my mom's storytelling, but if I had to point to a performance that made an impression on me early on, I'd say Julie Andrews as Maria in The Sound of Music. Love everything about her in that film. 10. My New York City happy place has to be:
The West Village. I could walk around there and explore for hours.
Get over to The Public Theater to see Flor De Liz Perez in The Mobile Shakespeare Unit production of 'The Comedy of Errors' now through November 22.