We first told you about Katya Lidsky’s one-woman play, “I’m Sorry: How An Apologist Became An Activist” in January 2011, when it opened in Los Angeles. The show, which features Katya playing a variety of roles — both human and non — follows her story from an insecure Cuban-Jewish kid with eating disorders “that can only be cured by Tina Turner,” to a passionate woman in search of purpose and justice. “I’m Sorry” tackles current-day animal rights issues, interweaving them with Katya’s own personal self-esteem issues, and how her activism ultimately cured her and gave her life the deep purpose she’d so strongly craved.
Excitingly, “I’m Sorry” is now headed to The Big Apple, for part of the renowned Fringe Festival. The only glaring problem with this situation is that Mariann and I, who have resided in Manhattan for longer than we care to admit, are temporarily waylaid in Portland — just in time for this show that we are dying to see to raise the curtain a mile from our apartment. Hopefully, however, you are closer, and if you are, do not miss this incredibly creative vehicle for creating change, through what is my favorite possible way to go about it: the stage.
Even better though — as if that’s possible — at her final performance, August 26 at 2 p.m., Katya Lidsky will be dedicating the show to Our Hen House! There will be a donation jar and everything, and lots of good juju will be sent our way, and thus, the way of the animals who so desperately need all of our attention and support. So do me a solid and attend that performance. I, of course, will be at home sobbing, because of all the plays I want to see, “I’m Sorry” is at the top of the list. And, I’m sorry, but this whole timing snafu is not cool.
Oh, and incidentally, I’m basically ecstatic to inform you that this weekend on our podcast, Katya will be sharing her story of how this one-woman extravaganza came to fruition, the reception that her very mainstream audience has given her when being confronted with animal issues, and the role that theatre plays (so to speak!) when it comes to changing the world for animals. So truly, don’t miss that.
When we first told you about “I’m Sorry” a year and a half ago, OHH’s darling Ari Solomon interviewed Katya (read the full interview by Ari). Below are some of my favorite snippets of that interview. (But you’re only allowed to read it after you buy your ticket to the August 26 2:00 showing of “I’m Sorry: How An Apologist Became An Activist,” starring the one and only Katya Lidsky.)
Our Hen House: It’s not uncommon for actors to become involved in causes they care about. Could you share with us why animals are so close to your heart?
Katya Lidsky: I think artists of any kind are empathetic, and it’s hard not to feel empathy for animals who are by nature voiceless and vulnerable — not to mention cute and furry. I grew up in a border town of Texas and Mexico, and there were many stray, down and out dogs, which always absolutely killed me to see. But about six years ago, I adopted my first dog, a Beagle. […] She has been the gateway to all of this for me, and my greatest muse. I began learning more, volunteering at local animal shelters, and my activism grew from there the more I got involved.
OHH: What made you decide to use your craft as an actor/writer as a vehicle for sharing how you became an animal activist?
KL: I guess I just felt a burning desire to say these things, to tell this story, to speak to and for the animals I’ve met or loved. I don’t think I ever decided to do this, it’s more like I felt compelled to, I had to. It’s amazing to me how much we don’t know or choose not to know, and a lot of what I have to say is stuff I think we must know in order for change to ensue. I also really like laughing and I hope this show can carry the message while making people laugh and be entertained.
OHH: What are some of the themes you hope the audience walks away with?
KL: I hope the audience walks away empowered, knowing there is so much they can do to make a difference. They can volunteer, adopt when they want a pet, donate to great organizations… I want the audience to know that our dollars count, they are our voting power, and where/how we spend them can help change the world. I just hope people walk away with a raised awareness about what happens to animals in our world today, and how we can be the answer.