In a time where some theatre companies are struggling to produce even one show and many actors are- as actors often are- spending more time doing other things than acting, there is one theatre and company and an actress that are both incredibly busy. It seemed worthwhile to see what these two are doing to keep so busy and how their paths came to cross.
FACT Theatre (Friends Always Creating Theatre) enters its fourth year finding itself dubbed the “Busiest Off-Off Broadway Theatre” and it now has a show Off-Broadway as well, A Mermaid’s Tale at the Triad Theatre. Ironically, FACT hired Vicki Oceguera, who is currently featured in three different productions around New York City – making her one of the busiest working actresses around.
Jack Dyville, co-producer and founder of FACT with David Gillam Fuller explained why FACT earned this title: "This is FACT’s very first Off-Broadway transfer. 'A MERMAIDS’ TALE' is by me and John Stutte and it opened on September 15th at the Triad. The full-length show premiered at The Great Room – ART/NY in March of 2012 and then moved from there to Long Island City’s ‘Secret Theatre’ from April-June. Also, FACT’s new season of WORDS & WINE, a monthly short play reading series – and wine, gets underway on SUNDAY SEPT 23 at THE HOURGLASS TAVERN, which is at 373 W. 46th Street on the 3rd Floor. This features six new 10 Minute plays by Sheila Mart, Bill Kozy & Zach Rothman Hicks and I. The Hourglass Tavern has hosted FACT’s January Reading of “An Umbrella in the Snow”, which is also poised to move Off Broadway. In addition, due to the productive relationship with The Hourglass, ART/New York on Monday Evening SEPTEMBER 24, will be honoring Friends Always Creating Theatre & Hourglass at their annual meeting being held at PERSHING SQUARE Signature Theatre on 42nd Streets on Theatre Row."
While this in itself seems like quite a lineup in reality FACT officially opens their 4th Season of full productions with PICK SIX – six of the best short plays from the previous season’s Words and Wine fully staged on Saturday September 29 @ 8:00pm and Sunday September 30 at 2:30pm and 4:30pm at Roy Aris Theatre. Jack explained that FACT is a membership company and that this production features many FACT Members including Lynn Manuell, Gus Ferraro, David Gillam Fuller, Bill Kozy, Madalyn McKay, Jamesaii Schempp, Julia Bernal, Betty Hudson, Jack DeLorenzo, Angel Vail and others. To reserve tickets one can go to Fact.Reservations@gmail.com or on the Box Office online at Smarttix.
Having now established why FACT is considered one of the busiest producers I wanted to find out how they came upon one of the busiest actresses to star in A Mermaids Tale.
When asked if she sought out FACT or is she auditioned Vicki Oceguera explained “Oh, it was through an audition. I saw the audition for A Mermaid’s Tale in Backstage, I submitted for it and came in. I remember the first meeting David (Fuller) was outside being the monitor, and I remember him being the friendliest person I ever met and talking about FACT and what a great group it is. As soon as I walked in the room Heather Edwards was playing the piano and Jack Dyville was casting – both were super nice and I really wanted to be a part of it.”
When asked what she is doing currently Vicki answers, "I am in three productions right now including A Mermaid’s Tale and basically I kind of lucked into everything that I’ve be cast in. I feel happy to have been in all three productions of A Mermaid’s Tale and being in three different theatres and seeing how the show has gotten to grow. I’ve been with Honestly Abe for the last year off-Broadway at the Actor’s Temple. That show is also fun because I play two different roles. It’s been kind of good to look at your schedule and say, 'Who am I playing today?' It’s kind of a nice challenge to have as an actor. I am also in rehearsals for Geeks, the Musical which opens downtown in the beginning of October."
Vicki explains “I have kind of a crazy day where I wake up early and I go to auditions, and then I work mid-day and then I rehearse in the evenings or perform. So far it has been able to work out really great because Mermaid’s is only on Saturday days, and Honestly Abe is only on Friday days and Sunday days and then Geeks is going to be in the evenings."