Meet Sophie Ackerman

September 24, 2017
Stories

Sophie Ackerman plays young Queen Elizabeth in a non-traditionally cast role in Timeline Theatre's play, "The Audience".

Use COMMUNITY5 for a $5 discount to the Friday, Oct 6th show when you buy tickets online, in person, or on the phone.

A portrait of a dynamic and provocative woman—the symbol of a nation—as she weathers decades of history and political strife. Every Tuesday afternoon for more than 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her 12 Prime Ministers in a private audience, a gesture of unity between government and Crown. Through moments of tension, negotiation, war, and unrest, these conversations with political leaders from Winston Churchill to Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher have remained a constant across the years. Playwright Peter Morgan re-imagines each of these meetings, giving us a glimpse at the queen’s role in guiding the circumstances that have shaped Great Britain, and a window into the mystery, compassion and humor of the woman behind the iconic crown. "The Audience" is written by Peter Morgan and directed by Nick Bowling. Tickets can be purchased here

What’s your personal story?
I was born in Chicago and live in North Center.  I go to Bell Elementary School and am in 4th grade.  I am nine years old.  I have one sister named Isabel.  My best friend is Brynn and she lives next door to me and we were born on the same day!  I love to act, draw, write stories, read, sing, invent, play piano and learn.  I love science and want to be a scientist when I grow up.  Right now, I am an actress, but I probably can do both when I get more school.

What’s your character’s story in “The Audience”?“
The Audience” is about Queen Elizabeth and how she meets with her prime ministers every week.  I play the queen as a child.  My character’s story is that she was forced to live in a castle.  She is sad because no one looks at her in the eye, her friends have to bow and call her ma’am.  She is scared of becoming the future queen.  It’s funny because the older queen talks to the younger queen and gives her advice.  

What challenges does your character face telling this story?
The character’s main challenge is dealing with becoming the queen.  She doesn’t really want to be queen.  She had an “ordinary” life and she had to face becoming queen and all the changes that that brings.  

How does the character overcome those challenges?
She doesn’t overcome the challenges, she accepts them.  

Any other comments?
I love unicorns and science!

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Mia Park
Mia Park shares her passion of discovery through teaching yoga and acting. Currently studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine, Mia is also a producer, writer, motivator, and celebrator of life. Mia has lived in Chicago for over twenty years and calls this city that works her home.

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Free tickets can be reserved on October 27, 2017 at noon at the box office, by calling 773-325-7900, or emailing theatreboxoffice@depaul.edu. Press Opening is Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM. **Preview is Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM. The House of Bernarda Alba will be performed in Room 403 of The Theatre School at DePaul University at 2350 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 What's your personal story? I grew up in Tucson, Arizona as one of very few Chinese Americans in my neighborhood. I remember that my sister and I were the only Chinese kids in my whole elementary school. However, my family attended a Chinese church in downtown Tucson, and I also attended Tucson Chinese School where I learned to read and write Mandarin Chinese. I’m very thankful for the persistence that my parents had to have my sister and me grow up learning Chinese and holding on to our ethnic culture. However, growing up, I felt like I was never fully Chinese nor fully American. I didn’t feel the need to blend in with the other kids, but I also desired to connect better with others. An opportunity came up in kindergarten when the entire grade put on a show for the whole school. This was the first time that I felt like I was part of a team, part of a larger group effort to create something fun and beautiful. I remember that year, our production was called ‘To the Future and Beyond,’ and I sang the final solo of the show. In middle school and high school, I continued to take drama classes whenever possible. I loved learning about the lives of people so different from me, memorizing my lines, and sharing those stories with audiences. In college at Duke University, I decided to major in Psychology and Theater Studies, and also performed in three of the Theater Department’s Mainstage shows. Currently, I’m in my second year of my MFA in Acting program at The Theatre School at DePaul University. What's your character's story in "The House of Bernarda Alba”? My character’s name is Angustias, which means anguish or distress. She is the eldest unmarried daughter of Bernarda Alba and is already 39. Angustias is the sole daughter of Bernarda Alba’s former husband, while the rest of her sisters are the daughters of Antonio Maria Benavides, the man they are all mourning at the top of the show. Angustias’ father was rich, so when Antonio Maria Benavides dies and the property must be divided, Angustias’ share of the estate is much larger than that of her sisters. This wealth that Angustias has is then attractive to Pepe, who is trying to marry her, and while Angustias truly believes that he loves her for her, she really just wants to be loved and free from the oppression and alienation she feels within the walls of Bernarda’s house. What challenges does your character face telling this story? Angustias is constantly struggling with the antagonistic energy she receives from her sisters. No matter what she does, her sisters find some way to make her feel even more alienated and separate from the group. No one really gives her a chance to share more about herself. Angustias is always defending herself, but somehow it always comes off as offensive towards her sisters. She doesn’t feel understood. She wants her mother’s approval, but also doesn’t feel fully understood by her either. Angustias has a hard time in this story, because she doesn’t feel like anyone is on her side. How does the character overcome those challenges? Angustias changes throughout the play—I won’t give away too much, but in some ways, Angustias is redeemed from all of her bitterness at the end of the play when her sisters discover how they have wronged her. While Angustias behaved more out of spite at the top of the show, she begins to genuinely ask for help, advice, and empathy at the end of the play. Angustias overcomes her challenges of alienation towards the end of the play when she risks being judged by her mother and sisters by being more vulnerable, and seeking to find the truth, even if she gets hurt in the end. Any other comments? I hope that this play helps audience members to be thankful for the people in life who love them, to hold them close, and to try to understand each other instead of being blinded by individual desires. Why not work together? Why not be a team and create something beautiful? Life is too short not to make the most of it every day. Thank you so much for your time!
Mia Park
11/13/2017