Actor Spotlight

For her Fort Worth debut, this feisty actor juggles multiple parts

For her Fort Worth debut, this feisty actor juggles multiple parts

Dallas-Fort Worth actor Marisa Diotalevi
Marisa Diotalevi is making her Fort Worth stage debut. Courtesy photo

She's toured the country and appeared on nearly every major Dallas stage, but somehow Marisa Diotalevi never ended up in Fort Worth. That's about to change with the the first show of Circle Theatre's 36th season, Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love).

Diotalevi joins six other actors in Aaron Posner's loosely adapted re-telling of three Kurt Vonnegut stories, embodying several different characters as they explore love, "pure and complicated."

Before the show opens on February 16 (it runs through March 11), Diotalevi took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun, and sometimes ridiculous questions.

Name: Marisa Diotalevi

Role in Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love): The dual role of Doris/Gloria

Previous work in the DFW area: I have worked at several theaters in Dallas (Theatre Three, Uptown Players, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Pegasus, Pocket Sandwich); I have worked in Plano, Irving, and Arlington; but this is my very first show in Fort Worth, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Hometown: Military kid, the world is my hometown.

Where you currently reside: Dallas

First theater role: Not counting The Tooth in a dental hygiene play in the second grade, I think it was Queen Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress in high school.

First stage show you ever saw: I think I may have seen Fiddler on the Roof when I was a kid. My family was NOT a theatergoing family. The first show I remember seeing and loving was Evita.

Moment you decided to pursue a career in theater: When I stood on the pool table at my friend’s house in the midst of his older sister’s grown-up party, and sang Laura Branigan’s "Gloria" to a room full of strangers.

Most challenging role you’ve played: They are all pretty challenging.

Special skills: I can juggle and I can make balloon animals.

Something you’re REALLY bad at: Hair and make-up. And cute shoes.

Current pop culture obsession: Personally, I do not obsess over anything pop culture. I experience it mostly through my 15-year-old daughter, so my knowledge and appreciation of it is very peripheral.

Last book you read: I recently reread Love In the Time of Cholera. I have no idea why.

Favorite movie(s): The 1986 French film Betty Blue. It’s SO tragic. And what a soundtrack.

Favorite musician(s): Ella Fitzgerald. Greatest singer ever.

Favorite song: I don’t think I have a favorite song.

Dream role: I would really like to play the leader of a resistance movement in a dystopian society.

Favorite play(s): I don’t play favorites. (See what I did there?)

Favorite musical(s): Big fan of Sondheim. Sweeney Todd is a masterpiece.

Favorite actors/actresses: Hmm ... Annette Bening, maybe?

Favorite food: Unfortunately, cheese.

Must-see TV show(s): No. None.

Something most people don’t know about you: There’s not much that most people DO know about me.

Place in the world you’d most like to visit: If we’re talking places that I have never visited before, I would say India.

Pre-show warm-up: My pre-show rituals are unique to each show I’m in and don’t generally manifest themselves until opening night. Which means I have to be very careful of what I do on the day of opening. Once I made the mistake of doing push-ups on opening night (long story having to do with a sleeveless costume) and then I had a FABULOUS show, so I had to do push-ups before every show of the run.

Favorite part about your current role: My character is described as "feisty." Enough said.

Most challenging part about your current project: The drive from Dallas, frankly. Plus it’s always hard for me to adjust to working with people that I didn’t know before.

Most embarrassing onstage mishap: Once I was doing a show with a quick change backstage, and I forgot to preset my pants for one scene. I had to borrow another actor’s coat and pretend that I was just wearing a really short skirt.

Career you’d have if you weren’t in theater: I’m still trying to find a career to have while I’m in theater.

Favorite post-show spot: Depends on which theater I’m working at or attending. Proximity is key.

Favorite thing about Dallas-Forth Worth: It’s manageable.

Most memorable theater moment: I cannot answer this question without sounding extremely vain.