We look to the past to shape our future. Who are you? Where are you going from here?

My name is Rebecca Ho. I am a Vietnamese/Chinese actor originally from Brisbane, Australia, but I am currently living in New York. I am also singer, a dancer, piano-player, a beginner drawer and watercolour painter, and an avid lover of Peanuts Comics (I have every single comic). As for where I’m going from here, it’ll be straight back to New York for me to start my next project Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven by Stephen Adely Gurgis. After that, I have no idea, but I am very excited for what the future holds for me.

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s It’s Greek (and Roman) To ME! Season?

This is my first professional job in the US and I am thrilled that it gets to be at TAM. This is also my first-time tackling rep (I am in four of the six shows this season) so I am super excited to jump into the craziness that rep brings and the chance to tackle multiple characters in multiple shows basically at once!

We’re all about making old things new and new things classic. Why are you drawn to Classic Theatre? How do you shake it up?

It’s cliché, but the Classics are classics for a reason, not all that much has changed since the days of the Greeks and Romans. Heartbreak hasn’t gotten any less painful, giant phalluses haven’t gotten any less funny, the support from a loving family member hasn’t gotten any less potent, human behavior remains just as wonderful and messy as ever. So, in that sense, digging into the Classics isn’t all too much different than digging into contemporary text. For me, I am always looking for the human behavior at the heart of the piece. Once we find that, then I think we can shake things up by messing with the setting/time period of the play as well as which bodies get to inhabit that story. As a petite Asian-Australian woman, I am particularly interested in pushing the boundaries of representation on stage in terms of race, gender, age and size.

From what sources do you draw your inspiration?

For me, it varies from character to character. For Pandora, Greta Thunberg and Dora the Explorer were big inspirations. For Eros (my character in Antony + Cleopatra), Shakespeare’s Sonnet 57 (Being your slave, what should I do but tend upon the hours and times of your desire?) was my jumping off point. For Night (in Amphitryon), the characterization of Chang’e from the Netflix movie Over the Moon and her anthem song Ultraluminary and Las Vegas Showgirls were the basis for her. And for Argatiphontidas (also Amphitryon) I drew from a lot of Looney Tune goons. Finally, for Little Stone (Eurydice), she is a cross between a bratty flower girl, feral cat, and a gremlin.

You can have dinner with any three influential people. Who are your dream guests, why them, and what is the topic of conversation?

Wow, I don’t know if I can pick just three. But off the top of my head, I’d pick Anna May Wong, Julie Andrews, and Kristen Bell. I admire all three of them not just as actresses, but they are all either trailblazers in this industry or shining examples of how “celebrities” can be active citizens of the world and give back to the community. I’d like to talk to them about their career/life balance and what advice they would give to someone at the beginnings of their career.

How have the past two years changed your view of making theater and what action are you most proud of?

These last two years have really reinforced how special and important live theatre is and how lucky I am to be a part of it. What we make on stage is pure magic; we literally make people practice empathy. Any audience member coming to our shows gets to experience someone else’s perspective for however long that show is, which is (in my opinion) perhaps the most important quality we need to practice. I am also really excited that the pandemic highlighted the inequalities in representation on stage and in film/TV and that there are actions being done to help to rectify this situation. It’s definitely got a LONG way to go, but at least it’s on people’s minds now.

What’s your super power?

In crisis’s, I’m really great at being the “Carer” – keeping a level head, listening to people’s needs, and making sure everyone is looked after and getting the care they need.