Meet the cast: Debra Altschiller

Debra Altschiller

Debra is stepping back into the spotlight for the first time in twenty years. She has been joyfully back-lighting her children’s theatre and athletic pursuits, and now she is excited to step out of the green room and onto the stage this February. Debra has been a member of the team at Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) for the past year as their Community Relations Coordinator. She is also a volunteer with the GFWC in Exeter and her children’s schools.

Q: How long have you been involved with theatre?

“More years than I care to enumerate. I have performed, stage managed and been a stage mom for a long time. It feels like home to me.”

Q: What are some of your favorite recent productions?

“Lately my performances have been public speaking telling people about the Safe Kids Strong Teens program run by SASS. Talking about the great prevention education work that SASS does has been a joy. Theatrically this past year I have been a stage mom for ‘RENT’, Miles Burn’s ‘Whimsey the Musical’ both at Seacoast Repertory Theatre and Emerson’s ‘A Cappa-looza’. Seeing my children enjoy the exhilaration of performing is the best!”

Q: Have you performed in The Vagina Monologues before?

“ I have been an audience member for six different versions of The Vagina Monologues, this my first time performing in it. The first time I went to a V-Day show was in Providence Rhode Island with a group of fourteen women, we were so moved, shocked and entertained, it was an incredible experience! I’m excited and nervous to now be a part of this show that has made such an impression on my life and outlook on women. ”

Q: What made you want to be involved in V-Day this year?

“For the past year I have been privileged to be a part of the team at Sexual Assault Support Services. Sexual violence is a plague and blight on our communities. Every word spoken, dollar spent and testimony given to remove this horror from our lives is valuable and well placed. I believe deeply in the power of bearing witness. Being a part of The Vagina Monologues is my chance to honor these stories, let my voice join the chorus of truth, its joyous celebration and horrible pain.”

Q: Who is the most influential/important woman in your life?

“The most influential woman in my life is my daughter, Marina. When you meet her you know you have met someone special and that this next generation has got our backs. She is an extremely talented theatre student at Emerson College. She inspires me. She is driven, sharp, focused and kind. If know Marina you know she is a musical bad ass, fiercely loyal and the best person to have on your side. The experience of being her mother has been positively transformative for me. ”

Q: What or who inspires you?

“My family inspires me, they are a really interesting bunch. We have celebrated some incredible victories and faced some frightening demons together. I will be celebrating my twentieth wedding anniversary this month with my husband Howard. He inspires my love. My son Connell inspires my bravery. My son Brady inspires my good humor. Marina inspires my confidence. My parents, Nancy & Frank inspire my loyalty. For all of this I am grateful.”

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