Meet the V-Day Portsmouth 2015 Cast: Erica Skoglund & Zoe

Erica & Zoe  V-Day Portsmouth 2014

Erica & Zoe
V-Day Portsmouth 2014

Erica Skoglund

Q – How long have you been involved in theater?

That’s hard to answer. I’ve been performing in front of people since 1999… but I started with campfire skits, storytelling and weird plays after lunch to encourage kids to compost at science camp.

Q – What are some of your favorite recent productions?

I Could Just Diary 2 & 3 at Seacoast Rep were ridiculously fun and such a great way to step out of my comfort zone. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!!

Q – Have you performed in the Vagina Monologues before?

Yes! I was in the sextet last year and am excited to reprise my role and get to know a new fabulous 5.

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

As an educator for SASS I get the opportunity to go into schools on a daily basis and talk to kids and teenagers about some very important topics. I am always excited for opportunities to reach a new audience and spread the SASS love a little further.

Q – Who is the most influential woman in your life?

My mom – hands down.

Q – What or who inspires you?

Silliness, time with friends and my crazy family, bad puns, vintage clothing and the thrill of the hunt, laughter, puppets, puppets and more puppets.

Photo by Monica Bushor of Bushor Photography

V-Day Rochester 2014 Photo by Monica Bushor of Bushor Photography

…Speaking of Puppets, here’s what Zoe had to say:

Q – How long have you been involved in theater?

Well – we don’t have a large stage or pretty red curtains…but I still think that I do theater every day! I have been in shows at elementary schools teaching kids about keeping their bodies safe for the past two years. If you think that’s a lot – my co-workers have been doing it for like 25 years. That’s crazy long!

Q – What are some of your favorite recent productions?

Sesame Street on Ice.

Q – Have you performed in the Vagina Monologues before?

YES!!! I was part of the sextet last year and it is SO RAD that I was invited to do it again. Yay me!!!

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

Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t I want to be involved?! First of all – this show ROCKS!! Also – I would shout from the highest rooftop about what I do and how important it is if I could…but since I can’t, I guess being on stage in front of like a gazillion people is a good way to get the word out.

Q – Who is the most influential woman in your life?

I can’t pick one because all the ladies who work at SASS and A Safe Place are amazing. They change people’s lives. You don’t get much more influential than that!!

Q – What or who inspires you?

Rainbows, unicorns, smiles, the color pink, The Muppets, hugs, and anything glittery.

Get your Tickets For V-Day Portsmouth 2015 The Vagina Monologues at The Music Hall now!

Erica Skoglund

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.”

Meet the Cast: Erica Skoglund

Erica Skoglund

Erica Skoglund and her friend Zoe are two of the amazing “Safe Kids, Strong Teens” Prevention Educators at Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS). Erica and the SASS education team see over 10, 000 students a year from Kindergarten to High School teaching a range of age appropriate topics such as personal body safety, bullying, healthy teen relationships and images in the media. She and Zoe will be making their V-Day debut this year, and we are so happy to have them with us!

Q – How long have you been involved in theater?

“That depends on your definition of ‘theater’… I was in an original play in 7th grade and I have done countless campfire skits and storytelling ventures throughout the years. I also worked for a puppet theater for two years outside of DC. This is my first official production. Yeehaw!”

Q – What are some of your favorite recent productions?

“Gwen in our latest puppet show for SASS.”

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

“I’ve always wanted to be involved but I have always missed the dates to audition – and I think, honestly, I was nervous, so I may have missed them on purpose – but this year I was determined to try. I work as an educator for SASS so V-Day is near and dear to my heart. Anything that helps spread the work about SASS is something I want to be a part of!”

Q – Who is the most influential woman in your life?

“My Mom. I am the woman you see today because of her.”

Q – What or who inspires you?

“Creativity, Humor, Jim Henson, people who can be spontaneous, bad puns and word play.”