Five Friday Questions with Brenda Joyner

Brenda Joyner is an actor and WWU grad from Alaska who’s been in Seattle for nine years. She’s a member of the esteemed New Century Theatre Company where she performed in On the Nature of Dust and Tails of Wasps. You also might’ve seen Joyner in The Glass Menagerie at Seattle Rep, Titus Andronicus with upstart crow collective and in many other productions with Seattle Shakes, Seattle Public Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop and more. Coming up, she’ll be in NCTC’s highly anticipated fall production of Festen followed by Crimes of the Heart at Village Theatre. 

What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately? 

About a year ago I saw a flamenco performance at a bar in Seville and it was an electrifying experience. I was blown away by the passion, focus, skill and endurance of these performers (a guitarist, a vocalist, and a dancer). Absolutely thrilling.

During a recent Sounders match against San Jose, Obafemi Martins scored this unbelievable, over-the-shoulder quasi-bicycle kick. I keep watching the clip. I love that man.

What’s the best meal in Seattle?

Please join me on my dream day where I can eat all of my favorite meals… I take a stroll downtown for a breakfast biscuit and a coffee from Biscuit Bitch. I probably have to go to the ol’ day job (what a lame dream) but soon it’s lunchtime and I grab one of the many incredible sandwiches at Delicatus. I call it an early day and swing by El Borracho for taco happy hour. What’s that? A surprise dinner at Staple and Fancy?! Yes please. After catching a show at 12th Ave Arts, there’s a quick stop at The Unicorn for a Unicorn Dog before heading home. Oh and I’m sure there’s a Dick’s Deluxe in there somewhere. What can I say, I’m a health nut.

What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?

No question: Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” will get me pumped. I love to dance and that song makes me dance like a 3rd grader left home alone for the first time. When I am sad I listen to old big band/jazz/swing. That music floods me with memories of evenings at my grandparents’ house and Bobby Darin singing to me from my grandpa’s den. It grounds me. Ever turn on NPR on a Saturday night and think, “Who the hell listens to ‘Swing Years’?” It’s me.

What’s the most crucial element of a production?

The story. Every element should be supporting the story you’re telling. Tell it honestly. It’s frustrating to be pulled out of a show by a performance, design or concept that seems to be forced upon a story and detached from the text.

What’s the most useful thing anyone’s ever taught you about working in theatre?

Be kind to everyone.