Carmel Valley nurse and actress to perform in Pickwick Players’ production of ‘The Crucible’
By Diane Y. Welch
In what may appear to be two vastly different roles, Susan Farese expresses her creativity. On the one hand she is a licensed nurse and on the other she is an actress. This duality has been of benefit to Farese’s professional journey throughout her life.
“I’m happiest when I’m being creative and I love blending the science of nursing with the art of acting,” she said.
As a nurse Farese expressed herself as a poet. In 1993 she wrote a nursing poetry book and designed seminars for nurses to teach poetry as a cathartic stress management tool. In films she is often cast as a nurse. Her most recent nurse role is in the television series “Men of A Certain Age” which will air this summer. “I’m able to bring that nursing demeanor to the part because I know that life intimately,” Farese said. She has also served as an on-set medical consultant for scene set-up and realism where shooting included hospital or medical settings.
With versatile interests, Farese, a registered nurse, although currently not active, has worked in television, film, commercials, internet and stage. In movies she is cast primarily in extra roles but has had several credited roles. Farese does voice-over work, public speaking and presents industrial seminars, and her talents include song and dance. In 2006 she won an award as part of a female ensemble for her role as Mrs. Greer in the musical “Annie,” staged in San Jose.
Some of the movies she has worked in include “Edge of Darkness,” “The Dead Sleep,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Invention of Lying” and many more. While her film roles are minor, immersion in the creative process is what draws Farese to the industry and to be able to portray a nurse in a positive light is very important to her.
Farese’s nursing career began in 1978 when she was a Navy nurse stationed at what is now the Naval Medical Center San Diego across from Balboa Park. She also served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1981-90, attaining the rank of Major. She later went on to work in the civilian sector.
A recent transplant from the Boston area, where she worked primarily in film and television, Farese moved with her husband and daughter, Emmy, who is also an actress, to Carmel Valley last summer. “It’s joyful to be back in San Diego,” she said. For the past five years acting has taken center stage.
With the recent downturn in San Diego’s movie industry, Farese looked to live theater for her next acting role and was successful in her audition with San Diego’s Pickwick Players. The opportunity to work in community theater was a welcome one for Farese who is a member of both the Screen Actor’s Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
From Feb. 24 through March 6, the Pickwick Players will present Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” The play will be staged at Moxie’s Rolondo Theatre in San Diego. Directed by Kenn Burnett and produced by Luc R. Pelletier, “The Crucible” has a central theme of the 1692 Salem witch trials. Miller fictionalized the trials in 1953 as a parable for the McCarthy-era political “witch hunts” where citizens were accused of being communists.
Farese has been cast in two roles, Martha Corey and Sarah Good. Although the parts are secondary they are integral to the plot, she said. Corey was accused of witchcraft by her own husband because he was suspicious of the books that she was reading, but when he would not testify in court, he was crushed to death by stones.
Sarah Good is a homeless decrepit, filthy character who is a beggar and, as such, she was one of the first accused of witchcraft by Tituba, said Farese, who was drawn to audition for the play because of its theme. In Boston she had visited the Salem Museum several times where they give presentations about the subject of the trials. “So I already had a deep interest in the play,”she said.
The play opens on Thursday, Feb. 24, with a champagne reception and has a two-week run. Visit Pickwick Players online for show times and to purchase tickets at http://www.pickwickplayers.net/maincurrentshow.htm or call the box office at 619-448-5673. The Moxie Theatre is located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd., Suite N, San Diego, CA 92115.
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