Read more on what the press + reviewers had to say about Brenda's past performances. Click on thumbnails for details.
Life After Fat
Life After Fat is a comedy-drama series filmed in New York City, focusing on Maddie, a 24 year old thrift store employee who loses 90 lbs over the course of a year. For the first time in her life, she feels noticed, and attractive, which ends up being far more complicated than she thought. But the more things fall apart, the closer she is to finding her true self worth.
Life After Fat isn’t about how inspiring it is to drop a lot of weight, nor is it a message for everyone to love themselves exactly as they are. Instead, it’s an exploration of the changes we make and why we make them, as much as it is a statement on the often times laughable madness that is being a severely confused 20-something living in a massive city.
Life After Fat Episode 3 - "Brunch"
Episode 3- Maddie has brunch with a very inquisitive Olivia, while Lauren discusses her acting career with Ellen, a theatre director.
Won Official Selection on 2104 NYC Web Fest
Sisyphus' Supper - Short Film
Short film Sisyphus’ Supper was nominated in 2015 Cannes Short film corner category. I portrayed the Health Inspector.
Happy to announce that alum Gabriel Miller's (UGFTV, 2014) film Sisyphus' Supper was accepted into the 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner. Check out the trailer and synopsis below. Also, make sure you like Sisyphus' Supper on Facebook for more updates on the film!
Film Synopsis: Hell is a pretentious French restaurant. The devil is the head chef. Cy is a struggling cook, forced to choose his fate off the menu. Hoping to escape, Cy must challenge the devil of surrender his soul for food.
Any production of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize–winning “Doubt” playing in Manhattan these days inevitably falls under the shadow of the original 2005 Broadway edition starring Cherry Jones and Brían F. O’Byrne, not to mention the Shanley-directed 2008 film with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The virtue of T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre’s workmanlike staging, directed by Peter Jensen, is that it provides an opportunity to see this modern classic in an intimate setting.
Set in the Bronx in 1964, “Doubt” tells of Father Brendan Flynn (Mike Roche), a reform-minded Catholic priest and teacher who becomes locked in a battle with an imperious, old-school nun named Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Alice Barrett Mitchell). Sister Aloysius suspects that Father Flynn may be a pedophile who has molested the school’s first African-American pupil. She becomes determined to undo him, though the evidence against him is circumstantial at best.
The role of Sister Aloysius is an incredibly rich one. The character is haughty, crafty, and outspoken. Mitchell makes the nun notably dour. I was surprised how few of the outrageous things that come out of her mouth provoked a laugh from the audience. It’s true that Sister Aloysius is self-satisfied and self-contained, with little regard for what others feel or say. But in her first scene, opposite the timid young Sister James (Nora Jane Williams), Mitchell charges through her lines without registering what her partner is saying. To her credit, in the scenes between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn, Mitchell is more fully engaged.
Roche is convincing as Flynn. The actor delivers fragments of the priest’s sermons in the same strong, deep, flat voice he uses when Father Flynn coaches his students in basketball. The hyper-masculine vocal quality may be a way of assuring parishioners he’s a straight-and-narrow guy, not a child molester. Or maybe he really is on the straight and narrow. In another smart choice, when Father Flynn telephones a bishop after the final showdown with Sister Aloysius, Roche repeatedly clears his throat, as though the priest is trying to dislodge something—it could be shame or fear—that chokes him.
Williams is appropriately earnest and anxious as Sister James, and the talented Brenda Crawley is excellent as the mother of the boy who may have been molested. This is the sharply written role that earned Adriane Lenox a Tony Award and Viola Davis an Oscar nomination, and Crawley makes it fully her own.
Some spatial configurations among the characters seem a bit odd. Would Sister James and Father Flynn be quite so comfortable sitting in a near embrace on a garden bench in broad daylight? Would Sister Aloysius stand nose to nose with Father Flynn during their final confrontation, rather than vanquishing him from a distance? She is banishing him, after all, not going for his jugular.
Such quibbles aside, in this production “Doubt” remains an appealingly unsolvable puzzle of a play.