Witch trials happened throughout the Western world in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries (and, some would argue, still happen today). We know a lot about persecution of women as “witches” in England and early America, but we know less about it in other countries. Jarnsaxa has shown up in various guises at different times, and met religious, corporate and personal conflict.
Leslie will be playing Widow Gregersen, an practitioner of a lot of different ideas pervasive in Old Norse and modern-day culture. Though Christianity was not unwelcome in Scandinavia, pagan ideas and processes stayed put when push came to shove. Women were often the first responders in medical situations, and they could use runes and songs along with hot water and herbs for care. Widow Gregersen knows old ways to combat the dragur, or what Christians might perceive as a witch, though she’ll stay on the good side of the Church to keep business going. However, her ability to use old magic may make her more sensitive to it.
Leslie is an actor, singer, and goofball originally from Washington. D.C. Representative Theatre: Park Square: The Diary of Anne Frank; Theatre in the Round: Godspell; Chameleon Theatre Circle: Blood Brothers; Black Market Doctor: Women’s History Month: The Historical Comedybration (with fabulous prizes); The National Theatre for Children: The Energized Guyz and the Conservation Caper. In her spare time, she plays the ukulele, drinks too much coffee, and binge-watches LOST.
What made you decide that you wanted to do this project?
Podcasts and science fiction are two of my favorite things!
Who’s your favorite character from Norse Mythology?
Odin. But I’m not as well-versed in Norse Mythology as I should be, and I’m betting there’s someone else out there for me.
What are you reading these days?
I just finished “Bad Feminist” by Roxanne Gay, and I’m thinking about picking up either Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” or Steven King’s “11/22/63”
What’s your favorite pre-performance ritual?
Dancing around to Beyonce’s “7/11”
What’s under your bed right now?
All of my shoes. And probably a bunch of bobby pins.