Whatcha’ Watchin’: Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s Sidonie Garrett

Sidonie Garrett, the executive artistic director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, has a thing for—of all things—crime shows. In fact, she’s binge-watched nearly every crime series set in the British Isles, Scandinavia and France that you can find on Netflix including Broadchurch, Luther, Marcella, Shetland, The Fall, Hinterland, Wallander, Bordertown AND Borderliner. (See? We weren’t kidding.) When she’s not glued to European who-done-its, what else is this local director watching? Like any good director, it’s an eclectic mix of whatnot and other sundry items. Hey Sidonie … whatcha’ watchin’?

“Now I’m waiting for the new season of Luther to air so I can watch Idris Elba outsmart and chase down the evilest criminals. Until Luther returns, I have season two of Ozark to watch. Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and company keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what disaster will strike them next as they face never-ending 24-hour deadlines to avert total loss—of millions of dollars of ill-gotten gains and possibly their lives. And it’s fun to watch the Faux-zarks locales.

After all that crime a girl’s gotta laugh, so I indulge in episodes of Schitt’s Creek. The talented Levy family, including Eugene of SNL fame and his son Daniel, are co-creators and co-stars. It is sublimely ridiculous and yet has moments of lovely human connection.

There’s a very exuberant and stylish piece I have been enjoying—The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, starring Rachel Brosnahan. She gives her character a dry and sardonic delivery. And Maisel’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes of her broken marriage to become a successful stand-up comedian in the patriarchal society of the 1950s is rich and nuanced. It’s delicious! The art direction is precise and detailed and gives this story a richly crafted period setting in which the performances are completely at home.

I’ve also been watching America to Me. A microcosm of macro America, exploring what teens of multiple races experience in their shared school environment. It’s gut-wrenching, eye-opening, and inspiring, and it raises questions that demand new, other, and better answers.”

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