BIOGRAPHY

 


Beth Wilmurt is an actor and singer who has performed in over fifty plays, musicals, dance pieces, and cabarets with a variety of companies, including Art Street Theatre, of which she is a founding member, Aurora Theatre Company, Banana Bag & Bodice (New York), Campo Santo, Center Repertory, Crowded Fire, Encore Theatre Company, Erika Shuch Performance Project, EXIT Theatre, Magic Theater, Marin Theatre Company, Potrzebie Dance Project, SF Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Willows Theater, and Word For Word. Her performances in theater and cabaret have garnered numerous awards and award nominations, among them the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award, the Shelly Award, the Dean Goodman Award, a Belle Foundation Grant, and the SF Bay Guardian Goldie Award. She has appeared on several Bay Area newspaper "Best Performer of the Year" lists, and was named by San Francisco Magazine one of the top 100 Bay Area artists.

 

In 2005 Beth choreographed The Death of Meyerhold for The Studio Theater in Washington D.C., having originated the roles of Babanova and Stella Adler in the 2003 world premiere production at Shotgun Players. Her work on the Studio Theater production was honored with a Helen Hayes Award nomination for “Best Choreography.” Beth spent the bulk of the 04/05 season in Berlin, Germany, where she furthered her studies of Biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov, and collaborated with Mark Jackson and Sommer Ulrickson on the conception of a new dance-theater piece based on Chekhov's play, Three Sisters. In the autumn of 2007 she returned to Berlin to perform in the completed version of the piece, titled Yes Yes to Moscow, at the renowned Deutsches Theater. Yes Yes to Moscow had its American premiere in May 2008 in the San Francisco International Arts Festival. While in Berlin, Beth also began to develop the idea for a show called The Companion Piece, which premiered at Z Space in San Francisco in 2011. In 2013, Beth directed Anthony Neilson’s Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness at The Shotgun Players.

 

Beth studied theater and acting at San Francisco State University, with the Saratoga International Theater Institute, and with master Biomechanics teacher Gennadi Bogdanov. She has taught theater, dance and music to children at numerous youth arts programs, including Young Performer's Theater, Willows Theater Conservatory, Dance Arts Center and Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp. Since 2003 she has directed the Childrens’ Choir at the San Francisco Community Music Center. Beth continues to work as a freelance actor, singer, director, and teacher in the Bay Area, and is a company member of Shotgun Players.

 


   
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PRODUCTION PHOTOS

 
Click on any image to enlarge
   
   
Beth
Beth
GodsEar
Me as Margaret in Woyzeck, with music and lyrics by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, at Shotgun Players.
In a rather Blanche Dubois moment from The Companion Piece at Z Space.
 As Mel in God’s Ear at Shotgun Players.
Beth
Three Sisters
American $uicide
As Queen Elizabeth in the final moment
of Mary Stuart at Shotgun Players.
As Olga in Yes, Yes to Moscow, an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters performed at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.
As Mary in American $uicide, trying to get someone to open the bathroom door.
As Manasseh, stunned by
the moon in Salome.
As the acrobatic Russian actress, Babanova,
putting actor Kevin Clarke in his place
in The Death of Meyerhold.
As the title lady in Io Princess of Argos,

singing the blues with a
glass of bourbon.

 

   
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PRESS

   

Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness at Shotgun Players

  • “Beth Wilmurt's astute production keeps the audience equally entertained and unsettled from start to finish.” – San Jose Mercury News
  • “Edward Gant marks the impressive directorial debut of Shotgun company member and well-known Bay Area actor Wilmurt… The director title may be new, but for those familiar with Wilmurt's admirable comedic and musical abilities — the way she melds influences from vaudeville to Viewpoints into an understated, balletic form of physical humor and wry between-the-lines commentary — her stamp is all over the strong ensemble playing and choice details of this pearl of a production.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian.


Eccentricities of a Nightingale at Aurora Theater Company

  • “Exquisitely rendered by the always insightful Beth Wilmurt, Alma emerges as a high-strung little bird desperate to fly out of her gilded cage… Wilmurt makes us revel at Alma's free spirit even as we cringe at her foolish heart. The actress captures both Alma's pleasure and her pain, an intense mixture.” – San Jose Mercury News



The Companion Piece at Z Space

  • “A charmingly inventive new work of devised theater conceived by actor Beth Wilmurt.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • “Real lyrical beauty, as when Wilmurt, on a swing hovering over the audience, cracks the psyche of performers in a simple, eloquent, heartbreaking way.” – Theaterdogs.net

 

2009 Goldie Award, San Francisco Bay Guardian

  • “Beth Wilmurt's whole approach to acting is a little unexpected, not unlike the devastatingly unassuming characters she can manifest… [Wilmurt has] an intellectual curiosity and a capacity to forgo ego in the name of collaboration and its subtler satisfactions. It's this very trait that lends her acting a seamlessness and flexibility — and makes her an artist to watch.”



Threepenny Opera at Shotgun Players

  •  “Beth Wilmurt as Jenny delivers a simple, stripped-down reprise of “Mac the Knife” that is chilled terror, her straightforward virtuosity amplifying the lyrics. She and Jeff Wood’s Macheath menacingly stalk each other in “Pimp’s Tango” as flashes of violence mix with raw sexuality…” – SF Bay Times


Yes, Yes To Moscow at both Deutsches Theater Berlin and the San Francisco International Arts Festival

  • “The forced optimism of Wilmurt's Olga develops ever deeper cracks as she tries not to confront her looming spinsterhood as a provincial schoolteacher in her late 20s and clings to hope in the possibly radiant future of Irina.” – San Francisco Chronicle


Bosoms and Neglect at Aurora Theater Company

  • “Wilmurt is particularly expert at giving us an insight into her mounting stress and discomfiture… At one point she jiggles a leg. At another, she balances a book on her head. When she can't take any more, she throws her head and arms back in exasperation. The most intriguing thing is that all these gestures feel like instinctual reactions rather than learned behaviors in service of a scene in a play.” – SF Weekly


Critic’s Pick, San Jose Mercury News, June 2007

  • “Beth Wilmurt is one of those rare actresses who completely fades into the texture of each role. Her acting style is so transparent that you may have seen her on stage a dozen times without knowing it was the same actress. From American $uicide and The Death of Meyerhold to Io, Princess of Argos, Wilmurt has become a mainstay of the Bay Area's edgy new-play scene. She brings a luminous presence combined with mind-blowing physical dexterity and a facility for verbal gymnastics.”


Cabaret Rebel at EXIT Theatre

  • “When Beth Wilmurt performs her new cabaret act the room changes!" – San Francisco Bay Guardian.
  • “Wry, self-deprecating humor runs through Wilmurt's Cabaret Rebel, with a voice that slips easily from quicksilver to velvet...” – San Francisco Chronicle.
  • “One funny lady and a darned good singer… This is certainly not a show to miss, and, if there's any justice in the world, Wilmurt's cabaret debut will be the start of something big.” – Contra Costa Times.


The Death of Meyerhold at Shotgun Players
  • “Beth Wilmurt’s one-woman Hamlet is worth the price of admission alone.” – San Francisco Chronicle.
  • “Wilmurt is graceful, precise, and utterly compelling. She is, in short, magnificent.” – Oakland Tribune.


Io Princess of Argos! at both Art Street Theatre and Encore Theatre Company
  • “Wilmurt delivers a richly textured performance, balancing emotional depth with technical ease and superb comic timing.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian.
  • “Beth Wilmurt plays Io with the touch of a comedienne and cabaret diva, and infuses her with a moving humanity that results in a flawless performance.” –SF Gate.
   
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