BRASS: The Company We Keep!

The narrator for the most recent episode of BRASS Stacks is Seattle favorite Nikki Visel. Originally from Michigan, Visel came to Seattle via Chicago to start a theater company focused on original work–and liked the city enough to stay when the company disbanded. She soon found herself with a regular berth at Taproot Theatre, one of the city’s premiere mid-size professional houses, where her favorite roles include Joy Gresham in Shadowlands, Igraine in the original play Arthur: the Begetting, and Mrs. Chevely and Erlynne in their acclaimed Oscar Wilde revivals.

She’s also directed several short pieces, including works for 12 Minutes Max at On the Boards and Arcana at Open Circle Theater, as well as the one-woman show Learning Curve by Jodie Knowles–now on a national tour.

In 2016 she joined the BRASS company playing famed theatrical diva Ellen Terry in our stage production of Fatal Footlights. To research her role as the great actress, she read her autobiography and contemporaneous reviews (including some from Terry’s devoted fan, George Bernard Shaw), and listened to voice recordings that the famed thespian made late in life. And since the play involved a production of Wilde’s earliest (and quite dreadful) play Vera, or the Nihilist, she also had a special insight into the role. “It also helped that I love Wilde, and I’d done enough of him that I could draw on a style that I already had a lot of comfort in.”

Nikki Visel as Ellen Terry

As the narrator of our most recent BRASS Stacks, The Storyteller by Saki, Visel draws on considerable voiceover experience, as well as an appreciator of audio books. “This year I’ve listened to a ton of audio books, easily over 30, and so I’ve been acting as more of a narrator appreciator than a narrator. But listening has taught me a great deal about what I like and what I don’t like, and how to bring that into my performance.”

Visel will next be seen in “The Women” in Olympia, Washington, and she hopes to also return to BRASS Stacks in the near future. “Honestly, recording The Storyteller  was one of the most fun days of my summer. It’s a great story, appearing to be innocent then turning out to be deeply subversive, and true. It was a pleasure to be in the recording booth with such a well-crafted story. And for someone who works in  live theater, it was a novelty to be able to go back and make changes if I wanted to do something differently.”

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