Tamara Burgess (Alumn)


Tamara holds MA from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and a BFA from Southern Oregon University. Regional credits include Juliet Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Willamette Shakespeare), Cheerleader in the Very Merry Wives of Windsor Iowa, understudy White Snake/ensemble in the White Snake (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Laertes in Hamlet (LAMDA/Ducdame Ensemble), Antigone in Antigone (Blue Monkey Theatre). Recent Elysium credits Saint Catherine/Ensemble in Joan of Arc.


Getting To Know... Tamara

Tell us about a transformative educational experience.


A transformative educational experience for me was experiencing a master class in my time at LAMDA. We had an installation artist come and work with us for the whole weekend. We had the run of the school to create art in unexpected places. I'll never forget that because it changed how I viewed theater. It became less of a formal ceremony or leisure activity that people did on the weekends. It had an incredible visceral impact when you placed these stories back in their context in their environment. It became immersive in the best way possible.



What about transformative professional experiences?


The best transformative experience for me as a professional was when I understand the White snake in a new production that Mary Zimmerman was putting together at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I was fresh out of school and has no idea how I was supposed to do justice to this very pivotal role. I just remember thinking that I had only one chance to do this part during during the understudy run. It was going to be the only time that I would get to do it. So I went for it. I learned so much about letting go of all of the things that would normally trip you up in a rehearsal procesd. When you have one chance to do something with your whole heart you just go for it and you leap before the safety net appears. That's always stuck with me.


Why I do what I do...


I do what I do because in my bones I am a storyteller. I'm here to enrich peoples experiences of life. To share perspectives that the audience hadn't considered/experienced before or to give them the escapism they need. I would honestly probably go a little nuts if I wasn't storytelling in some way.



What about Elysium inspires you?


TE inspires me with the fearless way that we tell stories. There is no human experience or line that we're not willing to at least explore. And that's exciting because you're finding new ways to communicate with an audience or ways to impact to the story that are fresh and exciting. It's the best of an unconventional site specific theatre and a rich strong training ground for artists.



My favorite "day-off" event would ...


...have to involve a good book or movie, preferably something SciFi, and cooking something delicious. I love sushi, thai, comfort food, desserts... really any food.



If I had one million dollars I would...


...like to think that I would set up a scholarship for young artists that want to go to college... After I buy myself a motorcycle. I have a need for speed.



Did you know...


I can name all of Shakespeare's plays in under a minute.

I flooded my kitchen when I was 7. 


I have an adorable 4 year old kitten named Hero.