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Sharon Isern

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Sharon Isern is an actor, artist (steampunkphage.com) and recovering academic (@profpathogen) who spends her days teaching and doing virus research with undergraduate students as a Professor of Biology at FGCU.

Although relatively new to acting, Sharon is building an impressive resume. Her stage credits include Wendy in On the Farce Day of Christmas for The Marco Players, a server in Saved by the Bell and the woman in Where is Man? (both part of The Studio Players’ 3 Plays), Rocker in Rockaby (one of four plays run concurrently in Ghostbird Theatre Company’s Langford-Kingston Home production of  Samuel Beckett’s October House, exasperated campaign manager Alex Klein in Jason Odell Williams’ Church & State (for The Studio Players), dutiful daughter Agnes in The Shadow Box (for New Phoenix Theatre) and a mother fleeing war in Everyone on this Train (for Ghostbird Theatre Company).

The latter role marked her theatrical debut.

Paired with mesmerizing Ghostbird vet Violet Shindler, Isern is particularly engaging,” this reviewer wrote of her performance. “The duo’s interactions as mother and daughter and their mid-show stargazing scene are two of the many highlights of this show.”

In The Shadow Box, Isern played a daughter caring for her terminally ill mother who suffers not only from Stage 4 cancer but dementia as well. Theirs is a sad dynamic. Agnes’ sister is, and has always been, her mother’s favorite – even though her sister died tragically of a hemorrhage many years ago. But mom doesn’t remember her daughter’s death. And to give her mother a reason to live, Agnes has been writing letters from her sister promising to visit soon. The subterfuge has worked too well. Now, buoyed by the promise of the chance to her daughter one last time, the old woman won’t give up the ghost even though her pain is so intense and debilitating that it is beyond not only the pale of the imagination, but the efficacy of the painkillers the doctors can prescribe.

Agnes’ plight is heartrending, and Isern wrings every ounce of emotion from the part without ever overplaying her role. She is simultaneously loving, sad, resentful and conflicted. Like many long-term caregivers, Agnes increasingly wishes that her mother would just die already and release her from the commensalistic relationship she shares with her mother. The concomitant guilt she feels is palpable, and gives rise to the most powerful scene and tearful moment in a play filled with tremendous poignancy and angst.

Sharon has also ventured into the realm of stage management, having functioned in that capacity in The Studio Players’ production of Walter Cronkite Is Dead and is stage managing The Waverly Gallery as well.

Sharon was scheduled to appear in the role of Camila Rosario in Lab Theater’s production of In the Heights, but as with so many shows, the musical was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she remains in the cast and is looking forward portraying the lead when the show finally comes to the stage April 28-May 22, 2021.

Also on Sharon’s horizon in 2021 are the roles of Judith Baxter Short in The Bare Truth for The Marco Players (March 17-April 3, 2021) and Dagmara in The Chechens for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts (August 2021).

Sharon also appears as the bartender in The Spotter, a public service announcement film produced by Jon Braddy in association with Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles Athletics (2020).

October 1, 2019; revised December 23, 2020.

 

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