Priming up for ‘Miss Jean Brodie’

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • March 17, 2006

by Karen Feld

Talented actor Sarah Marshall, who plays Jean Brodie in a revised version of Jay Presson Allen’s play adapted from the novel “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” at Studio Theatre, also teaches acting at Georgetown and the Duke Ellington School. “I don’t teach like [Brodie] teaches at all,” Marshall said. “She’s a big blabber and her students don’t get a word in. I tend to not talk very much and teach by doing, by acting.” But she acknowledges that her years of teaching are helpful “for command- ing attention.”


In a reversal of roles, Marshall was once a student and studied acting at the Studio Theatre Conserva- tory under Joy Zinoman, who not only founded the theater but directed Marshall in this production.

“We have a psychic understanding at this point, which is both good and bad,” said Marshall, who has performed in some 20 plays at Studio. “Familiarity breeds too much knowledge sometimes.

Maybe the dance with me is shorthand. She trusts that I’ll get there.”

Acting is my calling,” Marshall reflected from her Berkeley, Va., retreat, where she spends her rare days off. “Teaching is my fate, my destiny.”


Rory Pullens, the new head of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, mesmerized lunch guests Wednesday at the Madison Hotel when he presented the school’s co-founder, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, with the third annual Madison Freedom Award. Cafritz, as you know, is the first publicly elected president of the D.C. Board of Education. Pullens, who arrived in Washington just two months ago from Denver, told about his introduction:

“I was in a grocery store before a snowstorm. People were scurrying around. I wondered, ‘Is this the end of the world?’ ” He went home and sat at the window with his wife and waited. “I went outside in my T-shirt. Someone walked by and said, ‘Where’s your hat, jacket, mittens?’ I said, ‘Where’s the snow?’ ”

“Only in Washington,” said Pullens, who’s ready for the challenge.


Separate tables at the Palm on Tuesday evening: Fox newsman Chris Wallace, Court TV’s new anchor, Savannah Guthrie, and Rep. Bill Clay Jr., D-Mo., celebrating Bob and Kate Moss’ 22nd wedding anniversary … Checking out the exhibit “Divine and Human: Women in Ancient Mexico and Peru,” chaired by three first ladies who got a Tuesday preview with museum founder Wilhelmina HolladayLaura Bush, Elaine Karp de Toledo of Peru and Marta Sagahun de Fox of Mexico — at the opening night reception at the Women’s Museum: arts supporters Dorothy McSweeny and Nancy and Harold Zirkin, who was hobbling on crutches due to an injured Achilles tendon.

Back to Articles