press notices

For Eleanor and others in Henry VI:

 

"…Gloucester’s fortunes fall, sunk in part by his own imperious wife (the excellent Sophia Skiles)…"

Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times' Critics Pick

 

"The dynamic Sophia Skiles looks daggers and speaks flames as Eleanor, the scheming wife of Humphrey of

Lancaster, […] appealing, expert ensemble […] Moreover, I’m grateful that NAATCO gives work to some of the

city’s finest Asian-American talent. Casting agents and artistic directors, take note: Enlisting a diverse group of

players is a surefire way to make ancient texts release truly universal music.

David Cote, The Village Voice

 

"This is a production, too, that’s also potently pointed in its casting of women in men’s roles. The first three lines

of the play are each delivered by women playing men, […] When the plotting but powerless Duchess of

Gloucester (a dynamic Sophia Skiles) imagines what she would do “were I a man,” there’s a bonus layer of

crisp emphasis, since we’ve just seen Skiles as the Duke of Bedford and Sir William Lucy.

[…] brutal, compelling, and shrewd, this is American Shakespeare at its most epic and alive.

Dan Rubins, Theatre is Easy (theasy.com), Best Bet

 

"Sophia Skiles seems to bring power and punch to any role she touches, be it the chivalrous Bedford or the

ambitious Eleanor Cobham […] but it’s worth noting that the significance of such a production comes no less

from its technical and artistic merit than from the milestone it represents in diversity and representation.

Already rare are the Henries, rarer still is seeing Shakespearean histories performed by an all-Asian cast, with

the fluidity of the casting extending also to gender. This is not done out of necessity—truly, the roles for which

strong, memorable performances were given could not have been better cast. This fluidity is the greatest

marvel of Shakespeare and its enduring modernity, that the story can be that of whoever chooses to tell it. That

Asians, with as much right as anyone to the story, are given this opportunity to tell it, is a celebration long

overdue."

Austin Yang, Front Row Center

 

For Linda in after all the terrible things I do...:

“Incredible, indescribable, infuriating, inflammatory, intense […] When Linda's moods alternate between the

bewildered mother of a gay son, Issac, and someone who mentors and oversees Daniel, Sophia Skiles

completely inhabits her character while evoking sympathy and rage from the audience.”

Peggy Sue Dunigan, Broadway World

 

“Junek and Skiles are two actors at the top of their game.”

Dave Begel, OnMilwaukee

“Smart, sensitive and well-acted […]; Linda [is] quietly and expertly graphed by Skiles.”

Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

“It’s a play that demands actors who are willing to go deep, and The Rep has found two performers who take on

the roles with both honesty and restraint […] Through subtle physical control, Sophia Skiles projects Linda’s

hidden pain from the first scene, long before we learn her complete story. […] In the hands of thoughtful

performers, there is both hope and unease in the “strange quiet excitement” that fills the theater as the lights

fade.”

Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine

 

“The play’s credibility is completely dependent on its two actors, and they rise to the occasion. […] Skiles gives

us a maternal Linda throughout, one who calls her staff a “family” and treats them as such, unfairly at times. But

it’s her own family that we slowly learn more about, including her son, an unseen character who becomes a

focal point for the two. […] As the play progresses, Skiles gives us a glimpse into Linda’s rage, as well as her

slow understanding of the futility of that rage.”

Anne Siegel, Wisconsin Gazette

 

Stunning performances […] As Linda, Sophia Skiles embodies a woman at a stage of life where maternal

instinct forms a complex union with self-interest and self-reflection.

Selena Milewski, Express Milwaukee

 

Powerfully and beautifully rendered by [Skiles].

Julie McHale, Greater Milwaukee Today

 

For Thousand Years Waiting:

 

Ms. Skiles has an expressive face and a lovely, melodic voice. Under the direction and choreography of

Sonoko Kawahara, she, like the other performers, acquits herself with grace and precision.”

Phoebe Hoban, The New York Times

 

“In Sophia Skiles, who plays the author of the Sarashina diary from adolescence to old age, the production

finds a warm and sympathetic center.”

Helen Shaw, The New York Sun

 

For the title role in The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc:

 

“The holy stillness of this Target Margin Theater production, masterfully evoked by director David Herskovits

and his excellent ensemble, encourages the unhurried contemplation of this mysterious little play […]

Sophia Skiles portrays Jeanette with subtle, resonant warmth and steadfast strength. She lends modest

conviction to Jeanette's searching piety…”

Gordon Cox, Newsday

“An elegant, minimalist production…”

New Yorker Magazine

 

“David Herksovits wisely focuses the three fine actors on the language […] The three women in this cast are up

to the challenges presented. There is a genuineness in Sophia Skiles' Jeanette that filters her passion and

anguish through the lens of a young woman, "different" no doubt, who is seeking her own inexplicable truths.”

Les Gutman, Curtain Up

 

“It's a credit to the strength and intelligence of these three actresses that they are able to comply with the strict

aesthetic limitations placed on them by the director while still making the performances their own, stamping

them with their own creative marks […] As Jeanette, Sophia Skiles engages debates respectfully, quietly, but

with an embryonic rage that intimates her imminent transformation into Joan of Arc. […] All three actresses

perform with a precision and subtlety that mark them as a credit to their craft.”

Frank Episale, Offoffoff.com

 

“All three actresses give lovely performances. Sophia Skiles, as Joan, brings a richness to the text even

through its stylization…”

Nicholas Seeley, Off-off Online

 

“As the torn Jeannette, Sophia Skiles is subtle and effective. She seethes with outrage and pain, and suffers

on behalf of everyone. She prays and she ponders, even as she spins yarn…”

Kessa De Santis, ElectronicLink.com

 

“The actresses bring these characters and Péguy’s discourse to vibrant life. Sophia Skiles makes for a quietly

angry and gently fierce Jeanette.”

American Theater Web

 

For Allison in Blue Sky Transmission, A Tibetan Book of the Dead:

 

Sophia Skiles, graceful in a physically demanding role…”

Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

 

“A fine performance by Sophia Skiles…”

Fran Heller, Backstage

 

Sophia Skiles commits herself utterly to a brave performance that is unmoored from the usual concepts of

character. Skiles speaks the play’s dialogue with a seriousness that brings a sense of clarity to the evening.”

Aaron Leichter, nytheatre.com

 

“Sparkles with energy and invention, with terrific performances by an outstanding cast...Allison, strongly played

by Sophia Skiles…”

Tom Penketh, Backstage.com

For Isabella in Measure for Measure:

 

“Kiely directs this difficult comedy with assurance and wit, with a handful of very fine turns by Sophia

Skiles…”

David Cote, Time Out New York

 

“The cast of this particularly vigorous Measure is fully in sync…Sophia Skiles proves more than the Duke’s

match as a particularly fiery Isabella, Measure’s nun-in-training.”

Jen Hendricks, Show Business Weekly

 

“Kiely's sizable ensemble of 20-plus actors sink their teeth into the text and the concept…with strong

performances--especially from Sophia Skiles as the Sister who insists and resists.”

Drew Pisarra, Citysearch.com

 

For Broken Morning:

 

“[The ensemble of Broken Morning is]…attractive, exuberant… flexible and dedicated…”

Joan Larkin, Citysearch.com

 

“[Sophia Skiles] stands out…”

Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff.com

 

“Thought-provoking and touching, [these are] well-trained, compelling actors. Of special note is Sophia

Skiles, who is superb as an inmate with a young son who visits her weekly, as Chuck, a terrifying teenage

rapist-murderer, and as the mother or a son who was brutally murdered in his sleep.”

Tom Browning, Theatrescene.net

 

“The cast does outstanding work…with conviction and intelligence and subtlety…Broken Morning is

compelling storytelling of the highest order…This is theatre at its best, doing what theatre does best. It is not to

be missed.”

Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

 

For other work:

Skiles, a precise, radiant actor…”

David Cote, Time Out New York

 

“…the high points are very high. The scene where Mia [Sophia Skiles], the production's Salome figure… was

powerfully staged and well-acted…Skiles was powerful and believable as the vengeful Mia.”

David Mackler, oobr.com

 

Skiles’ performance is the strongest element in a strong production.”

Andy Buck, In Theater New York

“Talented, intriguing...Skiles’ lush vocal range and and her startling specific gestures make her exciting to

watch.” Carol Burbank, Chicago Reader

 

“Powerful…it’s a shock to hear words come out of [Skiles’] small, delicate body so deep and resonant, as if a

Cassandra were caged inside her bones.”

Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader

 

Sophia Skiles is extraordinary as Edgar…she whirls through the play like a cool fire and handles

Shakespeare’s language beautifully.”

Marianne Evett, Cleveland Plain-Dealer