Testimonials

“I would be hard pressed to find someone more thoughtful, more driven, or more willing to sacrifice herself in the name of the craft than Sydney.  She possesses a maturity about bringing vulnerability to the stage which is truly admirable.  The power she displayed as Arturo Ui carved quite an impressive path for both her peers and her audiences.  She asks really insightful questions about narrative arc, is not hesitant about making bold choices (or revising them as a play evolves), and her presence onstage is devoid of ego or greed.  I commend her on how thoroughly she supports the ensemble around her both in the choices she makes and her awareness of the fabric of the story which must be maintained. Creatively, her choices are always dynamic as evidenced in the various pieces she's performed as part of The Bishop's School Actors Workshop.  The facility with which she moves from one, very specific character to the next is a great asset and will both challenge and inspire her fellow actors to develop the same skill in the future."

"Sydney's work this term is full of the brilliantly dynamic, positive, curious, and creative energy she brings into the room every day. It is always impressive to watch her tackle a project because the questions she bring always reflect a deeply thoughtful woman, dedicated to uncovering the creative challenge in any project and uninterested in holding back. Her viewpoints scene was deeply thoughtful, and wielded symbolic movements in a beautiful way to reveal the nuances of the relationship between these two women. She has an uncanny ability to communicate depth of reflection, a maturity often called "old soul," and I call emotionally ponderous. Additionally, her dialect work on the Essex accent was really impressive, as it can be quite a challenge to separate that dialect from the many dialects in London and its environs. She has an astute ear for dialects which will come in handy. Having had the distinct pleasure of directing her in one kind of stylized character in "Arturo Ui," I am appreciating watching how she is embracing the ridiculous with "Government Inspector." This unhinged exploration onstage makes my job as director much easier, and provides a really marvelous example for her fellow cast mates. 
What we should investigate for the future is what characters are most unlike her, and what depths still sit untapped in the areas of silence and stillness. She is incredibly deft with creating the sound of thought behind the lines, so there may be room to explore how much she can make the audience think by employing our fear of silence. The wide array of choices she brings to every project and rehearsal setting reflects her chameleon nature and her facility with different texts, so it's time to find the character she hasn't tried yet. I look forward to tackling this question with her, because I think that finding a character or play unlike those she's done in the past will help find those areas she's most curious to expand. Her work is always so impressive. I look forward to working with her next year!"

Nathan Emmons
The Bishop’s School
La Jolla, California 

"Sydney has demonstrated a genuine passion for the arts and has devoted herself toward improving her skills as a student and an actor.  I have seen her grow as a performer and as a human being through her work, gaining a deeper understanding of the entire acting process, looking beyond what affects her directly and into the production as a whole.  She is a giving actor and a patient student.  In my 25 years of teaching I have rarely worked with a more dedicated actor." 

Siobhan Sullivan-Crews
Founder and Director 
Blue Rose Theatre Project
Carlsbad, California

"What I find most inspiring about Sydney as a performer is her freely offered emotional commitment and availability that is never forced, but always honest and fully controlled. She has the maturity of professionalism that is without pretension and is so rare for a young actor. Sydney is a reliable, positive company member that I would feel honored to include in any cast." 

Benjamin Cole
Director of Theatre School Education & Outreach 

North Coast Repertory Theater
Solana Beach, California

“Sydney is a remarkable student. First, she has an extremely responsive body; she is ‘in her body,’ as one says about actors who translate inner thoughts and emotions into subtle physical effects. The fact that Sydney’s movement [is] always connected to inner thought, however, [makes] her always dynamic to watch, and thus she ‘out-dance[s]’ students who ha[ve] been taking multiple dance classes. It is this same physicality that resulted in her casting as Juliet [in the 2018 Bishop’s School production of Romeo & Juliet]. She simply out-moved everybody else who read, even though some read quite well. Secondly, she always commits fully, and is unafraid to be totally vulnerable. This is true not only in rehearsal, but also in every class exercise, no matter how small. She just seems to shut out people not involved in the exercise and does her utmost to explore. Thirdly, she initiates, bringing her own instincts fully into play. Fourthly, she ingests notes quickly and makes them her own. And finally, she has the discipline that needs to be the bread and butter of any major performer. Talent ain’t nuthin’ without work ethic! I think Sydney has every element necessary for a person who could become a working artist – including that all-important element: this is what she really needs to do! Sydney is something special; something that doesn’t come along every year! Sydney always puts her work first and whether it is on stage, or doing off stage production work, she is always on the top of her game.”

Courtney Flanagan
The Bishop’s School
La Jolla, California

“Sydney is a wonderful addition to this [Bishop’s School dance] ensemble…a bright, sunny invested student. She is committed to both her own self-improvement as well as the artistic growth of the ensemble in general. I could not ask for a harder working student.”

Donna Cory
The Bishop’s School
La Jolla, California 

“I have loved having the opportunity to work with Sydney this semester in Studio [Dance].  I am impressed by her work ethic, and by how fully she commits to every class activity, whether an improvisation prompt, an across-the-floor progression, or a choreographic exploration....Improvisationally, she has engaged in some truly incredible physical research....and her work as a choreographer has grown significantly this semester....I learn from watching her and working with her in the studio;  thanks to her for all that she has contributed to this course."

Cresence Birder
The Bishop’s School
La Jolla, California 

SydneyGerlachPerformance
SydneyGerlach