Emily Bett Rickards is no stranger to the stage. Though she has made a name for herself in a number of films and all seven seasons of the CW series Arrow, Rickards is returning to the theater by starring in off-Broadway productions of Reborning, by the Vancouver-based company Reality Curve. She recently sat down with uInterview for an exclusive discussion of her theatrical pursuits.

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According to Rickards, Reborning is about Kelly, a woman who crafts “‘reborning’ dolls,’ which are dolls meant to feel and look like real people – real infants, in this case.” The actress explained that Kelly “starts having a turn in her life that causes her to question identity and choices in life, and the catalyst of that is a client who comes in and starts asking her to perfect this doll that my character already thought was perfected.”

While Rickards has always loved theater, she explained that “it’s not just a love so much anymore; it’s a need.” Since the debut of Reborning, the actress has found a deeper appreciation for stage acting. “It would be hard, I think, to switch back to only doing TV, which is such a great medium as well,” she told uInterview. “But this ability to use this rehearsal space and this time – which you’re not always blessed when you do TV, not always … That time really gives you sort of this meat and this understanding and this way to build and discover and really sort of excavate these layers of these people that you’re trying to take on over the course of their life.”

Reborning is playing off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. Get tickets here!

Full interview transcript below:

Q: What’s the plot of your new play, Reborning?

It’s about this woman, Kelly, who I play who … designs these “reborning” dolls, which are dolls meant to feel and look like real people – real infants, in this case. And she starts having a turn in her life that causes her to question identity and choices in life, and the catalyst of that is a client who comes in and starts asking her to perfect this doll that my character already thought was perfected. And so on top of this sort of cyclical need to strive for perfection, she starts looking inside herself, and when that happens, all these sort of questions and feelings start coming out. And whether or not they’re … necessary, I guess, is the term we’ll go with … or where they’re going to lead her later in her life, which would be later in our show. The writing is phenomenal … Paul was in the show with me. He presented the play to me over a year ago, over two years ago now, and was like, “I think you’d be really great for this part.” And I was like, “Okay,” so I read it. And on first read, I was like, “This, for me?” It was nuts! How did he think I was good for this? Turns out the character – she’s got a lot of depth, she has a lot of layers, and it’s sort of finding those things more and more and more. We did a brief run of the show in Vancouver, and getting to explore Kelly again and … this life that she’s living has been such a blessing because I understand her so much more now. And I understand so much more about her and how she’s created a really special little borough in my heart.”

Q: Do you prefer stage over TV?

I think my love for theater was always there, and since doing this show … it’s not just a love so much anymore; it’s just a need … It would be hard, I think, switch back to only doing TV, which is such a great medium as well. But this ability to use this rehearsal space and this time – which you’re not always blessed when you do TV, not always … That time really gives you sort of this meat and this understanding and this way to build and discover and really sort of excavate these layers of these people that you’re trying to take on over the course of their life. I love comedy, so … you have to rely so much on the writing, I think … and then transfer it off the page and to the director and the director. I just came from Strand; I bought like fifteen new plays, and I’m like, “Ooh! Ones I haven’t read before!” Just pulling them off the shelf, just wondering if you’re gonna find a gem in there … Sort of where it starts is on the page in the writing, so you really have to go in for that writing, and then … who you connect with. And who you can sort of picture connecting with outside of it and collaborating with everyone around it is very fun.