I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Invention

Review: I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Invention
by Shari Barrett Aug. 21, 2018

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to re-invent yourself and completely start over as someone else? Perhaps, like me, you spent a lot of time in another country, speaking another language and watching yourself become more like the citizens who live there, totally comfortable in your new skin and personality. It’s a journey of self-discovery and re-invention during which your true inner self is allowed out for perhaps the first time, one in which you can create a more fully free persona and spirit to guide you through the transition. Perhaps the easiest way to let such a thing happen to you occurs when you move to another place where no one knows your name or past, allowing you to live fully in the present and create an entirely new future for yourself as the person you always wanted to be.

Corinne Shor is sharing such a tale about a young French woman named Sophie, Review: I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Inventionborn Kate, who did just that at age 15 when she became a high school foreign exchange student for year, lucky enough to live in Paris for a year with a family incredibly different from her own, yet so in tune with who she really considered herself to be. And I can tell you that Shor’s ability to fully embody the mind, body and spirit of her imaginary character when she declares I AM SOPHIE is so utterly believable, it’s almost impossible to accept that Sophie is just an imaginary character and not really the writer herself telling an autobiographical story of her own life.

As a writer, Corinne Shor admits Review: I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Inventionshe has always used a great deal of improvisation in the early part of her process to allow her characters to find their own way in a story. For over a year and a half, she workshopped I AM SOPHIE in Carole D’Andrea’s weekly Artist Workshop studio before originally performing an abbreviated version of the solo show at The Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2017 to sold out houses. Her updated 90-minute show is now being presented as a full-length intriguing and inspirational production, directed by Susan Angelo, in which Sophie gives you a chance to sit court-side during her adventure transforming herself into a free-spirited French woman from an uptight Midwestern girl.

The play begins with Sophie Review: I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Inventionasking the audience to join her as her much-needed confidante with whom she can share her existential, down the rabbit hole, adventure of self-discovery to become the person she always knew she wanted to be. Born in Minneapolis and named Kate, after living in Paris for a year as a high school exchange student, Kate returns home as “Sophie,” a French-speaking and highly confident free spirit she manifested while there, simply because “I like myself better in French, because in that language everything sounds so much more relaxed.”

Using every muscle in her body, Shor brings into clear focus all the trials and tribulations faced by Kate as she transitions into her new self, Review: I AM SOPHIE by Corinne Shor Takes Audiences on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Re-Inventionmuch the same as anyone going through gender re-identity would do. For not only did she have to become more in touch with herself, everyone around her needed to learn how to accept the fact that the young, uptight woman they knew as Kate was no more. That is, unless Sophie decides to let Kate out, which she finds necessary to do when dealing with her family in crisis.

Told from the standpoint of learning to deal with her father’s terminal illness after returning to her Midwestern home to assist in caring for him, Sophie confides to the audience how difficult it was for her to just let herself BE her French self when faced with her father’s request to “just be my Kate” as he spent his last few days in his bed. When Kate does appear to deliver the eulogy for her father, it is truly an eye-opening character shift that will open your eyes to why Sophie came into being and better represents who this young woman really wants to be in the world.

No doubt this heartfelt play will also wake up your sleeping soul and remind you to go out and live life in whatever way feels best to you – others’ opinions be damned. That said, what a fascinating study it is to watch Sophie as she soars to the highest heights and then plummets to the lowest lows. But what journey of self-discovery doesn’t have that? Beauty and pain so often occur at the same exact time, don’t they?