In the Wings: Sarah Gliko, Wilma Theater’s Ophelia in Hamlet

Getting to know Philly's brightest theater talents.

A rather unconventional staging of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet‘ is shaping up at The Wilma Theater. Helmed by director Blanka Zizka, the title role of the Bard’s play will be covered by an actress, Zainab Jah. Hamlet’s ill-fated lover, Ophelia, will be played by Sarah Gliko. We sat down with Mrs. Gliko to discuss not only the challenges of playing a classic role with a new twist, but also her pop-culture guilty pleasures.

Sarah Gliko

My name is… Sarah Aubrey Gliko. At the beginning of my career I thought about dropping the Sarah and going by Aubrey. Aubrey means Ruler of Elves… O-kay?

I am… newly married to a wonderful man named Jered. I am a fan of comedy, our National Parks, and good food. I am grateful, inspired and humbled to be working in this city alongside so many friends and amazing talents.

On opening night I… look forward to the post-curtain call, pre-party toast, and cast mates emerging from their dressing rooms radiant with adrenaline, more than ready to share their favorite poison and some lovely words with one another.

My favorite part of the show is… watching Zainab (our great Dane!) work her language magic. She is a master class and the force of her ease and skill will pull you in and hold you close!

To get into character for this show, we as an ensemble are exploring and finding a lot through physicality, how the inner life can emerge through movement. It’s also a unique way for the audience to find its own way into these characters and for us not to force a pre-conceived idea onto them.

Zainab Jah and Sarah Gliko in 'Hamlet.'

Zainab Jah and Sarah Gliko in ‘Hamlet.’

My first stage kiss… was during my senior year of high school in Guys and Dolls. My leading man was my ex-boyfriend from 8th grade. It was a SCANDAL.

The first play I was in… was called Jack and the Giant, and I played the Bean Seller. I sang a calypso number, wore a cape, and am pretty sure I was rockin’ a box step or 12.

My dream role is… Boy, that’s a daunting question. I never have an answer at the ready. But certainly, Ophelia is a dream, and I would love to explore more of those classic roles. Basically anything that scares the stuff out of me.

My surprising celebrity crush is Sinbad, but to those who know me, it’s no surprise, for I’ve been riding the Sinbad train since I was a teenager. Time has only strengthened my love.

The most famous person I ever met… was probably James Taylor. It was one of those deals where I waited in line and he signed a CD for me. When my turn came, he turned those big ol’ blue eyes on me, and the awkward, farcical assery that erupted from me is too painful to go into …

The last thing I binged watched was… I have a rotating list of binge-worthy shows. It includes Clatterford, Slings & Arrows, Arrested Development, That Mitchell and Webb Look, and more recently Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, and I just discovered Key and Peele. Good Lord, I could go on…

To stay in shape I… usually walk to and from work, and when I get there, we spend the first hour and a half of every day doing a very strenuous body and vocal warm up. It’s a real test of stamina, strength, and flexibility. What I eat when I get home though … that’s a different story.

The last time I dined out in Philly… I ate a delicious grilled octopus appetizery thing and a killer burger. And washed it down with a zingy Old Fashioned!

The best show I saw in Philly recently… was a rip roarin’ lover’s quarrel on the Broad Street Line. It had everything: intrigue, drama, suspense, and an exploding bag of Chipotle. Unfortunately, I missed the end of the show when I had to get off at Walnut Street.

The best thing about Philadelphia’s theatre scene is… without a doubt, the amazing artists who are Philadelphia’s theatre scene.

You can catch Sarah Gliko in ‘Hamlet’ at The Wilma Theater from March 25 through April 26. For tickets and more information, click here.