You Should Know… Dara Gold

Dara Gold. Photo by Samantha Cooper

There’s no business like show business if you’re Dara Gold. The 29-year-old, originally from Stamford, Conn., has been kicking it in Washington for a while. Gold is one of the founders of the TMD Theater Collective and on the side she moonlights as an escape room employee.

Tell me about your theater company.

It’s called Too Much Damn Theater or TMD Theater. TMD actually stands for our names. So T refers to Tuesday. M is for Marketa and then I’m D, Dara. We were trying to think of a name that will [embody] us and what we wanted to put into the company. So, showing the importance of theater in everyday life was one of our values. We just celebrated our second birthday.

What kinds of things have you done?

We started out doing a radio play and we’ve also done stage readings and workshops. We’ve done two 48-hour film projects to make short films. That’s when you create a film within a 48-hour period. Everything.

We’ve also done a couple of Fringe Festivals. Our first [original] show was called “Painted Ladies.” And then this past year, we did a magical realism play called “Would You Rather?” And that was about what would happen if your ice-breaker
answers came to life.

And you mentioned you’ll be performing at the Kennedy Center.

Yes, the Kennedy Center has a festival every Labor Day weekend [called] The Page to Stage Festival, and they present local theater companies. It’s going to be our third year doing it. People submitted their songs to be picked and we’re producing [14] for the fest.
Have you always been into theater?

I like to joke that my first stage debut was in a Noah’s Ark musical in preschool where I was the female rabbit. I did choir in my temple growing up. And I did theater in middle school and high school. [But] I didn’t really get into it until college.

I did a little bit of playwriting my senior year of high school, because they invited me to some young playwrights’ theater workshop. And then in college, there was a 24-hour project called Theatre Slam, and everything had to be done in a 24-hour period.
I got really invested in playwriting and other aspects of theater and performing. And then I had a break for a little bit during law school.

Do you try to incorporate your Judaism into the stuff you write?

The closest I have was in my last show. The character had to get the spice of za’atar as part of a challenge, which is a common ingredient in the Israeli version of schnitzel. [It’s] something I’m interested in doing, the opportunity [just] has not yet been given.

What else do you do?

I actually work for an escape room. [It’s] a Sherlock Holmes theme. The things we have right now is Sherlock’s library, Moriarty’s game room and the president’s bunker. As part of the training, we actually had to do the room before they teach you to run it.

How do you find the time to do everything?

Lots of time management practice. And I thought I was pretty good in college because I was involved in a lot of different student organizations. But [this] is a whole new level. The Metro can be delayed, you use that to your advantage. All of [TMD’s] meetings are video chat or regular text chat, and then just planning in advance.

And when [you’re doing something] you love, it becomes a different source of energy. So, we are submersible. You’re happy and you want to do it. You make the time. n

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