An Acceptable Loss (feature film debut)
"Both films reveal female characters managing resentment and explosive anger behind furrowed brows, deeply conflicted about expressing authentic voices while navigating a society that historically demands graciousness, gratitude and obedience toward men.
In one example from An Acceptable Loss, actress Ali Burch plays “Dee”, an academic administrator repulsed by her new and controversial boss, played by Tika Sumpter. Dee, barely able to make eye contact — let alone offer her hand in greeting — represents anyone who’s tried to mask disdain, standing in direct contrast to women who are taught (or choose) to “grin and bear it”. -Christine Wolf, Bustle
“Director Henry Wishcamper made a more significant change by changing Scrooge's nephew Fred in Scrooge's niece, Frida. A welcomed change with Ali Burch cast in the role. The revised character has a certain empathy that's been unknowingly missing from Dicken's version. Ali Burch makes Frida an emotional anchor of this telling, and that almost gives Wishcamper's production a new story arc.” -Buzznews
"His “niece” Frida – nephew Fred in Dickens – upbraids him roundly for his obduracy even as she showers him with Christmas cheer. We would like to think ourselves like Frida (the effervescent and quite irresistible Ali Burch). He is bitter – about everything, about life. He is also ridiculous, and Burch’s dauntless Frida tries to make him see that." -Chicago On The Aisle
"However, one of the play’s most heartfelt moments comes when Scrooge’s lovely niece Frida, played with energy, complete honesty and adoration by Ali Burch, earnestly embraces her Uncle when he unexpectedly joins his family for Christmas dinner. This is the moment to which this production has been journeying.” -Chicago Theatre Review
"The rest of the cast is top drawer, with stand-outs being a gender change of Scrooge’s nephew to niece, Frida (not Fred). Ali Burch deepens the relationship in the niece/Scrooge realm, and creates some touching moments." -Hollywood Chicago
"Ali Burch plays the role of Scrooge's niece Frida, a clever casting move that helps account for the lack of substantial female parts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Burch finds the necessary and compelling line between Frieda's endless capacity for empathy and her boldness and willingness to call out Scrooge." -Broadway World Chicago
A Christmas Carol (2019)
With Larry Yando, Photo: Liz Lauren
With Larry Yando, Photo: Liz Lauren
Southern Gothic Remount
Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones returned to see the remount while I was in it and gave us a 4 star review. Check out his video review to the left.
A Christmas Carol (2018)
"As Scrooge’s niece, Ali Burch expanded what is normally a cameo role into a person of so much warmth and intelligence she captured my attention whenever she was on stage. Burch’s obvious talent and stage presence suggests there needs to be larger roles in her future, hopefully in Chicagoland theater." -Dan Zeff, Chicagoland Theatre Reviews
“In 2016, the Goodman changed Fred to Frida, played delightfully by Ali Burch…Frida was the part I want to weave a little into my own life. Frida was the part I want my son to carry along in his.” -Heidi Stevens column for the Chicago Tribune
"Ali Burch returns as niece Frida, a gender switch made by director Henry Wishcamper in recent years that works beautifully at establishing the connection between Scrooge and the women he’s loved and lost" -Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
With Asher Alcantara and Allen Gilmore (as Scrooge), Photo: Liz Lauren
At The Vanishing Point
“For lovers of acting, this production amounts to something of a bravura clinic – and some extraordinary acting comes from folks on the cusp of promising careers. Cameron Benoit and Ali Burch give standout performances. As Nora, an ambitious young student at the Kentucky School for the Blind, Burch gives life to her uncommonly direct style and independent spirit.” -Marty Rosen LEO Weekly
“These actors, most of them standing alone on stage, have the ability to create intimate connections with the audience. Notable performances include Ali Burch's portrayal of Nora Holtz. Burch's portrayal gives heartfelt insights into Holtz's ambitions and the loved ones who make up her world.” Courier Journal Elizabeth Kramer
“One achingly intimate story arch features Ali Burch as Nora Holtz, a young blind woman with many ambitions, and Gregory Maupin as her suitor. Burch’s heartfelt portrayal of Nora makes it all the more dispiriting when we realize through other character’s narratives that she died alone during the great 1937 flood.” WFPL Ashlie Stevens
Photo: Bill Brymer
A Midsummer Night's Dream
“All of the star-crossed (or fairy-crossed, if you prefer) quartet deliver solid and physically adept performances. Ali Burch's Helena straddles her own line between nerdy and outraged. ‘We should be WOOOOED!’ she screams to the night air at one point — a primal moment that captures the desperation of a young woman who has been overlooked by love for too long.” Kerry Reid Chicago Tribune
“The mismatched couples elevate characters that, too often, are sacrificed to the easier laughs. Sarah Wisterman (Hermia) and Ali Burch (Helena) develop a relationship that feels genuine in their brief scene before they wind up in the forest, and it's that relationship that lends weight to and intensifies the humor of their later knock-down, drag-out fight.” -Christine Malcom, Edge Media Network
“Particularly enjoyable (and near-heartbreaking) is the shocked fight between Wisterman's Hermia and Burch's Helena when they are mistakenly led to believe that the other has betrayed their longtime friendship.” -Scott Morgan, Daily Herald
“The four lovers are played with aplomb.” - Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
With Sarah Wisterman, Photo: David Rice
Ali joined the cast as a 1st replacement for Lauren Lyon in the 6 time Jeff Award nominated Southern Gothic. The Chicago Tribunes' Chris Jones said of the play at it's opening, "Imagine going to see “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and sitting on the couch next to Martha, matching her shot for shot, and you get the basic idea." (https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/reviews/ct-ent-southern-gothic-review-0228-story.html)
“The skilled performances are impressively focused given that the audience is in such close proximity. All eight actors shine brightly (or vividly flame out in a supernova implosion) as needed.” -Joe from Theatre Review At My Seat (http://www.theaterreviewsfrommyseat.com/southern-gothic-windy-city-playhouse-chicago/), reviewed on August 8th, 2018
Photo: Michael Brosilow
A Christmas Carol (2017)
“Add in the likes of Joe Foust, Molly Brennan and, as Frida (a gender-switched character that replaces the nephew Fred) Ali Burch, and you have no diminishment in the quality of actors who return often to this show. It is a show that has moved with the times, as it should, but retained its warm heart.” -Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones
“Steller turns by Ali Burch (Frida) stand out in the sterling supporting cast.” -Ed Tracy, PicksinSix Reviews
"The part of nephew Fred is now niece Frieda, a change that works extremely well thanks to Ali Burch’s sincere and touching delivery." -Regina Belt-Daniels, Northwest Herald
“Burch’s reunion with her uncle somehow has more power in a cross-gender casting as well. The Goodman may be on to something here.” -Chicago On Stage
Photo: Liz Lauren
“Blake Russell and Ali Burch leave us with the most vivid and offbeat characters of the night.” -Keith Waits, Arts Louisville
With Blake Russell, Photo: Alden Ford
Hello Out There
"It’s a poetic love story about loneliness and the longing for connection, and what comes between two people. Both actors have strong physical presences, and you root for the two of them to unite even as you fear the consequences of that union." -Rachel White, Arts Louisville
With Jon O'Brien, Photo: Kelly Moore
KW: #5. You were a student at Walden Theatre [now Commonwealth Theatre] for several years.
AB: With Walden Theatre, it will always be the place to shed your invisibility cloak and shine and feel human and a member of an artistic community. Even if you don’t want to be an actor, being at Walden heals parts of you that feel like you don’t belong. I wouldn’t be where I am now if not for Walden.
KW: #6. I remember you played some plum roles while you were at Walden. What stands out for you?
AB: Oh man, I was very lucky at Walden. Hermione in The Winter’s Tale really stands out for me. That was the first time, as an actor, I had the realization that victimhood is not an interesting thing to play on stage. To be entrusted with some of Shakespeare’s greatest heroins as a hormonal teenager is a gift, and I am so proud of Walden for imbuing us with a sense of worthiness to tackle Shakespeare at such a young age.
Photo: Joe Curnette