How did you get into theater? You could say my love for theatre started in the third grade when I watched my first musical: Annie Get Your Gun performed by the 8th grade class in Buffalo Public School.
What is your favorite part of working on For Heaven’s Sake!? I was born and raised in Buffalo so relate to the entire Buffalo connection: Buffalo story, Buffalo author
What is the one thing you want audiences to take away from this production? Some type of emotional connection, inspiration or identification and to share their positive experience with others enticing them to see the show!
How did you get into theater? 4th grade: I played Aladdin in our Girl Scout play, but I really wanted to play the princess and wear the dress. However, I got my big break in 8th grade when I was given the role of Katrin in I Remember Mama. The cool girls couldn't understand it, but I was hooked. I went on to do high school shows at our local boy's high school. I majored in theatre in college and went on to work in Philly for many years before moving to NYC.
VHTD usually works on shows more than once. What is the biggest challenge of revisiting a work? I keep trying to go back to old lines if I am not totally focused on what I am saying and doing. Words and lines get into your body as much as in your memory.
What drew you most to your character or this production? It reminds me so much of my mother and my Nanna (her mother) in the way that they were reverent on the outside and totally practical in a lot of their daily lives.
For Heaven’s Sake! deals a lot with family. How has your family influenced your work on this production? I channel Nana physically! At least that's what my Aunt said when she saw the NY production.
For Heaven’s Sake! is performing in Buffalo. Does that affect your performance? I hope we have the accent right!! I do feel a bit nervous about getting it right.
What is the one thing you want audiences to take away from this production? That love can be a glorious, painful, ever-changing experience and trumps all seeming differences.
How did you get into theater? I was a victim of tag along syndrome. My best friend was going to the local Spring Lake community theater workshop. I tackled Albert Petersen in Bye Bye Birdie as a rotund, rambunctious 7 year old and never looked back.
VHTD usually works on shows more than once. What is the biggest challenge of revisiting a work? The constant challenge in all work is presence. That becomes harder when you work to create an arc, with a group of people, and revisit it a year later with different parts; as a different human.
What drew you most to your character or this production? I try to inspire and heal with my work. Personally, I really relate to the character of Brendan; from a direct and indirect way. Parts of Brendan are in me, my father, my uncle. I grew up the eldest of 3 in an Irish Catholic family, and there are more similarities than I care to acknowledge.
For Heaven’s Sake! is performing in Buffalo. Does that affect your performance? I think it's an incredible gift to share this work with people who LIVED this story. I hope that in some way they are touched, and can leave the theater a little more at peace.
For Heaven’s Sake! is set in 1970s Buffalo. What challenges has that given you, in terms of design, development or dialect? I think that walking out of 2015 into 1974 presents a large challenge. I'm sending this response via an IPhone; which is an extension of my arm, and myself. In 1974, connection didn't come as freely or cheaply. If people wanted to communicate; it required a level of commitment.
John Szablewski from NY Theatre Guide says...
Michael Rabice from Broadway World says....
What is your favorite part of working on For Heaven’s Sake!? I love the play, and I love working with this company. We have a terrific production team, and the cast are a pleasure to work with. And working with Laura Pedersen has been a treat. For Heaven's Sake! is her baby, and she’s been generous with guidance in terms of what the play requires, and open-minded as a collaborator.
VHTD usually works on shows more than once. What is the biggest challenge of revisiting a work? It gives me a chance to revisit earlier choices with a new perspective, and make sure that my original design is still working to the benefit of the production. If it isn’t, I have the opportunity to make changes.
What drew you most to this production? The opportunity to work with director Ludovica Villar-Hauser. We talked for years about working together before we finally had the chance on the New York City production of For Heaven's Sake! and for me, it was absolutely worth the wait!
For Heaven’s Sake! is set in 1970s Buffalo. What challenges has that given you, in terms of design, development or dialect? As the show’s dialect designer and coach, it has raised the stakes for me. In the New York City production, I wanted to be sure that any Buffalonians in our audience felt their speech was well-represented and treated with respect. Now that we’re coming to Buffalo, where most of our audience will be from the area, that’s even more important to me—and, I feel sure, to the whole company.
We know that not every Buffalonian will sound exactly like our Kilgannons and Jablonskis, but we hope that our audiences will feel they recognize them as people they might easily know or meet around town.
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How did you get into theater? I had never seen theater until I got to college. I grew up in a small farm town with no theater and no drama in the schools. I saw my first play-- a production of Arcadia my freshmen year at Duke-- and I was captivated. I wanted to be inside the play, not watching it. I tried out for a college production and was cast in a role that was meant to be male. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was driven by the challenge. I switched my major from math to drama and psychology, and after dabbling in other areas of theater (company management, stage management, playwriting, set and costume design) I found that my heart was in performing.
What drew you most to your character or this production? Kathleen is one of the juiciest and most fulfilling roles I've ever played. She is a pioneer. She has tremendous inner strength, sly intelligence, humor, deep affection for her family, and belief in herself. Kathleen's journey in the play is so beautifully articulated by the playwright and director. She is challenged by a series of difficult events and choices, and she emerges with her integrity in tact, a deeper understanding of her family and the sacrifices that have been made on her behalf, and the desire and passion to continue to carve out a future of happiness for herself. I get the sense that whatever comes her way, Kathleen will prevail because of her sensitivity and resilience. I admire her enormously and love stepping into her boots.
What is your favorite part of working on For Heaven’s Sake!?The script and the people. The script feeds my brain and challenges me to consider what I value most in life. The cast and creatives are a dream team. They make me better at my job and get me excited to go to rehearsal every day. It feels like a real family-- we have a lot of trust in each other and hopefully it shows in the work.
For Heaven’s Sake! is set in 1970s Buffalo. What challenges has that given you, in terms of design, development or dialect? I have enjoyed the opportunity to research and get a feel for the time and place since I wasn't alive in the 70s and am from the South. Dialect-wise it has also been a wonderful challenge, as there are many adjustments for a Southerner to sound Buffalonian! Marrying the technical dialect work with the emotional truth of the character has been a challenging and very rewarding part of the process.
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