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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