First, the chance to be working with Wily West Productions again. It’s such a great group. Second is the subject matter and the wonderful roles. The show approaches what has been a divisive issue with love, and humor, understanding and depth, that is a joy to watch unfold as my fellow actors bring their characters to life
What is the greatest challenge you face with this show?
Probably switching characters. But, with the parts I have been given, I do find lots of threads between them, which makes it easier. That is a credit to the careful casting I think. I also have to be cautious with some of my parts to stay away from drifting into caricature, and finding the truth instead. Wesley is such a wonderful, kind, insightful director that he makes the challenges much easier to overcome.
What kind of research are you doing to prepare?
As one who has been making her living reporting and anchoring the news for decades, I’m always doing research. The great thing about this show is that the topics are so current and timely, that we have been bombarded by both sides for quite some time now. As a journalist I face the same challenges as an actor, in making myself open to all sides, and finding the truth and humanity in even what seems to be the most “wrong” opinions.
What have been some of your favorite previous roles?
I loved the role of Imogene Jelseby in Wily West’s production of THE WIDOW WEST by Morgan Ludlow. My first role when I ventured back on stage after a very, very, long hiatus was in Nathan Sanders’ play “Sweet Jesus”. It was a one act, but basically a monologue, so just knowing I could still get back on the acting horse was a thrill.
Since this play is about the right to marry what are some of your personal feelings regarding marriage that you would be willing to share?
I am quite the veteran, having been married for 31 very blissful years to my darling husband, Mike Sugerman. I think that having a formal commitment can be a great help to a relationship. When it’s not so easy to walk out the door, and you have made a promise in front of friends and family , it gives you more incentive to see problems through. It truly is all about compromise and consideration and respect, and starting off with someone who shares your values, goals and sense of humor. If you can’t laugh together, you are doomed. As a mother, I also know how fiercely protective we are of our children, and want to save them from any bumps in the road of what can be a cruel world. That makes me very understanding of the female characters I play in the show and their actions that to some may seem harsh , but actually come out of love . I love watching my fellow actor Heidi Wolff.
What do you hope audiences will take from this production?
These plays are about love friendship and family, whatever forms they may take I hope the audience takes a very simple message home with them that we all deserve a chance at whatever love and comfort we can find in this world, and no other person, government or religion can dare to dictate the rules.