What most excites you about this production?
I love getting to play multiple roles in an ensemble cast setting, which is something I haven’t done since performing in Sheherezade in 2009. I also haven’t performed in a fully staged production since Wily West’s NYMPH O' MANIA in 2010, so it’s exciting for me to be back on stage without a script in my hand. I am thrilled to work with this cast- some old friends and some new faces. And of course, I’m really psyched for Wes’ directorial debut- he has already hit the ground running, juggling 16 short scenes and 8 actors.
I’m proud to be a part of something that focuses on the issue of marriage equality while the Supreme Court makes history. I’m glad to be artistically addressing this issue while the rest of the world is debating, protesting or cheering.
What is the greatest challenge you face with this show?
Playing multiple roles in a production of short plays is always challenging. Besides the various (sometimes lightning quick) costume changes, it can be difficult to switch between characters seamlessly. I oscillate between playing the pragmatic best friend to a heroin junky, then from a menacing wood nymph to a grieving daughter who just lost her father to cancer. It’s psychological and emotional aerobics.
What kind of research are you doing to prepare?
One of my favorite things about acting is the research you get to do. You might study philosophy, dance, sign language, religion, or motorcycles, for example. Since my best friend IS gay and I would LOVE to see her get married, one of my characters is not a huge stretch for me. However, having never done heroin, I will probably have to experience it for myself to really get into the role. (Just kidding!)
But, Wes is teaching me the proper syringe etiquette and I will probably re-watch Trainspotting or Naked Lunch or something. (Even though I’m only on stage for about 2 minutes as that character!)
What have been some of your favorite previous roles (or productions you have been involved with)?
Most of my favorite roles have been written by Morgan Ludlow! I absolutely loved Woman in a Box, written by Morgan for Sheherezade 2009. NYMPH O' MANIA was my favorite Wily West production, because I got to play an uptight, neurotic and narcissistic woman, who, with the help of some psychedelic mushrooms, comes completely unwound by the end of the play. A similar favorite of mine was Janet in Rocky Horror Picture Show, for basically the same reasons. (And they both strip down to their underwear during the show!)
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?
Oof, what a question. I understand and respect those that “don’t believe in the institution of marriage.” I don’t like thinking of marriage as an “institution” either. That, I don’t believe in. I do believe in a lifetime commitment and partnership shared between two people with a ritualistic ceremony (and big party!) to commemorate it. When my husband and I had our Jewish marriage ceremony, our Rabbi gave us the freedom to decide what we wanted the breaking of the glass to symbolize. Since this was 2011, and no progress had been made in California, we decided to have our Rabbi speak of marriage equality, and the breaking of glass symbolized that our society was still broken on this issue.
What do you hope audiences will take from this production?
I hope that this production will offer insight into real human experiences of this subject matter. These stories (besides a couple of hilarious fantasies) offer a realistic view into the lives of people any of us could know and/or relate to. I hope that they are moved to tears and laughter, and will feel an even deeper sense of satisfaction with the history that has just been made.