Meet the Cast of Jennie’s Story – Heather Brooke is Jennie McGrane

heather brookeWhat is your role in this production? I am playing the role of Jennie McGrane in the Walterdale production of Jennie’s Story. Jennie is the title character and, as such, has a lot to say. I bet I have learned more lines for this production than for all my other performances combined! This play has been a wonderful demonstration (mainly to myself) of my capabilities.

In the beginning, Jennie McGrane is a friendly, upbeat, and very maternal woman who loves taking care of her home and her husband. She loves Harry more than anything and has created a very comfortable life with him. Throughout the play she has to deal with situations far beyond her control, which alter her view of the world, spirituality, and even her family.

What is your background in theatre? I am a 5th year BA Drama student at the U of A (yes, I know, 5th year) and I have one semester left in January of next year. I have completed all my drama credits and only have Spanish (my minor) left to cross off the list. I could have finished my degree but I thought I’d take the last 3 courses in Granada, Spain. That seemed like a pretty good trade for an extra semester in my opinion.

I have done one other production at the Walterdale which really got me feeling comfortable in “real life” performances. Nine (directed by Kristen Finlay) was a wonderful production with wonderful people and as musical theatre first got me interested in performing and set me on my path towards the actor life…I’ll always have a soft spot for musicals.

What has the Walterdale experience been like for you? The Walterdale experience is always a pleasant one. The people involved are very dedicated and very kind, not to mention talented. I love doing a performance outside of school as well it makes the whole thing feel much more “real”. And by “real” I mean, really terrifying! But 6 times as fun, of course! I would definitely suggest to anyone with any interest in theatre to give it a try. It’s a wonderful community, full of support, and it’s one heck of an accomplishment once it’s over!

Why should people see Jennie’s Story? Jennie’s Story is a very intense drama which discusses functional and dysfunctional families, problems one can’t overcome and how different people might deal with them, and (as do most good plays) relationships between the characters. What is a healthy relationship and what makes it so? How can you react when the people closest to you are also those who’ve hurt you the most? I’m not sure I’ve quite figured out the answers to those questions but this play certainly tests those boundaries.

If this was a play called Heather’s Story, what would it be about? If this was Heather’s Story… Hmm. That’s tough. I always find it difficult to present my life as interesting to other people. Don’t get me wrong I know I have tons to talk about and I’m sure if you talked to my friends they could tell you Heather’s Story but Heather is too busy living it. I suppose if it were Heather’s Story it would probably have a lot to do with my dog, since she’s basically my baby. We do Agility and Flyball, and she’s just the sweetest thing so, in reality, it would probably end up being Layla’s Story; featuring Heather.

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