What is your background in theatre? At Walterdale? I took drama, advanced acting, and oral communication classes from junior high through post-secondary. In 2013, I retired from competitive and professional dance to focus my extracurricular efforts on theatre. 2016 roles include Lucy in Raine (New Works Festival 2016), Cunningham in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (University of Alberta), and Dawn in Seven Lost Minutes (35th Annual Edmonton Fringe Festival). Lady Windermere’s Fan will be my first production at Walterdale Theatre.
What brought you out for this show? Why did you want to be a part of it? I’m a big fan of Oscar Wilde, a major nerd for Victorian literature, and I liked the challenge of learning a proper English accent. Lady Windermere is also a rather interesting character to play. She and I share distaste for egocentric and smug people, but we differ in that she holds very black-and-white views. Personal growth and maturity entail learning at least some level of elasticity, and it’s really fun to navigate that journey with her.
Why should audiences check out the show? Lady Windermere’s Fan brilliantly juxtaposes the amusing and the serious, putting a comedic and melodramatic twist on themes that everyone can relate to. If you’ve ever felt pressure to uphold reputation, save face, or create the illusion that everything is fine when it really isn’t; if you’ve ever witnessed hypocrisy, felt burdened by social mores and conformity, or faced social ostracism at school or work; if you’ve ever withheld information to protect someone you love, or experienced the joyous complexity of family and romantic relationships, then you’ll surely identify with a character or two. Plus, it’s written by Oscar Wilde…how could you miss it?
What has been the most fun part of working on the show? Among a host of other aspects, like our fantastic team, I’d say the costumes are a pretty fun part of the show. The play takes place at a time in history when manners and mannerisms were held to the highest standard – when folks scrutinized over every minute detail of their posture, breath, and physical interactions with others. When the ladies started rehearsing in corsets, long trains and character shoes, you could really see life breathed into our characters (while the oxygen was simultaneously pushed out of our lungs) – everybody’s spines straightened and upper lips stiffened just a bit more. It’s also pretty entertaining to see the gentlemen commit to period-appropriate facial hair.
Favourite Oscar Wilde quote: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”