What is your role in this production? Phyllis Stone. She is a former Weismann girl who came to New York to be a star. She fell in love and married Ben but is now struggling with the confines of her 30-year marriage, who she is and what her future holds. Returning to the Weismann theatre provides her the physical and psychological space to expose her struggles.
What is your background in theatre? At Walterdale? Dancing from a young age I’ve always found, nay, forced my way onto the stage. I went to Ontario to get my BFA in Musical Theatre and returned to Edmonton. My first Walterdale production returning from theatre school was Antony and Cleopatra as Cleopatra. This was one of the first times I’ve died on stage (but not the last).
What brought you out for this production? Why did you want to be involved in this show? I don’t think there is an actor out there who doesn’t relate to the characters in Follies. Aging through the business is a hard, sobering and slightly painful experience. Not only can I relate to the depths of life experience in the show but Sondheim gives mature actors roles, like Phyllis, to spotlight their time-earned talents and say that “yes – aged is beautiful”.
This show is about theatre and nostalgia – got any good theatre stories? So many great memories from shows. Costume malfunctions in my Cleo halter top. Opening night – The Queen of the Nile slipping on her hem and landing flat on her ass. Crimes of the Heart – being “in the moment” and pouring a bottle of “booze” down a non-functioning sink on set (much to the Director’s and Designer’s chagrin). Mail Order Bride – Sped up sound cues of a train arriving in the station that sounded like a toy train. And oh so many mole nights.
What has been the best thing about doing the show? The best thing about the Walterdale is the great people that you get to work with. Great relationships are built during a show and that is because of the type of people drawn to community theatre. Everybody shows up and gives their time, blood, sweat and tears to the process. There is a love and grace that we have for each other’s journey through rehearsal that isn’t found many other places. I think it is why we keep coming back.