What sort of person is going to love this character?
Literally ever mother in the audience. We all understand how challenging raising children can be. And every child has a different personality that needs a different approach from Mom.
How is this character like you?
Marmee is very much like me. I raised three children and like Marmee, spent a lot of that time as a single mom. I understand the challenges and fears of raising children by yourself. Of course in the novel, Mr. March eventually comes home and I eventually remarried. But there were those years of singlehood mingled with motherhood that connect me to Marmee.
Is it easier to play this character or to be yourself on stage?
In every role I play, my characters are 50% script and 50% myself. So for me, playing the character and playing myself are one and the same.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
I find the dialogue in this role challenging. I’ve played Marmee once before, but that doesn’t seem to make the words flow any easier. Or maybe I’m just getting old…. 😉
Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
Emma Thompson because she’s my favorite! And there are character traits in Marmee that remind me of the character Ms. Thompson played in “Love Actually.”
Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?
Nick Thurkettle. He is always amazing in every role he plays. He makes Prof. Bhaer so real and awkward and lovable. And of course, Rebecca Rubino who basically is Jo. I can’t see any other actress playing the role. Rebecca breathes life into Jo.
If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
Aunt March. Oh my goodness! I look forward to playing this lady and totally bringing Maggie Smith to that role. I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
In the words of Nicole Kidman’s character from “Moulin Rouge” – I want to be a REAL actress!
When did you first perform?
It was early in elementary school when I played a fairy in a strange Ugly Duckling type story of a witch who was really a fairy.
Besides this one, what’s your favorite stage show?
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR which I just recently had the great honor of directing. This musical is what made me fall in love with musical theatre. My mom bought the double record album when I was a little kid and I remember listening to it repeatedly and imagining the whole show in my head. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I saw the movie. And it wasn’t until many years later that I finally saw the stage show.
Who do you look up to (as an actor/director/etc.)?
As directors – both my daughter Aurora Long and my friend Denise Fenton. Aurora, because she has infinite patience and love for all of her actors. She has a brilliant vision and NEVER gives up in pursuing that vision. Denise Fenton because she created a family theater where my children and I grew up. It was our playland, our church, our family. Musical Theatre Village was and will always be HOME.
What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
Walking around the hills of Ireland with my husband Chuck, stopping for a picnic lunch and Guinness to drink. Followed by reading a book by a peat burning fireplace.
When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Sewing. Always sewing costumes. Sometimes ironing.
Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?
I’d have to say Lisa DelPadre. Sorry Jarrod.
What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?
There is life outside of theater?
Seriously, travel and my kids are my focus. And if you can combine travel, my kids, and theater, then all is well.
If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next?
Either LES MISERABLES or INTO THE WOODS. Can’t wait!!
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
I think about where my character is physically coming from and what my intention is in the upcoming scene. And then I giggle and think LET’S PLAY!
LITTLE WOMEN the broadway musical has a limited run of four performances only! Opens this Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and closes Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m.
Performances will be held at Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
More information about On the Edge Theatre Productions go to www.otetheatre.com