Friday, September 21, 2012

Catching up with Marti Gobel

The world premiere of BROKEN AND ENTERED is just days away!  We thought it would be great to get to know Marti a bit more in her role as Jamila. Enjoy!

What is it like working on a brand new play?

I love it!  I find that many playwrights are not actors which it makes it difficult for them to understand the many shades of performance that an actor goes through in preparation for a role.  For instance, the way a phrase roles off of our tongues or the real time needed to complete an activity/action on stage while speaking the text can be explored for the benefit of the story.  When an actor can be in on a premiere of a piece, it is an opportunity to give the words a "test drive."  This, I believe, is valuable to the playwright as well as those who are involved in future productions.  

And having access to the playwright, Kurt McGinnis Brown?

Marti Gobel
I adore Kurt.  He is appreciative of what the actor has to bring to his story.  I find that he is open to how his words change when filtered through a particular actors instrument, and, he his open to our interpretation of his characters.  It's a gift to find a playwright who is in wonder of what we can do with his ideas and not so protective of his imaginings of said characters that there is no room to explore.     

What are some key characteristics of Jamila? 

Calculatory.  Vulnerable.  Driven.  Why?  She is driven by childhood memories of weakness and adult perceptions of strength.

Describe one of your favorite moments in theatre. How has it shaped who you are today?  

That's easy.  It happened (coincidentally) at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.  I was cast in WELL by Lisa Kron and directed by Laura Gordon.  It was my debut performance in Milwaukee.  I had actually never been in any of the theaters at that point, only rehearsal halls.  On the first day of tech rehearsals we were given a tour of the dressing rooms and then brought up to the Cabot Theatre.  I was stunned.  It was heart-stopping for me.  There was such a rush of sensations.  The echo of voices in an empty theater, the seats waiting to be filled with patrons wanting to be dazzled, the ceiling...all of it.  I felt so very lucky to be given the chance to show what I had to offer, in this beautiful theater space and with phenomenal talent surrounding me.  That day was the beginning of my theater career in Milwaukee.  It was even more special because no one knew how intimidated I was to be standing on that stage.  The experience was for me alone to appreciate.  I haven't forgotten that day.  Won't.    

Angela Iannone, Travis Knight and Marti Gobel in WELL (2008)

If your character could spend a day in Milwaukee , where would they go and what would they do? 

I think she would stay in the Third Ward.  She'd shop, eat, see a play.  Yes, she would see a play.

Marti returns to MCT after appearing in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, WELL and the 2010 staged reading of BROKEN AND ENTERED. She is a founding member and producing artistic director of Milwaukee's UPROOTED Theatre. She has also performed with Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, First Stage Children's Theater, Forward Theater Company, Milwaukee Shakespeare and Optimist Theatre. She is a graduate of UW-Whitewater.

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