Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marcella Kearns as Aunt Dahlia

Marcella Kearns returns to MCT as Dahlia Travers, after appearing in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS and last season's Old Time Radio Drama broadcast in collaboration with WPR.
Tell us a bit about your character, Dahlia Travers

Dahlia is Bertie Wooster's favorite aunt-- one with whom he actually enjoys spending time.  I think the feeling is mutual.  She occupies her time not only in overseeing the household at Brinkley Court, her husband Tom's country home, but also in running a "women's weekly" called Milady's Boudoir.  

What are some of the benefits and challenges of performing in such a comedic play?

The benefits are many.  Professionally, in light of one of the biggest challenges-- trying to find the precision and lightness that comedic work requires-- I'm feeling really lucky to have some of the sharpest comedians I know in the room, both behind the table and on the stage.  I learn every day from them.  Personally, it's bliss to laugh so much every day.  

Anything fun you’d like to share with readers about JEEVES IN BLOOM, rehearsals, etc?

Check out the blog posts!  More to come... 

What are some of your favorite moments in theatre that made you who you are today? 

My favorite moments in theatre are those that are accidently metatheatrical-- those moments in which the audience and artist experience intersect inadvertently, almost magically.  It's an incredible feeling, that moment in which we might not actually say it, but everyone in the room acknowledges that we're all in a theatre experiencing that intersection.  For example, I was at a performance of Twelfth Night at the Globe in London, and just as Feste began to sing his song about how the rain "it raineth every day," the skies broke open and rained on the audience.  His delivery and shrug became an apology for London, and thousands of us fell out laughing.  At another performance in Vienna during the Mad Cow Disease scare in the 1990s, a time in which the continent wasn't importing British beef, a character who has the line "But I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit" got a standing ovation.  It's the moment in which someone in the audience sneezes, and a character says, "Bless you."  It acknowledges the audience in a particular place and time as co-creators of that theatrical experience. 
Marcella Kearns and Tom Klubertanz in Moonlight and Magnolias

What do you like about being a theatre artist in Milwaukee?

I'm a mid-size city kind of girl, and I like to travel-- I would get restless basing myself in a megalopolis.  Milwaukee has a very hardworking arts community which contributes probably more than we know to local economic prosperity, so it's possible to wear a few hats here and pursue a living in the industry.  That's great and one of the reasons why I chose to live here (I'm not a native).  Even better for me as a nomad in spirit, it's a good home base.  It's an attractive, livable place with access to other markets.

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