Welcome to our exciting series of interviews, where you can get to know the cast & creative team in our production of Three Sisters -- an adaptation by Brian Friel of Anton Chekhov's classic story.
Three Sisters runs March 9-25, 2012, Wed-Sat at 7:30pm; Sat & Sun at 2pm in New York City.
Kathleen (Kat) Brower
Role in this Production:
How long have you been acting?
Professionally since I graduated from college at 22 from Marymount Manhattan College, but I started out in a production of Oliver for my grade school when I was 6. It was a very small role as one of the Oompah-Pah dancers, but I was hooked and forced the neighborhood children to be in various productions in my backyard thereafter.
How long have you been in NYC?
This last stint started in 2009, but I have been crisscrossing between coasts since I was 13. When I decided I wanted to focus on Theatre, New York became the obvious choice. I was living in San Francisco at the time.
Where are you from originally?
Originally I am from Hurley, NY, about two hours north of NYC. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area through my high school years, and my parents still live there, so I feel like I am from both places.
What's been your favorite role, to date?
It’s a tossup between Shelly in Buried Child at North Coast Rep (2003) and Hypatia in Misalliance at The Pear (2005). I gravitate toward plays with strong, outspoken, articulate women.
If you could play any role in any play right now, what would it be?
Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
What's the wackiest experience you've ever had onstage?
This isn’t the story of a production; it is an audition story, actually. I was auditioning for the role of Candy Starr in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The director watched my monologue and asked me to make an adjustment – he wanted to see it again, but this time in Polish. I do not speak Polish. So I just sort of winged it, if such a thing is possible, with what little Polish I did know (which mostly consisted of food names) and ended up getting cast. Later the director told me he was just studying my speech pattern to see if I could change it up. I would have preferred it if he had just asked to see another monologue!
What's your experience with Chekhov?
I studied Chekhov in school and played Irina in a scene study with one of my best friends. He is forever telling me that he has not had his coffee this morning (one of the Baron’s lines from the play). It was one of the most moving acting experiences of my life. I have always wanted to be in a fully staged production of this show, so this is something I can now check off my bucket list.
What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for this role?
I think it is always a challenge to prepare for the role of the outsider, and to allow yourself to be rejected and ostracized for extended periods of time.
What's been the most exciting thing about the rehearsal process?
I loved school and I adore dramaturgy, so everything that I have learned as a result of this process about Russian culture and the early part of the 20th century has been a treat!
What parts of yourself are similar to the character?
This is difficult to admit, but I have a fascination with many subjects that I didn’t study in school and as a result am constantly mispronouncing words and names. I can relate to Natasha’s burden of the self-taught.
What excites you about THREE SISTERS?
Someone explained to me the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi recently, which I understand as the idea that something is beautiful because it is flawed. Natasha, and all of the other characters for that matter, has a flaw that makes their story poignant and relatable for an audience, and, in their way, beautiful. I am excited to share that with an audience and to hopefully help them to see things from the perspective of someone that they wouldn’t necessarily like or associate with in their real lives.
To learn more about Kat, visit her website at www.kathleenbrower.com.