Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cast Interview: Janice Hall in A LIE OF THE MIND

Your Name:
Janice Hall

Role in this production:

What's been your favorite role, to date?  
Well, although my theater roles to date have been good ones, there haven't been that many, so I'll have to pull out an opera role. The role of Salome was something I never expected to play; it's incredibly dramatic music, and my voice isn't quite the size and scope usually associated with her.  But in small theaters, it worked--aside from the loud orchestra, everything else about the character suited me perfectly. And then, also doing multiple roles in the operatic version of Angels in America is a tremendous experience.  I feel as if I've done the play, although I haven't. For one thing, the opera is a lot shorter... 

What's the wackiest experience you've ever had onstage?  
A production of Madame Butterfly in Berlin, directed by a very controversial Spanish director (Calixto Bieito). I made an entrance poised on the rim of a hot tub, rode a mechanical bull, poured Coke on my head in the middle of an aria, and went on a killing rampage at the end of the show (that's not really how Puccini wrote it). And there were some other things that I don't think I want to write down here... But, oddly enough, it was a wonderful experience---at least there was drama onstage, in a way that really fed me in the role. 

What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for this role? 
For me, working in the way we work in this company is new and different.  I come from the world of opera, where everything is regimented and planned out in detail.  Nothing is left to chance.  In A Lie of the Mind, things onstage are different every night, and I am learning how to roll with that. 

What's been the most exciting thing about the rehearsal process? 
The most exciting thing for me is to get to do this wonderful play. I love Shepard's writing, and the characters he has created. And it is a truly ensemble piece, where everyone carries equal weight. This is the perfect show for an ensemble company like The Seeing Place. 

What parts of yourself are similar to the character?  
My character, Lorraine, is unlucky in love. She loves maybe too much, too intensely. I think that is true in my own life as well.  And she loves to wallow in her misery; I like to think I've gotten through that phase of my own life, but who knows?  But the wonderful thing about Lorraine is that by the end of the play she has let it all go, and is ready to start a new life, which I think is very inspiring.

What's next for you (with The Seeing Place, or other)?   
Next, I'll be playing Gertrude in Hamlet for The Seeing Place. I am very excited to be doing my first full production of a Shakespeare play!

A LIE OF THE MIND runs March 1-17, 2013
Wed-Sat at 7pm;  Sat & Sun at 2pm, in New York City.
For tickets, click here.

For more info about The Seeing Place, click here.
To donate (it's a worthy cause!), click here.

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