Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cast Interview: Erin Cronican in A LIE OF THE MIND

Your Name:
Erin Cronican

Role in this production:

What's been your favorite role, to date?
I think it might have been Roberta from DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. I never in a million years thought I would be called upon to play a broken mother from the Bronx. She had so much heart yet so many anger and hurt, and it was amazing to find a personal way into the character so that I was sharing myself fully with the audience.

What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for this role?
Oh wow - The physical & emotional aspects of someone with brain damage, that's for sure. I watched a lot of videos to get a sense of what a person physically goes through when they're recovering from a brain injury. I also did a lot of research on what it feels like, emotionally, to have an injury that severely impacts communication. Beth knows what she wants to say - she still has the same thoughts, feelings and emotions as before the beating - but cannot find a way to free her voice. This was such a challenge to create, and I'm finally starting to feel like I have a good handle on it.

What's been the most exciting thing about the rehearsal process?
The ability to build complex relationships with each of the characters in the play, portrayed by some of the finest actors in NYC.

What parts of yourself are similar to the character?
Beth is someone who wants desperately to fit in, but doesn't have any way to be the kind of "normal" required. She also is fighting to have her voice heard, against all odds. In playing this role (which has been played by some of the greatest actresses in NYC history) I feel much the same way. I want to so much for my voice to be heard, without judgment, so that my story can come through. Beth also has a love/hate relationship with her body, now that her body has betrayed her through this tragedy. This is especially true in her seduction scene with Frankie - she knows she's no longer beautiful in the way she was before. Through this, I've had to come to terms with my own body image issues (especially since I spend a good portion of the play in just a bra!)

What's next for you (with The Seeing Place, or other)?
I'll be playing Ophelia in The Seeing Place's repertory productions of HAMLET and ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD. It's a nutty season for me - I went from a girl who didn't exist (Love Song) to a girl who has brain damage (A Lie of the Mind) to someone who goes crazy and kills herself in a rage. Good times. :)

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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