Sunday, February 16, 2014

Introducing Erin Cronican, who plays "Kelly" in DYING CITY

As a special feature on opening week, we're excited to introduce you to our cast and creative team, who talked with us about their life as actors and their experience of creating the world of DYING CITY.

DYING CITY opens February 21 and runs through March 9 - Wed-Sat at 7pm and Sat-Sun at 2pm. For tickets and information, click here

Introducing: Erin Cronican, who is appearing as Kelly in DYING CITY. Here is her first-hand account of her life as an actor & director, and her perspective on working with this production.

Full given name:​
Erin Quinn Cronican

Where you were born/where you were raised:
I was born in at a military hospital in Virginia, and lived in Virginia, Oklahoma, and Alabama all before the age of 4. We moved to Brussels, Belgium where I spent kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade (in an American school), then moved to Colorado, and finally settled in what I call my childhood hometown, Escondido, CA (north county San Diego) at the tender age of 8.

Zodiac Sign:

What your parents did/do for a living:
My father was in the Air Force for 25.5 years. He worked at NATO (in Belgium) and at NORAD in Colorado Springs, CO. He became a civilian and continued to work in information security, helping pretty large companies make sure that they systems and data were secure. He died in 2006 - the grief for his loss is palpable daily. My mother was a wonderful stay-at-home mom up until the point when I was in high school, when she started coaching tennis. She has also been an award winning real estate agent. She is now retired and lives in a little house near the ocean in Florida, which has been a dream of hers since childhood.

Siblings:3 half siblings and 1 full sibling. Both parents had children before they married one another, and I was the first child of their union. So, in weird ways I'm a middle child AND the oldest child.

Favorite food of all time:
Eggs. Oh man, I would eat eggs 3 times a day if I could. I also love fresh, whole wheat pasta with some type of fancy, tomato-y sauce (extra spicy, of course.) Finally, if a restaurant has cheese dip on the menu, I will always order it.

Special skills:​ 
Singing, building and running companies, coaching actors on how to lead the lives they want to lead, and drinking copious amounts of tequila without getting sick.

Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor?:
My English teacher from high school ended up directing our high school musical, South Pacific. I was initially cast as the understudy, but the director, Mz Whitten (yes, Mz) made it clear to me just how much she believed in me as an actor. Fast forward 2 months - our leading lady got cast in a professional production which pulled her out of our show, and POOF! I was now playing Nellie Forbush. Mz Whitten was supportive, nurturing, tough, exacting, and creative - and for many years after that I expected all directors to be the same. They are not. It is a rare person who can demand an artist to be better than they ever imagined while also inspiring the actor and making them feel valued. Mz Laura Whitten inspires me not only as an actor, but as an educator, as a director, and as a human being.

I also want to acknowledge my parents. It's much easier to be an artist when your family is supportive of that dream, and in the loss of my father I've lost one of the biggest champions of my work as an artist.

What age did you start acting, and what was the project:
My first acting gig was as the Gander (uh huh) in a Patio Playhouse youth theater production of Charlotte's Web when I was in 5th Grade. I thought it was SO AWESOME that I could stand up in front of a group of people and recite a movie that I adored, and get applause for it! Follow that up with a stint as Grumpy in a musical version of Snow White, and I was hooked... (on playing male characters, apparently.)

Favorite plays: 
Dying City, Closer, A Lie of the Mind, Rabbit Hole, Next To Normal, The Last Five Years. I include the last 2, even though they're musicals, because I want to tell those stories.

What's your favorite part about being a part of The Seeing Place?:
I love the fact that my hard work is in direct correlation with the roles I get to play. I've spent so much of my life working tirelessly for my acting career (paying my dues so to speak) and it's so wonderful to be able to have more control over the work I do. This is what self producing provides for me. In addition, it is so amazing to be given the responsibility of controlling my artistic output as well. So many times, actors go into rehearsal and are treated as puppets - stand here, breathe there, smile on this line only... and you feel like your own artistic voice is quieted by the "vision" of the director or producer. With The Seeing Place, the actors bring their ideas to rehearsals and the director's job is to shape those ideas so that a unified story is told. It turns the rehearsal process inside out and makes me feel like I actually get to express myself as an artist. It really is amazing.

What most excites you about your involvement with DYING CITY?:
When I first read DYING CITY it was with Brandon in our apartment , sitting side by side reading the play aloud from one copy of the script. As the play progressed, I was taken on this incredible journey of hope and loss and was wrecked for days. I knew I had to find a way to do the play.

I think that DYING CITY is a story about the fine line between grief and healing. How can you best serve the memory of someone lost? When is it too soon to heal? How can you stop the haunting of unwanted memories? And how can you forgive yourself for not saving someone? It explores guilt, shame, anger, love, lust, fantasies, loneliness, stillness, emptiness, and a yearning for hope. I am so excited to try to bring all of these things to life on a nightly basis with our audience - if anyone had dealt with a death in their life, they should see his/herself in at least one of the characters of the play. The fact that we might be able to make a special connection with our audience members is what excites me most about doing this play. I hope to share it with as many people as possible.


Erin Cronican's previous shows with The Seeing Place: MEN IN WHITE (Laura Hudson/Director); HAMLET (Ophelia/Co-Director), A LIE OF THE MIND (Beth), MISS JULIE (Director), LOVE SONG (Molly / Director), DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA (Roberta), THE LOVER (Sarah), CLOSER (Anna), THREE SISTERS (Masha), LOOK BACK IN ANGER (Helena) and TWELFTH NIGHT (Maria.) Regional favorites: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, ANGELS IN AMERICA, WIT, SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING, and EVITA. She has appeared on “Veronica Mars,” and “One Life to Live,” and can be seen in Paul Giamatti’s film, “Cold Souls” (among others.) Special thanks to this amazing ensemble and especially to Brandon Walker who will always be her favorite leading man. Proud member of AEA & SAG-AFTRA. Learn more at

DYING CITY opens February 21 and runs through March 9 - Wed-Sat at 7pm and Sat-Sun at 2pm. For tickets and information, click here

It runs in repertory with TWO ROOMS, which runs at 9pm and 4pm on the same dates. For tickets and information, click here.

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