How have the first performances of the show gone?
They were fantastic! The audiences were so receptive and so with us, and you could feel this amazing energy within the cast. I couldn't have asked for a better opening weekend.
Is this your first experience performing at Chicago Street Theatre?
It isn't, though it's the first time I've been back at CST in approximately 8-9 years. It's been like coming home.
Talk a little bit about your background as a dancer.
It was a fluke, actually. I was acting in Chicago, but getting a little burned out. I decided to take a "quick" break, and saw Burlesque classes being offered by my now instructor/director, Michelle L'amour. I tried a class and got hooked....I've been doing it now for about 7 years. I'm also a burlesque instructor at Michelle's studio, Studio L'amour. It's been one of the most fun, most challenging experiences of my life.
What has been the most enjoyable aspect of this production for you?
Being a part of a cast again. I forgot how much fun, and how well, inspirational, it is to be a part of a group that are all working together on one production. I'm inspired by how dedicated everyone is to this one purpose, to put on a hell of a show.
What has been the most challenging?
Truthfully, other than the commute, it's been a truly enjoyable experience. That's the only part that sometimes gets to me, but even that's worth it in the end.
What drew you to Chicago Street Theatre?
Initially, it was my friends Patty and Mary Bird....they initially got me involved there. What kept me coming back was the incredible quality of work put on there, and the truly dedicated artists who make CST what it is.
What drew you to The Graduate?
I love period pieces, and I love plays, movies, etc., that are really challenging and a little shocking....this is a perfect piece for that....and the chance to come back playing a stripper didn't hurt ;)
What has the response to the show been from audiences so far?
It's been incredibly positive...you never know with a period piece, and one known so well as a film, how they will respond. But, they've been really supportive, really "with" us the whole way.
What do you think makes this story such an American classic?
It's a story that deals with universal themes: mistakes we make, personal growth, fighting for what's really important to you.....and you set it against a particularly sexy time period....it's a recipe for a classic.
What has the collaboration been like among your fellow cast members?
It's been amazing...everyone really supports everyone else. Cast members have gotten together outside of scheduled rehearsals to work scenes, everyone is helping everyone with costuming, quick changes, etc. I really believe everyone likes, and respects everyone else and will do whatever is necessary not only to improve their own performances, but to help their fellow cast members to be his/her very best.
What is your favorite scene in the show? Favorite line?
While I'm obviously partial to the Strip Club scene ;), my favorite scenes are actually: the Taft Hotel check-in scene (for the comic relief it provides), the Vestry scene (for its intensity), and the final scene with Elaine and Benjamin...it's a perfect ending. My favorite line actually is Benjamin's "You're missing a great effect here"....for obvious reasons. :)
One character in The Graduate utters the famous line, "One word - plastics." If you could describe this play in one word, what would it be?