Actress Amy Thone on why she loves performing Shakespeare.
Christine Marie Brown’s big news is that she just got married to Andrew McGinn (he played the title role in Julius Caesar for Seattle Shakespeare Company in 2008). Shakespeare brought the couple together while performing at Seattle Rep. Although she’s played the part of Hermia for another theatre company, for our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Christine plays Lysandra, a part that requires her to be the pursuer rather than the one pursued.
READING: I am reading “Two Part Invention” by Madeleine L’Engle, which is about her marriage. She was married for a long time to a soap opera actor. She wrote many other things besides the “Wrinkle in Time” series. They lived in Manhattan and a friend of mine gave it to me right before I got married. I’m also re-reading “The Artist’s Way” with a group of friends.
LISTENING: I am listening, almost exclusively, to NPR right now while on my drives. I recently heard a talk with Marshall Rosenberg about non-violent communication and became extremely interested in that. So that’s something I think I’m going to look into.
WATCHING: Fringe. The Good Wife. Glee. And 30 Rock when it premieres. And I just finished watching the entire Firefly series and then Serendipity the movie.
LOOKING FORWARD THIS THEATRE SEASON: I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Humor Abuse. I plan to be there for opening. I’m looking forward to Circle Mirror Transformation, for sure. A Christmas Carol! I want to see that because I haven’t seen it in many, many years and I missed it last season. I want to see Robin Hood. Those are the things that are coming immediately to my mind, but I know there is a lot more in the season. Oh, and Cybourne Park, I know it doesn’t happen until the spring, but I’m interested in that.
SHAKESPEARE CHARACTER SHE IDENTIFIES WITH: My gosh. I really don’t know. For every one that comes to mind, there are circumstances in their lives, and I have no idea what that’s like. Probably Celia from As You Like It. I think because, at least in the realm of romance for most of my life, I felt like I was on the sidelines. That I was watching a lot of friends have that experience before my own experience happened. And it’s a role I’ve always wanted to play. I’ve played Phebe and Rosalind, so that’s the next one.
It’s hard to believe, but Todd Jefferson Moore got his start performing in Shakespeare on our stage playing Jacques in As You Like It. He’s gone on to appear with Seattle Shakespeare Company almost once a season since, playing roles in Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, The Miser, and Electra. Now he’s back playing Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
READING: I have this little book that Amy Thone gave me about a production of Midsummer in New York. So I’m reading that.
LISTENING: I’ve been listening to a lot of books on tape this summer because I’ve been working on adding apartments to my house. It’s been a raft of mysteries. There’s this one character that I love that’s an Italian police lieutenant – Aurelio Zen. It’s written by a Brit. It’s so funny and so tongue in cheek. He’s a terrible detective. And it’s in Italy, so everyone is going out for wine all the time while the murders are happening. It’s very delightful. There are also a couple of Swedes and Norwegian mystery writers that I’ve been listening to this summer.
WATCHING: The PBS version of the Aurelio Zen stories had a wonderful actor doing it. That was fun. I love documentaries and I really wish I could see the one on prohibition by Ken Burns. I watched part of it, but I was so tired and I had to get up so early to teach, that I was falling asleep. I love the one about the bayou vampire series – True Blood, cause I know those books from reading them. There’s another death one – with the guy from Six Feet Under… uh, Dexter. Very, very funny. He’s very good.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS THEATRE SEASON: I’m really enjoying Midsummer, but the other main project that I’m involved with is at ACT. A year from November they’re going to be putting on the famous epic Indian poem The Ramayana. And I guess I’ve kind of been put in charge of the puppets and masks. There’s a steering committee that includes two playwrights and two directors, Sheila being one of them, and then there’s me. There are a lot of battles, so the big question is how to do all these big battles the other stories without spending our whole dramatic wad too early. So puppets and masks seem to be a possible solution. So I’m excited about that.
SHAKESPEARE CHARACTER HE IDENTIFIES WITH: That is a good question. Oh, it’s too pompous, but I was going to say King Lear and I don’t know why, other than I’m getting old. And experiencing that sense of things failing or things not remaining the same and trying to grasp and claw the meaning of your life as you wane into old age. A lot of the parents of my friends are dying and some of my friends as well. Trying to figure it all out. Jacques from As You Like It was a very sweet role to do. A very mixed up person, which I can relate to very well. He jumps into things with both feet and makes an ass of himself. Probably those two.
Listen to director Sheila Daniels at the first rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.