Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spotlight on... Susanna Apgar!

Hello, folks!
Last night was our final dress rehearsal which means... we open tonight! It's been an inspiring, exciting, and fast four weeks of rehearsal. We cannot wait to have an audience.
Want to learn more about the show? Check out the TRAILER.
Already interested? Purchase those tickets HERE!

Despite all the craziness of tech/dress week, we snuck in a chance to chat with leading lady, Susanna Apgar, who stars as "Masha Kvichak" in Some Mother's Son

Susanna Apgar ('AC)
Name?  Susanna Apgar

Character?  Masha Kvichak

Why acting?  Because I love it (in an inescapable kind of way), and because I believe theatre can be more than it's become, or than it's thought to have become.

How and why did you get involved with Some Mother's Son?  I was in Andrea Hairston's playwriting class at Smith with Kendra and Darren, and I was fortunate enough to have read this play from its earlier stages.  I loved it.  I was thrilled to learn they'd be producing it here at Smith, with Kendra directing.  I couldn't wait to audition.

What has surprised, inspired, excited, and/or challenged you most throughout the process thus far?  Logistically, balancing rehearsals with school and work has definitely been a bit challenging.  But I can't complain - I love school, I love my job, and this play really is just phenomenal.

Artistically, this character has been an enormously wonderful challenge.  What is she most concerned about?  Her son?  Appearances?  Is she actually a sociopath?  Who exactly does she love, if she even CAN love?  What is she trying to break free from - that which threatens her life as she knows it, or that very life itself?  It might be both, and the question might be how aware she is of precisely that struggle, and its impossibility.  It is a tremendous, tremendous role.

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?  Should

What turns you on?  Digging toward new ideas, learning and teaching (as a never ending cycle), vulnerability, mistakes, generosity, gratitude.  And love.

What turns you off?  Treating one's opinion as fact.

What sound or noise do you love?  My niece & nephew's voices, baby sneezes, my cat cooing (he almost never meows - he honestly sounds exactly like a dove).  And I must say - when I played Roller Derby, the sound of the home crowd going nuts when I broke out of the pack as the Jammer was just indescribable.  I miss playing a ton.

What sound or noise do you hate?  Angry yelling, especially especially especially at kids.

What is your favorite curse word?  Fuck

In addition to theatre skills, Susanna boasts an
eclectic resume that includes skating
for the Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. 

Susanna knows how to whip it.

What is something you want to do during your life?
Learn.  (I'd especially love to learn to speak Spanish.)

Earliest memory of theatre?  I played a tooth in first grade.  A Second Bicuspid.  I had two lines .... and I messed them up:  I said the second one first.  So i just said the second line again when the time came.  I didn't mind too much - I liked my outfit, and I got to talk in front of the audience.  It didn't matter a whole lot to me what I was saying.

Why is theatre necessary?  Roughly speaking, for the same reason that dogs sniff each other's bums.  We're terribly, terribly interested in ourselves, and in each other (perhaps as other versions of ourselves).  Humans are endlessly interested in other humans, interested in the story, the many stories that make up the one grand story, of being human.

I heard somewhere along the way that after the Plague had wiped out a full third of London, and the theatres were finally allowed to reopen, Shakespeare opened not with a comedy or a triumphant history, but with Romeo and Juliet.  A devastated city could then let their hearts break as they needed to, they could see and hear and feel and know, recognize, the story of these brilliant, beautiful young kids whose lives were blooming spectacularly as they shone with love and humor and folly and gorgeous humanity .... until everything went utterly out of their own control, and they did not survive.

There is something in theatre being collective and public.  I think theatre has always been and remains one of the safe-houses for something primal, something indescribable and necessary, a vital brand of communication that we ironically have no word for.

* * * * *
Susanna Apgar (Masha) is an actor, writer and director.  She trained with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, and studied with Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.  Past shows include Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Lysistrata, The Celebration, and The 24-Hour Theatre Project.  She also skated and coached for Pioneer Valley Roller Derby in Northampton, MA for several years.  She is attending Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar, and lives with her small, naughty cat, Mitch.

Susanna and Mitch.

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