I've never worked directly with the playwright or a composer of a piece before. It's exciting and intrinsically valuable to be able to have an active part in the development of the play and the score. Both Greg and Randal have done an amazing job with the dialogue and the music for the show, and they're very open and receptive to ideas and connections that we've made while working on the script. The combination of these two elements is a beautiful and innovative idea, and both are very rich mediums to be working in. In dance so much of the expression of the physical story is tied into the music. Here, the music is its own character that augments each of the scenes fluidly.
What do you think will be the most challenging thing you have to tackle in the creation of this play?
Since this is a new work, we as actors have a great deal of responsibility and effect on both the final outcome of characters, and to the creation of their world. A big challenge for me will be to infuse the people that I have with their senses of place and purpose in this world, in a way that does the piece justice and helps to bring an entire town and history to life with just a few characters. The other big challenge is that most of these scenes take place through the medium of a phone call. I love this aspect of the writing. It will be interesting to develop a full scene with a partner while sharing the space on stage, where you don't ever look at them but have to maintain an interesting and tangible connection with them.
What characters are you playing?
I have the honor of playing the following characters:
Clara: The daughter of Jean and Sammy. She has a tense and estranged relationship with both her mother and the quarry she grew up next to, but still has hope that she and Jean can reconcile their differences and salvage what's left of their family.
Leah: A local teenager who's dating the Mayor's son, Jackson. She embodies the youthful essence of the town, and gives them a common cause to rally around. She has a close relationship with Molly and has always looked out for her. She's playful, sweet and innocent.
Molly: Leah's younger sister, who's competitive, driven and loves sports. She idolizes her big sister and doesn't really think Jackson was her sister's best dating choice, but she does like that it makes Leah happy.
Miriam: Grew up in the small town, but studied Anthropology in England to get out of the "little pond" and see the world. Now that she's back, she has to find a balance between her perception of her worldly self and her small town self, much to her chagrin.
Crazy Wanda: Travelled much of the United States following various groups and commune-organized movements. She has always had a great draw to and fascination with mysticism and the occult. Much of her waking-life is centered in the ethereal, rather than grounded in the present moment, and because of that she's always been a bit of the spooky Boo Radley of the town.
What's THE QUARRY about?
There isn't any one specific theme or moral in this story, there are many. I think it will appeal not only to Vermonters (who will share a special connection to it), but to anyone who sees it regardless of whether they've lived in a small town or not. The common ties of difficult familial relationships, community, tragedy, mystery, working class folks, spirituality, mystical forces at work and the ability to find beauty where others might not are some of the layers that are uncovered and surface in The Quarry. All of these characters are people you've met, grown up with and known for years.
What would you like the audience to be talking about after the show?
There really is something in here for everyone from every walk of life and every set of earned experiences. Between the writing, the music, the conceptual design of the set, the lighting, the director's vision and the actors, this piece really is like a coral reef. All of the parts feed into each other and are dependent on each other to create a rich, full vision of life the way it really is, the way that it could be, the way that it might be on parallel planes and the way it's always been. I'd love for people to talk about not only the things they connected to (almost like coming home) and the stimulating connections that they were inspired by in regard to literature, mysticism, spirituality, sociology, anthropology and archeology.