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Master Class

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Carolyn Mignini
March 4, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actress - portraying Maria Callas.

What is your show about?
The legendary Maria Callas shares her insights on her art and life in an often hilarious re-imagining of her Julliard Master Classes.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
Oh, I was very young. It started with my father teaching me to sing the songs of his youth... the great crooners This led to Broadway show tunes. Being on the stage became my dream for myself. I soon learned that to sing, one had to act! Which led to lessons, college theater and the New York stage.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
The theater is alive. The storytelling and shared human experience is uplifting for everyone involved. It is collaborative effort that includes the audience and the energy that they bring. Being a theater actress doesn't mean that one cannot do film or TV. However,for me, it is my source of inspiration. I will always act in the theater.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I had met Tom Rowan, our amazing director, at Ensemble Studio Theater. We are both members and I've been to several readings of his plays. He emailed me about coming in to audition for the role of Maria Callas. I jumped on the chance to take on such a legend in this beautiful play! I love Terrence McNally's work. The cast is fantastic and the Gallery Players is a top notch organization. I feel truly blessed to be a part of MASTER CLASS.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
Meryl Streep! An easy choice. She is the standard for any actress of our generation. She never ceases to amaze me.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
It seems to me that the theater reflects us, our time, our lives. In the act of storytelling, it sheds light on specific themes or issues that hopefully, move us to feel and understand on ever deeper levels. As for effecting social change... I think it is a natural progression. Tipping the balance is an eventual outcome of deeper understanding and insight. The theater, at it's best, entertains us and leads us there.