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The Sweet Dreams of Lizzie Tilley

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Melina Chadbourne
May 23, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playing role of Lizzie Tilley.

What is your show about?
The Sweet Dreams of Lizzie Tilley is a retro romantic comedy, set in the early 1960s South, about a girl who brings her college boyfriend home, but the plans she has made for a future with him hit a snag as her world gets a little dizzied up.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Beverly, MA and raised in Needham, MA. I graduated from Emerson College in May 2012 .

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
The last stage production I did was for Emerson Stage. It was a new play written by fellow student and friend, Patrick McDonald, called Rough & Tumble. I was cast in the only female role with five of my guy friends. It's a hilarious and ridiculous physical comedy and the director is a wonderful and talented man. Before that, I lived in Los Angeles and was in the west coast premier of Open House, another new physical comedy show, for a community theater just outside of the city.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I remember seeing Denise, the director, at the callback and feeling so welcome. Even though I left thinking I flubbed it up, I had a gut feeling that it wasn't the last time I'd be seeing her. It could have been the fact that she was so nice and gave us biscottis and coffee- who does that! I was so excited to meet the cast. After meeting each person, I had such a good feeling about them. The night I met Rob [Toby], we chatted on our walk out, and it was strange cause I had to remind myself that I just met this guy and I'm talking to him like I've known him for years! He's the kind of actor that everyone wants to work with cause he'll make you feel so comfortable from the get-go. RJ [Jeffrey] has been missing from my life all this time, and it upsets me because the guy cracks me up and his talent intimidates me. Maddy [Sam] glows as a person and as her character, and every time she laughs, she makes me want to laugh too even though I should stay in character! I wish Natalie [Mama] was my mom in real life. She falls into the role so well in the show and although I love my mom, I am jealous of Natalie's kids.

Which mythical character would like your show the best: Cyclops, Cupid, Paul Bunyan or the Easter Bunny?
If you're thoughtless about it, Cupid would be the answer. But if you really think about it, Cupid would be so bored with this. All he deals with is love. He'd probably want to see some crazy horror flick to change things up. I think this show is for Cyclops because he's always had it rough just because he has one eye. And when you got one eye, you need some loving. That is what Lizzie Tilley gives to the audience. It's about a family's love for one another as well as finding that "fool to join you" for the rest of your life. Many questions intentionally go unanswered, but there is undoubtably lots of love in the show.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
On kids. I didn't grow up going to the theater therefore growing a love for it. I grew up with my sister, pretending to be witches, mermaids, or mad scientists and using cardboard boxes, my mother's ripped stockings, or my grandmother's priceless china. If I had the help back then to make those worlds come more alive for me, it would have made my imagination unstoppable now as an adult. As a part time teacher, I'd love to have the money to put on productions mostly imagined by children so they can see their ideas become reality. To push the imagination that much closer to the real world at a young age so that later on it doesn't disappear so quickly.