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The Silver Cord

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Victoria Mack
May 22, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor.

What is your show about?
THE SILVER CORD, one of the most successful plays of the 1926-27 Broadway season, centers on a domineering matriarch who is pathologically close to her two adult sons. Originally starring Laura Hope Crews, THE SILVER CORD opened December 20, 1926 at the Golden Theatre, running for 232 performances. Miss Crews subsequently starred in the 1933 RKO film version with Irene Dunne and Joel McCrea.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was 8 years old I visited London with my mom and we went to see "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I still remember seeing Bottom come out with the donkey head on. I couldn't believe anything could be so wonderful. I don't know if that's when I decided to be an actor, but it's when I fell in love. I'd never experienced anything so magical in my life. I still feel that way sometimes.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
I think what's exciting about theatre (as opposed to film) is that you can't really answer this question. Film is really a director's medium--that's why we have auteurs, which don't exist in theatre. Theatre is truly collaborative. Actors, playwrights, directors are all equally important. I love that. Each show is a real working community.

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
Oh, this is definitely one people will be talking about for a long time. I don't want to give too much away, but I think the character of Mrs. Phelps--and the casting--will be pretty interesting to people. She's pretty terrifying.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lawrence?
Oh man, I know I should say someone impressive, like Ang Lee. But J-Law is just so cool. J-Law baby. All the way.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Absolutely! There's no question. But I think first it has to be more accessible, and that means cheaper. To bring about change it has to be affordable so it can reach a wider audience.