Yesterday, I stumbled across this interview with Marianne Owen and R. Hamilton Wright, two of our most accomplished and revered local actors. I loved this part, from Marianne, about her first experience at a professional theatre production:
MARIANNE: Mine — well, I went to — how old was I — 14. I think 13 or 14; I can't recall which — anyway, my high school class went to Beverly Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts for a matinee performance of The Tempest. This theatre was sort of under a tent in the round, and I happened to have a seat on the aisle. I'd seen a few shows before, but that was the first professional show I'd seen. I had no idea what the play was I about, I just knew it was Shakespeare and we were studying it in Sister Mary Amadeus's Shakespeare class. Ariel was wearing a leotard — probably a cheesy sort of green-mauve leotard with sort of, not fairy wings, but diaphanous fabric coming off her — and she had a whole handful of sparkles. And every time her hand moved, the sparkles would go into the air. And she was about two feet away from me, in the aisle, and she was talking down to Prospero on the stage, who was in white robes, old — he looked like Charlton Heston in Moses— and I looked at her, and I think some of the sprinkles hit my hand, and I looked there, and I thought "What is that — they're in a bubble! What is that air? What is that? I want to know what that is!" I can still see it in my mind's eye.
I just love her shock that the stage world could cross over into the audience world - the sparkles actually landed on her hand. You can't do that on television.
Sarah Harlett and Marianne Owen in All's Well That Ends Well @ Seattle Shakespeare Company. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.