Tell us a little bit about your past theatre experience. Ever performed at Centre Stage?
I have been acting since I was a little girl. I majored in theatre and graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I was awarded the Margaret Hamilton Acting Fellowship Award at the Cleveland Playhouse and did a 2 year Acting Fellowship. Soon after, I met my husband in Summerstock and we moved around a bit working at various Regional theatres. My “production” work then changed to having and raising 5 children! As the children grew up I started acting again. Previous Centre Stage shows include, “The Fox on the Fairway,” “The Odd Couple” and “Is He Dead?”
Tell us about your character in the show. What was your process in getting prepared for the role?
I have prepared by reading the show over and over and becoming very familiar with it. I also have met with a woman from England to get a bit more familiar with the dialect and of course Trevor has been immensely helpful with that too!
“Happy Christmas Shirley” is all about family. What is your favorite family Holiday tradition?
Well, I’m not really a traditionalist and don’t have tons of Holiday traditions but our family usually goes to Christmas Eve Service at church and then has shepherd’s pie for dinner. And when the kids were little, they loved lighting a Swedish candle, that had bells on it, turning off the lights and singing, “Silent Night.” We still love opening gifts in the morning and eating my home-made Michigan Blueberry Coffeecake!
Centre Stage is producing the U.S. Premiere of “Happy Christmas Shirley”! What is it like bringing a brand new play to the United States?
It’s very exciting!! Even though we are American actors and bring that coloring to the play, I especially love to experience England’s culture in the characters themselves – the way they talk and relate to each other – especially at Christmas!
In the play, Shirley just wants her family to experience the best Christmas possible. In your opinion, what makes the perfect Christmas holiday?
Well, I think that’s the main point of the play – there is no perfect Christmas! And people usually know that or realize it whether they say so or not! So to me, the perfect Christmas holiday is celebrating Jesus’ birth!
Anything else you’d like our audiences to know about you?
Just that I am loving our cast, director and production team! And that we are having way too much FUN!