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MAY 16 – JUNE 23, 2018
Previews: May 16 & 17 at 7:30 PM
Opening Night: May 18 at 8:00 PM
Pay What You Can: May 23 at 7:30 PM
Wed/Thu: 7:30 PM
Fri/Sat: 8:00 PM
Sat Mat: 2:00 PM
What are you Wilde about?
Book: Dracula by Bram Stoker (Just read it for the first time!)
Video Game: Overwatch
Podcast: The Adventure Zone
TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
Go-to Karaoke Song: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
Favorite Tea-Time Snack: Parmesan flavored Goldfish crackers
Should you show up early, on time, or late to a party?
I think showing up early can throw the host off. When I host, I’m often preparing right up until the start time, so I think anywhere from on time to about 20 minutes late is ideal; anything more than that and the host may think no one is coming.
At a party, where can you be found?
Hovering around the food and trying to find the other nerds to talk to.
Would you rather host a party or be the guest of honor?
I would much rather host the party. I hate to go to my own birthday party, for example, because I hate to be the center of attention. I’d rather host and just make sure everyone is having a great time.
If you got to host a party, what would the theme be?
I often host Dungeons and Dragons parties, where we have drinks, snacks and goofy tabletop adventures – what more could you want?
What’s the fanciest party you’ve ever been to?
I work part-time for an improv murder mystery company where we do interactive games for private parties and corporate events. I’ve gone to some pretty swanky holiday parties in my time, but as an actor, not an invited guest.
What makes you laugh?
I like goofy banter, internet memes, silly voices and dad jokes.
What dream roles are on your bucket list?
My ultimate dream role has always been Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, but I have already been lucky enough to play the role in three different productions. As far as roles I have yet to play, I would like to someday age into playing Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple, or take a shot at Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
What makes you most excited about being in Lady Windermere’s Fan?
Empathy and the concept that not everyone is as they seem on the surface are some of the major themes of the play; themes that are an important reminder to us nowadays, especially in these difficult, divided times. It is always fun to be in fancy old-timey outfits too, of course!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, theatrical or otherwise?
Never forget to stop and listen; really listen. This is both useful on stage and off for so many reasons.
Why should people see this show?
This story is filled with many strong female characters, which is something we absolutely need more of in our current media. We have gathered together a very talented, diverse cast too, and it’s also just plain funny!
What are you Wilde about?
Song: “Killing Time 2.0” by Duncan Sheik (from American Psycho)
Musical: Follies by Stephen Sondheim
Play: Angels in America by Tony Kushner
Book: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
How do you become a dialect coach?
First, you have to become familiar with the different parts of your mouth and throat and how it all works together. It’s important to study IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet) so you have a way to visualize sounds. Then you start listening to how people across the world speak, taking note of sound patterns, melodies, slang, and physical attributes, and try to imitate them. It takes a lot of in-depth research and practice.
What dialects do you coach?
Anything really, though some of the most difficult have been Persian, Norse and French.
Can you give us a rundown of what you do?
Researching a dialect involves a lot of studying people, listening to how they speak, reading about the history of an accent or dialect, and forming all of your research into a comprehensible lesson plan. When rehearsal starts, I usually teach a short class on how to speak a dialect: when to use certain sounds, what to do with your mouth, going over melodies, rhythms, and physical changes. Then I coach actors individually as rehearsal continues, giving notes when we run the show.
You’ve coached dialect for Cotton Patch Gospel, Big Fish and more recently, the world premiere of Persuasion – are there other shows you’ve worked on around town?
Aside from performing, I’ve also coached for Village Kidstage on Beauty and the Beast, for the fantasy web series Chaldea, and I occasionally teach classes at Cornish College of the Arts. I’m also starting to vocal coach at Jack Straw Cultural Center.
What dialects will we hear in Lady Windermere’s Fan?
Standard British, with one Australian accent (one of my favorites).
What will the dialects tell us about the characters in Lady Windermere’s Fan?
Dialects can tell us a character’s social status, where they’re from, their personality, or their physical quirks. The Standard British accent (also known as RP, or Received Pronunciation) is a social accent, having been established by the British upper classes around the late 19th century as the proper way to speak, at least for anyone who wanted to climb the social ladder.
Taproot audiences know you best as Charlie Brown, having played the role for three years in A Charlie Brown Christmas. What about that show keeps you coming back year and year?
Many of my friends know that I have a self-deprecating sense of humor, so I feel comfortable being put down constantly in front of an audience, but it’s a fun show that doesn’t feel like work because all of the people involved are so close and supportive, like a family.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Whenever you feel down or bored, go see theater. Even if it seems like nothing interests you, take a chance and see something new.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) is most famous for his work as a comedic playwright in the early 1890s. His four most popular plays Lady Windermere’s Fan (1891), A Woman of No Importance (1892), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) are all classic examples for a style of comedy known as Comedy of Manners. In plays of this style, the plot is often secondary and the action is primarily concerned with whether or not the characters live up to certain, and sometimes arbitrary social standards. Wilde is considered by many to be the greatest Comedy of Manners playwright of his time.
In England, the roots for the Comedy of Manners style grew from a sense of rebellion against the extreme morality of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritanical English Commonwealth government, which took control of England in the mid-17th Century. Cromwell (1599-1658) banned the monarchy, executed King Charles I, imposed strict religious moral laws and frowned upon excessive recreational activities like the theatre; which he closed entirely during his rule.
With the restoration of the crown in 1660, the theatres were reopened, and the newly crowned King Charles II (1630-1685) encouraged a low, bawdy sense of humor, which, coupled with a sense of release from Cromwell’s extreme morality, created a style of satirical comedy that mocked morality in general. Similar styles of comedy began to spring up in other parts of Europe around the same time. Notably, famed French playwright Molière (1622-1673; Tartuffe) shifted his focus from tragedy to satirical comedy.
Over time, as English society matured and became more sophisticated, the comedies, likewise, became more refined. By the time of Oscar Wilde, in the 1890s, Comedy of Manners had more to do with the silly hypocrisies of wealth and class. Wilde’s light and witty comedies were an opportunity for the moneyed elites of London society (the people most likely to be able to afford a night at the theatre) to have a laugh at their own stuffy seriousness and dignified propriety.
Oscar Wilde became a celebrity and one of the most successful playwrights in London. However, at the height of his popularity, Wilde’s life took a dark and tragic turn. The father of Lord Alfred Douglas publicly accused Wilde of having an illicit affair with his son. Wilde sued for libel and lost, thus legally proving that the accusations were true. He was arrested for gross indecency and sentenced to two years of hard labor. After his release, Wilde’s health and morale quickly deteriorated and he died in 1900 at the age of 46.
Pam Nolte and Charity Parenzini in Taproot Theatre’s 2007 production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Photo by Matthew Lawrence.
Anne Kennedy Brady and Aaron Lamb in Taproot Theatre’s 2011 production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.
With the sun and fun of summer just around the corner, we know you have just one
question on your mind:
What’s happening for Christmas?
Pictured above: The cast of Taproot Theatre’s 2017 production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.
Faith Bennett Russell, who had previously been announced in the role of Mrs. Erlynne, has had to leave to the show due to unforeseen circumstances. Don’t worry, we’re sure you’ll see her back on our stage soon. In her place, veteran Taproot actor Nikki Visel will step into the role.
Visel previously played the role of Mrs. Chevely in our production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband in 2011. More recently, you’ve seen her in Taproot’s productions of Room Service, The God Game, Silent Sky, The Odyssey, Enchanted April and Shadowlands.
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