Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Shakespeare”

Sondra Gorney

Sondra Gorney, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenActress, Writer
New York, New York USA

My inspiration came from my beloved mother who loved all the arts, played Galli-Curci and Caruso records on the old Victrola, read Pushkin to me in Russian when I was little, and got me a piano scholarship when I was eight years old. Now I gather inspiration from all the arts, theatre, music, painting, et al.

I read all the time and have many favorite books. One that touched me was Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

I love Shakespeare and the quote “How much better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping” from Much Ado about Nothing. I also like my heroine Eleanor Roosevelt’s motto: “It is better to light a candle than to curse at the darkness.”

I was greatly affected by Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, and I’d love to perform in other of her plays.

I feel most like myself when I am with people who I respect and admire, that is my best escape. There really isn’t anything about me that friends don’t know, I think I’m an open book.

Sondra Gorney performed in Chicago’s Federal Theatre, then in NY summer stock. She reviewed film and theatre for PIC Magazine, was an associate producer for West Coast musicals, wrote reviews for a newspaper, and helped found a musical play department at the Dramatic Workshop and the American Theatre Wing. She is an actress and writer. 

Antoinette LaVecchia

Antoinette LaVecchia, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPerformer / Writer / Director
New York, New York USA

I am inspired by everything that happens around me.  I love storytelling and I see stories in everything that touches my life.

The plays that changed my life were written by Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare.  I was in Junior High School when I was introduced to these plays, and I’ve been a rabid fan ever since.  In fact, playing Amanda in GLASS MENAGERIE at the wise old age of 15 helped me realize that I HAD to be in the theater for the rest of my life (saying the lines “deception, deception, deception” was one of the most divine moments of my young life).

I dream of having an infinite amount of resources to create my own work whenever and wherever I want.  Bliss!

I feel most like myself when I sing.

My best escape is walking alone in the woods and listening to the sounds of the wind moving through the trees.

The thing nobody knows about me will remain a secret for now….

Antoinette LaVecchia has performed on Broadway in A View From The Bridge, in many Off Broadway houses, Carnegie Hall and regionally. Film/TV: Delirious, Jesus’ Son, The Sopranos, Law & Order, L&O:SVU and others. Fox Fellowship, Anna Sosenko Grant, Drama League Fellow. Taught at NYU’s Grad Acting Program, The Actor’s Center and others. Currently: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up REVIEW

Anna Nugent

Anna Nugent, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPerformer
Jersey City, New Jersey USA

Where do I look for inspiration? Everywhere. It finds me! Both in singing and working on Shakespeare I’ve been told the furthest one has to look is the breath. Every new breath is an opportunity for a new thought. When I’m working on a piece or know that I’ll be working on a role I am constantly open, looking for something that clicks with my vision and gives it energy. As an example: I’ve been working on this piece with a small group of women, inspired by fairy tales and reflecting our own lives. I found inspiration while touring Kykuit House with my in-laws. Set in the Hudson Valley, the building and the grounds just spoke to me and gave me the nugget of a vision that helped me write the first draft of my monologue. The fence separating the garden from the grotto was suddenly the fence that separated Cinderella from the outside world. I now return to the photos to re-kindle that feeling, the emotional place where my character lived at least one moment of her life.

From an image, to a taste, to a flash of color worn by a passer-by — inspiration can strike when you least expect it. You never know what you will need to call upon to connect you inside and out to a role, a play, a story or even a website.

People, other artists and stories inspire me as well. I love to talk to other people about their hopes and dreams, what they wish they could be if life knew no bounds; and inevitably the ideas start to flow – visions of another way of being.

One time while having drinks with some friends I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my search for acting work, and I was struck by the idea of my own TV cop campaign. Inspiration gives way to imagination gives way to inspiration to do the work and to share the vision. All we have to do is breathe!

Anna Nugent trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Founding member of AboutFACE Ireland. Member of tangentArts (Tivoli, NY), Playwrights Gallery and LPTW. Creator & Director of Story Haven, creativity workshops for kids in Jersey City. TV Cop Campaign: Northern Blue. Find all things Anna Nugent at

Linda Chapman

Linda Chapman, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenAssociate Artistic Director – New York Theatre Workshop
New York, New York USA

I find ongoing inspiration from my dear college theatre teachers. Joan and Bob Welch (Andrews) were students of The Dramatic Workshop at The New School for Social Research post WWII, where they studied with American greats Martha Graham and Lee Strasberg as well as Erwin Piscator, John Gassner, and other prominent ex-pat artists who there found refuge from the European totalitarian governments they had fled. Joan and Bob’s classmates included Judith Malina, Harry Belafonte, Walter Matthau and Tony Curtis.

I met Joan at Central Valley High School when she visited our Thespian Society. By this time, Joan and Bob had created a drama department at the small Catholic women’s Fort Wright College in Spokane, WA. Having relocated to Spokane from NYC in 1949 to raise their family, Joan and Bob made a life in the theatre for themselves in the most unlikely of locations.

At Fort Wright, Bob and Joan imparted the values they had brought with them from their New School experience. They believed in the power of theatre to create social change and to introduce audiences to new ideas. They valued the theatre as an evolving art form to be enjoyed and appreciated by individuals from all walks of life.

During my four years of study with Joan and Bob, the co-ed theatre majors lived and worked as a company; playing small roles as freshmen, taking on the larger parts as we developed, in plays by Brecht, Shakespeare, Genet, Ionesco, Giraudoux, Albee and more. We learned and practiced all aspects of theatre making, from designing and building sets, lights and costumes to marketing our productions. We studied theatre history, read world drama and learned voice and movement for the stage.

Joan and Bob created The Inter Players Ensemble, Spokane’s first professional resident theatre company, which still exists today.

Linda Chapman Recent work includes co-writing the GLAAD Award winning Beebo Brinker Chronicles with Kate Moira Ryan, published by DPS and Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with Lola Pashalinski. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, LPTW, National Theatre Conference and is Founding President – Youth Arts, NY.

Romy Nordlinger

Romy Nordlinger, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenActor / Playwright / Theatre Teaching Artist
New York, New York USA

I look for inspiration in people who dare to be honest about who they are and live on their own terms. I am always inspired by kindness and empathy, particularly on an overcrowded subway!  I will forever be inspired by the kids I teach theatre with in special education who amaze me with their creativity and love and lack of self- consciousness.  Though some of their bodies are bound to wheelchairs, their spirits are boundless.  It sounds corny but I am so jazzed by smiling and by receiving a smile – the kind that comes from the inside.

My favorite plays are The Zoo Story and this line “WITH GOD WHO IS A COLORED QUEEN WHO WEARS A KIMONO AND PLUCKS HIS EYEBROWS, WHO IS A WOMAN WHO CRIES WITH DETERMINATION BEHIND HER CLOSED DOOR…” And T. Williams’ Orpheus Descending – “What else can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you with both your hands until your fingers are broken.”

My favorite authors are Dostoyevsky, Zola, Orwell and so many others it’d be too many to list – and choose from. If I had more time I’d read and read!  I’m pretty obsessed with the New York Times. The first place I’d go to if I had a chance is Egypt or the duck pond on 112th in Central Park. I love the Sex Pistols, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Woody Allen, Virginia Woolf, Mozart, Camus, Shakespeare, calamari, and my husband Adam Burns (but perhaps not in that order). I’m not so crazy about math or sardines. I love people who are passionate and aren’t afraid to say they are. I am most frustrated by people who don’t appreciate enough – though I can’t say I always appreciate enough.

I love red, I love to dance (though I can’t take choreography and my college fencing teacher said I have no eye/hand coordination) and I feel most myself when I’m acting, writing or teaching. I feel most myself when I’m sharing an emotion, be it happy or sad, as long as it’s alive.

Romy Nordlinger Theatre/film: Resonance Ensemble Member, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kirk Theatre, NY Fringe Festival, Primary Stages, Circle Repertory, Fleetwood Stage, Wilma Theatre. Law & Order CI, One Life To Live, All My Children. Playwright : Lipshtick @ NY Fringe, Sex & Sealing Wax @ Midtown Festival, Feeling Part @Theatre For the New City, Broadville @ The Source.

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