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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Tom Stoppard”

Wendy Barrie-Wilson

Wendy Barrie-Wilson, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenActor, Potter, Teacher, Director
New York, New York + Ohio USA

What play or production changed your life?
From Stoppard’s Arcadia I learned what life was all about. If we could define a leaf mathematically, then we could define a tree, then a forest, and then the earth. And does that mean it is all predestined? And the answer is… we may never know — so Dance.

From Doubt I learned empathy is a long hard continuous road — learning how to walk in another’s shoes.

From summers watching the Stratford Shakespeare Festival – I learned what acting was about.

What’s your favorite play?
A Streetcar Named Desire –which I have had the fortune of working on 5 times. And Cyrano de Bergerac that I have done several times and played nearly all the women in it- just waiting to do the Duenna.

What’s your favorite line from a play?
“Sometime there is God so quickly”- Tennessee Williams
“I am in mourning for my life”- Anton Chekhov

What’s your favorite movie of late?
I had one of those deep cathartic desperate cries after watching Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go”. And filled with furious anger after seeing Rachel Weisz in “The Whistleblower”.

Where do you look for inspiration?
When those strange, synchronistic, wonder-filled moments happen in life that let you breath and see the world a little differently… even if only for a short time.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Everything. Travel to the Grand Canyon, The Dakotas, Angkor Watt, Bali, Samoa, and see Venice, Santorini and Kauai again. Learn Flamenco dancing, write a book, work on more feature films.
I’d really like to build a home. Put a pool in. Make a lot of money. The usual stuff.

But for now I will continue to caretake my mother who has Dementia (without any help from my family) and rest when I can while I wonder what life will put before me later on.

I feel most like myself when I ….
..am working on a show, rehearsing and discovering.

What is your best escape?
Working on a show. Or getting a long massage.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
A psychic told me I had three past lives. Russian, Victorian England and Native American. I think she was right.

Wendy Barrie-Wilson: Actor: Over 100 plays, including Sister Aloysius in European premiere of Doubt in Vienna, Austria. (SALT Award &  DayTony Award for subsequent productions of Doubt.)  Broadway: Our Town (Paul Newman) and All My Sons. TV: Mrs. Chitwood on The Guiding Light.  Director: “Einstein and The Roosevelts”. Professor: Acting – Denison University.

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Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenWriter, Actor, Director
Florida and New York, USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
People, places, plays and privacy

What’s your favorite book /
To Kill a Mockingbird

favorite movie /
Too many to choose

favorite line from a play /
I’ve never been sure I am remembering with absolute accuracy, and may Tom Stoppard forgive me if I’ve got it wrong:

Will you be a poet, or a scholar?
I don’t mind
Oh, it helps to mind. Life is in the minding.  — The Invention of Love

favorite pop culture guilty pleasure /
Way too much TV

favorite cocktail /
Not much of a drinker – but, sadly, I never turn down a chip or a cheese doodle

What play or production changed your life?
What play didn’t? Isn’t that why we do this?

If I had to narrow it down, I would say getting the lead in my kindergarten class play because I was the only kid who could remember the lines was definitely an inciting incident. Now, all I can remember is that it was something about Candyland. Having the opportunities to play Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, Jessie in ‘night, Mother, Carole Cutrere in Orpheus Descending exposed me to the joy and terror of great roles with great writing. Seeing Tina Landau’s Orestes forever changed my view of directing. And the first play I wrote – when I discovered that miracles can happen, risks pay off and it’s worth asking for what you want—because actress Linda Hamilton so generously (and brilliantly!) participated in a reading, thus totally altering pretty much everything in my theatrical life.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Learning to play the piano
Learning to draw
Learning to cook
Learning. . . .

I feel most like myself when I ….
Am in a theatre – working or watching

What is your best escape?
A good book. A good play. A good movie. A good friend.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
If I told, it wouldn’t be something nobody knows. And every character should have a secret.

Elaine Smith is an actor, director and award-winning playwright, whose plays include Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us, Liars’ Poker, Picture Perfect, Ten Minute Life, She Hung Up and works-in-progress: Three Mile Limit and PowerPlay. She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild.

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