Welcome one and welcome all to the first episode of Capping Off the Week! This feature, written by yours truly (Nico MacDougall, the Publicity Manager of Cap & Bells) will debut every Sunday evening on the Cap & Bells website and will consist of interviews with members of the cast, crew, and design teams of our current shows. And kicking off the first article is an interview with the stars of Oleanna!
Kimmy Golding, who plays Carol in the play, is a senior from the Bronx, New York. She is the Artistic Director of Cap & Bells, is a tour guide for the college, and is in the improv comedy group Combo Za.
Tom Robertshaw, who plays John in the play, is a freshman from Manhattan, New York, although he was most recently travelling as part of his gap year. He lives in Willy E and is in the acapella group The Octet.
I sat down with Kimmy and Tom this past Saturday shortly after the end of their regular rehearsal in the classroom Griffin 7, which is where the show will be performed. What follows is an edited version of my conversation with them.
Nico: What is it like to work together as a senior and a freshman in a two-person show?
Tom: I am very seriously honored to be working with Kimmy because she is very talented. It’s very exciting and I feel like I’m learning a lot.
Kimmy: Obviously, Tom is a very talented human being. Funny story, we did our first callback together. It was the scene at the end of act 2 where it gets very physical. And because of the nature of that scene we had to get comfortable with each other very fast. So by the time we got to the first rehearsal we already had a great rapport.
T: The dynamic is made more interesting by the fact that the play is very lax on the whole personal space issue. It requires that we get very physical and in each other’s face pretty often.
K: Being in a two-person play is very hard because you have to in it all the time. It’s very easy to tell when you’re not feeling it, and this play is very intense. And once we have our lines memorized it’s going to get to a new level of intense.
N: Have the two of you ever been in a two-person show before?
T: No, I haven’t.
K: I’ve been in at most a three-person show for the Summer Theater Lab 2013. There were three acts but each act only requires two people and I was the person who was in every act. It was very similar because you still have to be in it and I had to change ages from act to act. But there isn’t too much age changing in this play, it covers a much shorter span of time.
N: What is it like to work in Griffin 7?
T: It’s challenging because it’s not a conventional space. I think it allows for a more realistic effect, because there’s not as much need to project and you can work more on nuances and details, but it can be awkward at times.
K: Working site-specifically is also really interesting. I mean, people teach here, in this building, and this play is really about the teacher-student relationship. So it’s sort of like a commentary on that relationship since we’re doing the play in this particular room.
N: Anything else that you would like me to add?
T: We are under great direction and stage management, I think that has to be said.
K: Our whole team is just boss. We’re kind of just really talented human beings. Okay, the way I said that sounded condescending, however the people who are working on this production are actually amazing. Ali is amazing, Uygar is amazing, Phoebe, our set designer, is amazing. They’re all just going to come together and make this space amazing and make this play as realistic as possible… Anything else you want to share Tom?
T: No, you took the words right out of my mouth.
So there you have it! A little bit of insight into what it’s like to be inside to room during Oleanna rehearsals. Make sure to catch the actual show on October 28, 30, and 31. See you next Sunday!