Hello, Hello Vanessa! We are very excited to have you play Lil’ Bit in our production of HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Have you ever worked with Class 6 Theatre before?
This will be my first show with Class 6, although I have worked with many members of the Class 6 family before.
Welcome to the family! Can you tell me a little about what excites you the most about this opportunity?
Everything about this project excites me! Getting to work with Amanda again, getting the share the stage with Eric, getting to play one of my dream roles... But what excites me most of all, well... As a "character" actress, I am typically cast in these larger-than-life comedic roles, and I love playing those roles, but I am very excited (and grateful) for the opportunity to explore a softer, subtler side of myself. The only way for us to grow as artists is to be challenged, and Vogel's play is nothing if not challenging, even if I weren't playing a role so far outside my comfort zone. It is the chance to meet this challenge that excites me more than anything.
It will be quite the challenge! We would love to hear more about your process and challenges as you progress through rehearsal. Until then, can you tell me what makes this story so important to tell?
Before rehearsals even began, Amanda and I were exchanging emails, discussing the play. And one of the things we both seemed to zero in on is how this play differs from the standard media portrayal of abuse. Abuse is, unfortunately, a very common reality. But it is also quite often a far more complex and complicated reality than it is generally made out to be in tv shows and movies. Instead of focusing on the horror of the abuse itself in a kind of vacuum, Vogel's play manages to keep the abuse in context, presenting it against a cultural backdrop that both encourages and creates the conditions for such behavior, while revealing the abuser himself as a sympathetic victim in his own right. This is no small feat. This is, ultimately, a play about love and forgiveness and healing, not trauma and damage and rage. That is why I think it is so important, why I think it has the potential to truly touch people, to change lives and help them heal.
I absolutely agree. Thank you so much for your insight and dedication to this powerful project. We can’t wait to hear more about it and, of course, pack the house on opening night (2/5/15)!