Anna is the one character in the play without a romantic link. Her husband has been dead for 30 years. So her “desire” is more about practical matters in the present moment/real world than those around her pursuing romance. But her romantic past is still very much alive in her inner life, which fuels her understanding of the people around her.
Knowing that we all bring ourselves to the roles we play, is there a character’s experience that you connect with in particular?
Anna is at a place in life where she truly understands and accepts that the fairy tales we are told as children are just not so. I very much relate to her pragmatism.
What is your greatest challenge with this show?
Understanding the heroine, Natalya. Shannon’s portrayal of Natalya and her analysis of the character have helped me a great deal. And of course James’ vision. His enthusiasm for all the characters is infectious.
What kind of research have you been doing to prepare for the role?
Reading the original Turgenev was very informative. Also Russian history, manners and mores of 19th century Europe (although this play is grounded in present day speech patterns and even some mannerisms). But the part where my character is stiff from sitting too long – that’s real for me. No research required. Ha!
What are you most excited about to share with the audience?
A sense of wonder at how flawed and how wonderful humans are – at the same time.
A Month in the Country opens Friday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, April 12th. Buy tickets here.