Jocelyn Roddie: In Depth

jocelynWhat excites you most about this show?
I love the passion and personalities of all of the characters [in A Month in the Country]. James [Nelson], our director, told us from the get go at auditions that this is a show that lives and dies by its relationships. These relationships are beautifully complex and full of goodies that we actors get to play with, and the characters give us a lens to look through and compare to our lives. My fellow actors have already made me in awe of their abilities and profound thoughts about the play during our tablework, and it is, as Arkady puts it, “astonishing”!

Tell us about your character.
Katya is a servant of the house and is what I’d call a very reluctant romantic. She’s being pursued by her fellow servant Matvey and doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with him. Why she’s avoiding him or what will happen will have to wait until people see the show, but she’s very “demure and knowing”, as the script puts it. It’s fun to be the eyes and ears of the household, especially since Katya is a bit of a gossip. She’s smart and not quite ready to be vulnerable.

I can relate to Katya’s wariness of love and commitment. I fell in love earlier this year and am still reeling from the effects of it as I continue my relationship with an amazing man. It’s a wonderful but sometimes scary ride, and to me, it’s all worth it. We’ll see if Katya agrees. In general, I connect a lot to many of the experiences that each character goes through in this play: moments of desire, loss, grief, pride, love, etc. There’s something in each character that I think we all can relate to.

What is your greatest challenge with this show?
I think allowing myself as an actor to have real vulnerability is the biggest challenge. This is a show where everyone’s emotions are completely on display. It’s absolutely beautiful, absolutely fun, and absolutely terrifying.

What kind of research have you been doing to prepare for the role of Katya?
I’ve been looking into a lot of 1840’s Russian (and general European) history, especially in terms of the women of lower class. I’ve got a lot more studying to do, I think!

What have been some of your favorite previous productions?
Besides the shows I’ve done on the Barn stage, which were all great, my favorites include Sweeney Todd (I got to play Mrs. Lovett about 20 years too early), King Lear (I played the Earl of Kent), and Shrek (I played a plethora of crazy fairytale creatures). But the list goes on. I love playing interesting and challenging roles.

A Month in the Country opens Friday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, April 12th. Buy tickets here.

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Meet the Cast: Zach Stewart

zachZach Stewart (Alexsey) is a California native who enjoys working both on stage and screen, as well as behind the camera. After studying film and television production at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Zach worked in the production department on programming for networks including NBC Universal and ESPN, as well as films in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA. He was most recently seen as Leland in Boxcar Theatre’s 6-month sold out run of The Speakeasy in San Francisco.

See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.

Meet the Cast: Mark Shepard

Untitled-7Mark Shepard (Herr Schaff) has performed in musicals, comedy, commedia dell’arte, modern and classical drama and Shakespeare. He studied theater, jewelry design and art but decided on a career in graphic design. When he is not working, Mark likes gardening, genealogy, acting in and directing community theater. He couldn’t do this without the love and encouragement of his family.

 

 

See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.

Meet the Cast: Jocelyn Roddie

jocelynJocelyn Roddie (Katya) is happy to return to the Barn where she last appeared in Persuasion (Henrietta Musgrove), Giovanni Is Here (Belle Levi), and She Stoops to Conquer (Kate). She has also recently appeared at Berkeley Playhouse as featured ensemble in Shrek and A Little Princess. When not onstage, she spends her time as a literature enthusiast, amateur filmmaker, and chocolate chip cookie baker. She is a proud UCI Drama alum. Many thanks to her loved ones, the cast and crew, and you, the audience, for supporting live theatre!
See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.

Meet the Cast: Ben Ortega

benBen Ortega (Michel) was last seen as Joseph in My Three Angels at Masquers Playhouse. Ben’s favorite roles include Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple, George Hay in Moon Over Buffalo, Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Yvan in Art, Allan Felix in Play It Again, Sam, and George in Same Time, Next Year. Ben studied acting at UCLA and privately with Lisa Chess.

See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.

Meet the Cast: Wood Lockhart

woodWood Lockhart (Dr. Shpigelsky) has appeared in over 20 productions at the Barn, most recently as Vivian Pfeiffer in Old Money. Other favorite roles with Ross Valley Players include Grandpa in You Can’t Take It With You, Nonno in Night of the Iguana (2012 BATCC nomination for best featured actor), Gustave in Heroes, the Stage Manager in Our Town (2007 BATCC winner for best ensemble) Robert in Proof and Norman in On Golden Pond (2005 BATCC nomination for best actor in a principal performance).

See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.

Meet the Cast: Shannon Veon Kase

shannonShannon Veon Kase (Natalya) is excited to be a part of this wonderful Ross Valley Players production. Some of Shannon’s favorite roles include Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Masquers Playhouse), Dabby in Our Country’s Good (PTC), Mariah in Twelfth Night (Marin Shakespeare Company), Ruth in Blithe Spirit (Berkeley Actors Ensemble), and Bella in Lost in Yonkers (SCT). Thanks to my friends and my community for all your support. Special thanks to Windy and my real-life Michel. And to my fiancé and mentor, thank you! James, I am honored to play your Natalya with such an astonishing cast. I dedicate this show to my mother, Irene Mae Kase.

See A Month in the Country from March 13th through April 12, 2015.
Tickets HERE.