I auditioned for Lady Boyle having this year already portrayed an old and dying man – King Lear for Hawai‘i Shakespeare Festival, and an elderly and dying woman – Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird for Diamond Head Theatre. Not that I want to be typecast as decrepit – but I’ve learned a lot about aging from my mother, who died at 89 in 2004.
I also learned an important aspect of the character of Lady from my mum: one of her favorite expressions was “what’s on my lung is on my tongue.” Ro (as I called her) didn’t shrink from anything – sometimes to the chagrin of her mortified daughters. She was probably the most authentic (and funny) person I’ve ever known. Being British (and a war bride to America after the London Blitz), she had what’s called “pluck.” I’d like to think Lady Boyle has some of that as well. Audacious and annoying, but full of heart and humor, Lady is a survivor of the ups and downs of life – a human being with an almost Zen-like detachment.
Approaching the character, I found that Lady’s “voice” appeared almost immediately. Usually, as I’m memorizing lines, a character will present herself (or himself for HSF) somewhere along the way. But Lady came out fast and full throttle – to the extent that I questioned her veracity. But no matter what, I couldn’t get the genie back in the bottle – so Lady is who she is…still. And I’m fond of her for her tenacity…and hope that audiences will like her too.
Superior Donuts will be running May 8-31, 2015. Go to http://www.taghawaii.net or call 808-722-6941 for tickets. Seats are going fast already! This should be another great show.