I was already very familiar with the play because I was fortunate enough to see the show on Broadway in 2010, starring Victor Garber in the lead as “Garry Essendine.” I fell so in love with the play and Garber’s performance that I actually went out to see the play twice! The play has been on my bucket list ever since, so when I saw the casting online for “Joanna Lyppiatt,” I could not have been more excited. Getting the part was a dream come true.
I reread the script before I went in for my audition, which was great to refresh my memory.
I was reminded that there is so much more to Joanna Lyppiatt’s character than that of a seductive, money and power driven vixen, some things one may think of her. During the initial audition I read from one side twice, for the callback I read from two sides with multiple candidates for the part of "Garry Essendine" and "Liz Essendine." Altogether, the callback reading sessions took almost three hours but it was so much fun working with a wide variety of actors on one particular scene; each one brought something new and different out of me. At this point it was just for the director to see which actors had the best chemistry with each other.
From the first table read on, I knew I had my work cut out for me since Joanna had me breaking my head quite badly over some of her actions. Exploring those actions and her character during the rehearsal period has been fantastic and at times a tad bit frustrating. I need to be able to justify all of my character’s actions, regardless of their nature. Otherwise, I feel like I am not doing the character justice if I do not understand what moves them and why they do what they do.
I am working with the most lovely cast members that have helped me find my way through this journey. I cannot wait to put this piece up in all its glory with set, lights and costumes.
Opens Friday March 4th at 7.30pm at the Baird Theatre in South Orange, NJ.