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Amanda Silverstein on Playing Lucille Frank in Act Two @ Levine’s ‘Parade’ This Weekend at The Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage

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Amanda Silverstein.

Amanda Silverstein.

Parade is not just a musical. It isn’t one of those shows where the audience wants to get up and dance and leaves feeling they have been entertained. To me, Parade is an intense story that should make the audience feel something more than happiness. Shows like this is why I love musical theatre so much. Of course, I love the shows with lots of upbeat and fun songs that have happy endings, but in this show, I get to have an impact on the audience. I want to make the audience feel the pain Lucille felt when her husband was hanged, and the happiness she felt when she was sure he was coming home. All of this though is not easy. This show has probably been the most difficult for me so far. (Acting and singing).

Lucille Frank was a proper southern Jewish lady. I have the Jewish part going for me but in every other category, Lucille and I are complete opposites. One thing I did find we have in common is our outspokenness. Throughout this story, Lucille begins to break away from the confines of a southern lady. She fights for what she knows is right. I like to think that I stand up for what I believe in just like she did and that’s where I guess you could say I found the Lucille Frank in me. One thing I struggled with a ton was the time period. I was afraid that if I spoke too loud or did a motion too strong, it would look too contemporary. But the more I researched Lucille and analyzed my lines and found a purpose in every scene, the motions of a 1910’s woman started coming naturally. (Perfecting my Georgia accent also helped).

Lucille is such an amazing character. At the beginning of the show, she seems content with her life, but this marriage isn’t exactly what she wanted. On paper, it looks great; a big house with a maid and a successful husband, but she wants something more. You start to see her come out of her shell when she sings “You Don’t Know This Man” to a reporter who along with many others, continues to spread lies about her husband when she knows they are completely false. When she finds out her husband is going to die, she steps up to the plate. The second act is my favorite because her independence comes out and you see how much she did to help her husband. This kind of power in a woman is so amazing because it was so rare in that time period. This whole event rekindled Leo and Lucille’s love and passion and it that is shown through my favorite song, “All The Wasted Time.”

Eitan Mazia (Leo Frank). Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Eitan Mazia (Leo Frank). Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Additionally, working with this cast has been great. Especially Eitan Mazia playing Leo and Audrey Rineheart who is playing my double. Audrey and I work together on everything. I have never been such close friends with someone I am double cast with. We support each other on every aspect, which all started when we were doubled in In the Heights as Abuela Claudia. I am amazed every time Audrey hits that high E in “Do it Alone” and I am so glad I have gotten this opportunity to work with her. Eitan has also been super supportive and just an awesome scene partner. He puts so much passion into his work that is so nice to see in someone our age. Eitan has always been someone I looked up to and now we get to work as equals which is something I thought I’d never get to do.

To be honest, I don’t think I will ever get to play this part again and it is a role I will never forget. I have researched, and studied, and watched so many movies about this show that I don’t think I could know it any better. When Friday night comes my hands will probably be sweating like they have never sweat before (sorry Eitan) and my entire body will be shaking out of nervousness. But I am so pumped this show to open and to give it my all for the first time on that beautiful stage at Arena Stage. (and it will be the first time because we don’t get to use the space until opening night). I can’t wait!

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All seating is general admission and all tickets will be held at will call. All ticket sales are final.

act two 200x200

Performances:
Friday, January 30th, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 1st, 2014 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, February 1st, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 – 2:00 PM

Tickets:
$19 General Admission (advance purchase)
$17 Students/Seniors (advance purchase)
$20 at the door
Purchase tickets online:

Location:
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theatre
in the Kogod Cradle
1101 6th Street, SW, in Washington, DC.

Here are directions.

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One Response to Amanda Silverstein on Playing Lucille Frank in Act Two @ Levine’s ‘Parade’ This Weekend at The Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage

  1. Carmelita Watkinson January 30, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    So looking forward to it!!