In Part 4 in a series of interviews with the cast of Danny Boy at Unexpected Stage Company, meet Lois Sanders-DeVincent.
Joel: Introduce yourself to our readers and tell them where you received your theater training and where they may have seen you before on the stage?
Lois: My name is Lois Sanders-DeVincent and I’m a “late-bloomer” in the world of acting, having discovered it in my mid-thirties upon returning to college at the University of Maryland. I promptly changed my major from English to Theatre and received my BA in Theatre Arts! Over the years I have performed in many local productions including All My Sons at Quotidian, Long Day’s Journey Into Night for Eugene O’Neil Heritage Company, Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore, and enjoyed entertaining senior communities—touring for two years with the one-woman show Belle of the Bijou. Now I must claim Sheila Bloch of Danny Boy as another favorite!
Why did you want to get involved with this production of Danny Boy?
After reading Danny Boy, I realized it portrayed a little person’s life with honesty and humor. It gave me a better understanding of those marginalized in our society.
Had you ever been involved with the show before or heard about the show before?
No, I had never heard of Danny Boy before. After appearing in Unexpected Stage Company’s hit The Lady in the Van last summer, I was excited to work with director Chris Goodrich again.
Who are you playing in the show?
I’m playing Danny’s mother, Sheila Bloch.
How do you relate to Sheila?
Having raised three children myself, I know the “ups and downs” of parenthood!
What do you admire about Sheila and what do you not admire about him?
I love Sheila’s can-do energy and the deep love she has for Danny, but acknowledge the harmful effects of being too controlling and interfering.
How will audiences relate to Sheila?
I think audience members who are parents can relate to being torn between wanting to direct their children’s lives and wanting to allow them try their wings and fly the nest.
What have been some of the challenges you have had preparing for your role and how has your director helped you resolve them? What personal experiences have helped you develop your performance?
Drawing from my relationships with my own children has informed many of my acting choices. I like Chris’ directing style of answering an acting question with “I don’t know”! It forces the actor to mine his own gold and make his own discoveries!
What scene in the entire show moves you the most?
The reassuring “Mommy’s here, Mommy’s here” scene with Danny is so basic; a mother’s love is unconditional.
What do you want audiences to take away with them after seeing Danny Boy?
My hope is that audiences will take away the truth that no matter what our differences, we are all part of the same “human family.”
Danny Boy plays from October 16-26, 2014 at Unexpected Stage Company-performing at Randolph Road Theater-4010 Randolph Road, in Silver Spring, MD. For tickets, call (800) 838-3006, or purchase them online.