In Part 1 of a series of interviews with the cast of Boeing, Boeing at Montgomery Playhouse, meet Renetta Morelli.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
I fell in love with performing at a very young age. As a dancer and gymnast, I had the power to make people gasp in awe as I flipped across the stage, and there was some kind of magic in the applause. I don’t remember a single day of high school in which I wasn’t on the stage rehearsing for a musical, play, show choir concert, dance recital, or the like. I took an intermission from the theater when I moved to Maryland to begin a family and a teaching career. I was lucky enough to have Montgomery Playhouse welcome me back into the community theater scene with shows such as Guys and Dolls, Once Upon a Mattress, Children of Eden, and Strangers on a Train.
Why did you want to be part of Montgomery Playhouse’s production of Boeing, Boeing?
I love laughing and making people laugh. I heard that Boeing, Boeing was a fun comedy with plenty of opportunity for that.
What did you perform at your audition and where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
I have to confess that I didn’t know much about Boeing, Boeing when I showed up for the audition. I was a little intimidated when I found out that all the characters were supposed to have different accents, and there were so many talented people auditioning. When the director called to offer me the role of Judith, I couldn’t believe it.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character?
I play the part of Judith, a German airline hostess. She is a passionate romantic who is madly in love with her fiancée, Bernard. Well, that is until Robert enters the picture. Judith is a good-natured, likeable character. She wants to love and be loved. I think we can all relate to that.
What advice and suggestions did Director Lisa Holland give you that helped you prepare for your role? Have you worked with Lisa before? And how would you describe her style of directing?
This is my first time working with Lisa Holland, but I hope it’s not the last. She has a wonderful directing style in which her enthusiasm for the work is evident. She encourages her actors to put thought and detail into every aspect of their characters.
Have you appeared in or seen other productions of Boeing Boeing before and who did you play and how is this production different and unique?
What is your favorite scene in the show that you are not in and what is your favorite scene that you are in?
I love watching reactions. Robert and Bernard become more and more hilarious as they try to juggle who is coming and going so that the ladies don’t run into each other. I have so much fun watching Bertha’s expressions when I’m describing how I like to spend some time alone in the luggage hold thinking of Bernard. And, of course, Robert’s reaction when he first meets me is absolutely priceless.
Which character in the show is most like you and why?
I can see a little piece of myself in every character. I can be passionate like Judith, sexy like Jacqueline, or confident like Janet or Bernard. There are times when I feel like Bertha, underappreciated and doing all the work. I’ve probably had the most experience acting like Robert, having gotten myself into plenty of comical situations while helping out my friends.
What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?
They make me laugh over and over again. What talent!
How did you prepare for your role and what were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you resolve them?
My biggest challenge was my character’s German accent. I used my I-270 commute to practice the accent using a teaching CD from Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen.
Oh, and I also watched reruns of Hogan’s Heroes. ;)
Why should audience goers bring their families to see Boeing Boeing?
Audience goers should leave the kids at home and have a fun night out!
Boeing Boeing plays from February 13-March 1, 2015 at The Montgomery Playhouse performing at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn-311 Kent Square Road, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets,call (301) 258-6394, or purchase them online.