In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of Boeing, Boeing at Montgomery Playhouse, meet Anne Vandercook.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
I have been hanging around the local theater scene for quite some time. Most recently I played Betsy, a maid, in Montgomery Playhouse’s Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Goose. I also had the pleasure of playing Bella in Lost in Yonkers, Gertie in Fuddy Meers among other fun roles over the years. I also had the great pleasure of working with some longtime friends on Four Dogs and a Bone at the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival.
Why did you want to be part of Montgomery Playhouse’s production of Boeing, Boeing?
I saw that MP was putting on this show last summer, I was so excited! I love a really good farce, and I had my eye on the role of Bertha. It is such a fun role. I was lucky enough to play Suzette in Marc Camoletti’s Don’t Dress for Dinner with the British Players, so I just couldn’t wait to be a part of this one. I also love working with Montgomery Playhouse, it is a great little company and they put on really good shows.
What did you perform at your audition and where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
We had cold readings at the audition. I am not sure that I quite fit the director’s original vision for the role, but I made a point to ask to read for Bertha. I am glad I did! I was over the moon when the director called to offer the part to me and it has been a blast ever since.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character?
I play the maid, Bertha. She is so much fun! I think I relate to her vulnerability, she wants to fit in with the “jet set” who she serves, and she never quite does. I think we all have moments that relate to that in life!
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. Lisa has been great! She lets me have a lot of fun, but is sure to tell me when to take it back a notch. She also knows how to get what she needs from her actors without taking away their creative freedom. It has been a great process.
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?
I haven’t seen Boeing Boeing. I am not sure what other productions had done, but ours is sure to have some originality. I can’t say enough about this cast. I don’t think any of us have seen the show, which allows us to be completely free creatively!
What is your favorite scene in the show that you are not in and what is your favorite scene that you are in?
I am kind of in and out of a bunch of scenes. I think my favorites to be in are the Scene where Bertha vents to Robert, it’s a fun little exposition of bertha’s character. I also love when I have a girly girl moment in my scene with Judith. The absolute favorite to watch is a scene that is too great to give away! Let’s just say Bernard and Robert have a lot to deal with in the second act.
Which character in the show is most like you and why?
I think the actors have done a great job in making all of our characters relatable. I think I relate to Bertha, my own character, the most though. She is a little bit on the fringe of life and “likes a bit of fun”.
What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?
No matter how many times I see them perform there are more laughs to be had. Everyone is so supportive too. It is a really talented group.
How did you prepare for your role and what were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you resolve them?
I did some background on where Bertha would have come from. I looked at the relationship she has with each of the characters. I discover new things about Bertha all of the time! Comedy can always be challenging to make sure to find the comedy but not over play it, it is farce but it is still the reality of the characters we play and that can be tough with all of the craziness that surrounds us! The director, Lisa Holland has been great working with us on that.
Why should audience goers bring their families to see Boeing Boeing?
This is more of a PG-13 affair. If you’re looking for a fun night to have a lot of laughs, this is the place for you.
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.
Meet the Cast of ‘Boeing, Boeing’ at Montgomery Playhouse: Part 1: Renetta Morelli.
Meet the Cast of ‘Boeing, Boeing’ at Montgomery Playhouse: Part 2: Jim Breen.