In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast and director of Flyin’ West at Bowie Community Theatre, meet Sandra Cox True.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
Greetings! I am Sandra Cox True and I play Leah. My last stage performance was as Carrie Watts in A Trip to Bountiful at the Sykesville Little Theatre.
Why did you want to be part of the Bowie Community Theatre’s production of Flyin’ West?
I was privileged to work in the theatre’s production of Grace and Glorie under the direction of Estelle Miller. I know that every effort will be extended by everyone involved to bring characters and the play message to life. I wanted the challenge of work, and I think the message is important.
What did you perform at your audition, and where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
I used a monologue of Vita Louise from Harvey. I monitored by email constantly from the time I left the theatre. I ran from the piano and around the cello and over the hockey stuff to reach the phone. I live in an obstacle course.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character? What do you like about your character?
I play Leah. I am in awe of the people she represents. As a woman, a mother and a widow, she was subjected to the dehumanization of slavery, the repeated loss of her children, and yet she maintains the ability to create a life for herself and to offer love and nurture to others.
How did you prepare for your role and what were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you resolve them?
There is an abundance of historical matter about the time and the place which is useful. In addition, my life experience as a black woman has provided me with a true foundation from which to pull. My biggest challenge is to concentrate on Leah’s nurturing nature and not my anger at the overseer, the theft of her innocence and the repeated loss of her children.
What advice and suggestions did your director give you that helped you prepare for your role?
The director’s advice and suggestions are myriad and ongoing. She reminds Leah of her physical frailty and moral strength.
What is your favorite scene in the show that you are not in and what is your favorite scene that you are in?
I like the scene between Wil and Fan. I think I like Leah’s speech to the baby—it offers respect for the past and hope for the future.
Which character in the show is most like you and why?
I think I feel the most kinship with Sophie. She wants to build a brave new world for her people through physical hard work and civic responsibility. She will stop at nothing to protect her people.
What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?
I admire their dedication to the word and message of the playwright.
What does this show have to say to today’s audiences?
I think the message has to do with the fact that you cannot love anyone unless you value yourself. This message is universal. I think the play also speaks to the resilience of human beings to rise from the most inhuman conditions.
What line or lines that someone recites are your favorites and what are your favorite line or line that you recite and why?
Leah says, “Everything can’t be wrote down… something’s have to be said out loud to keep the life in ‘em.” I think the line succinctly explains why we need the theater.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Flyin’ West?
I would like them to see that love and respect create families and communities. I think the play also tells us that freedom is threatened in many different ways and that the fight to control one’s destiny is constant.
Flyin’ West opens April 10, 2015 and plays through April 25, 2015 at The Bowie Playhouse – 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, in Bowie, MD. For tickets, call (301) 805-0219, or purchase them online, or at the door.
Meet the Cast and Director of ‘Flyin’ West’ at Bowie Community Theatre: Part One: Drector Estelle Miller.
Meet the Cast and Director of ‘Flyin’ West’ at Bowie Community Theatre: Part Two: Kecia A. Campbell.