In Part 2 of a series of interviews with the cast of How the Other Half Lives at The British Players, meet Karen Romero.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
Karen: I was born and raised in San Diego, then ventured out to Hong Kong for four years, where I taught English and completed a Masters degree in Communication. I’m pretty new to the theatre scene altogether, and to DC. Three years ago I graduated from the Theatre Lab’s Honors Conservatory and have participated in a handful of staged readings, but this will be my first full on play. I’m very excited about that!
Why did you want to be part of the British Players’ production of How the Other Half Loves?
A British accent, lying, cheating, drinking and the occasional fistfight, what’s not to love?
What did you perform at your audition and where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
The audition consisted of cold reading. I was at work when I missed the call that I had been offered the part.
Who do you play in the show, and how do you relate to your character?
I play Teresa Phillips, a run down mother of one whose husband is having an affair. Teresa has a good sense of people and likes to get to the bottom of things, and I would say that rings true for me too. Also, I’m not one to turn down a drink, and I’m pretty sure Teresa wouldn’t either.
What advice and suggestions did Director Pauline Griller-Mitchell give you that helped you prepare for your role? Have you worked with Pauline before? And how would you describe her style of directing?
This is my first time working with Pauline and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Pauline threw out the word spunky for my character and I’ve been trying to play with that. She’s extremely kind and sweet and lets her actors explore on their own, and is always available for discussion.
Have you appeared in or seen other productions of How the Other Half Loves before, and if so, who did you play and how is this production different and unique
No, I have not.
What is your favorite scene in the show that you are not in, and what is your favorite scene that you are in?
My favorite scene that I’m not in is when Mary is at my house and her husband William walks in and confronts her as to why she’s in my house – he thinks she is having an affair with my husband. I love it when William calls her a “wanton slut” when in fact, she is a fragile, mousy, sweet woman. My favorite scene that I’m in is during a dinner party, and Bob my husband, arrives late and drunk – it’s a riot!
Which character in the show is most like you and why?
I would say Teresa. She speaks her mind and tries to do the right thing for herself, and so do I.
What do you admire most about your fellow cast-mates’ performances?
I admire their talent. I feel so lucky to be a part of such a warm group of people.
How did you prepare for your role, and what were the biggest challenges you faced; and how did you resolve them?
The play requires a British accent, which I studied for a few weeks some years ago. There are certain words I forget to say correctly and it drives me nuts. I have them circled and highlighted and underlined, and say them over and over.
Why should audience goers bring their families to see How the Other Half Loves?
It’s entertaining and fun!
How the Other Lives plays through March 13-28, 2015 at The British Players performing at Kensington Town Hall – 3710 Mitchell Street, in Kensington, MD. For tickets call (240) 447-9863, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of ‘How the Other Half Loves’ at The British Players: Part 1: Susan R. Paisner.