In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of Nunsense at Wolf Pack Theatre Company, meet Linda Whiting.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell us where local theatregoers may have seen you perform on the stage.
Linda Whiting aka Ms. Lynn aka Sister Hubert, Mistress of Novices. I’m a local band singer who is fairly new to the theatre. I made my debut as Roxie The Jazz Singer in June 2014 in Southern Gal Productions, The Do Drop In. In November 2014, I also appeared as the Talk Show Host in JM Entertainment Productions, Conversations in Faith.
Have you ever thought about becoming a nun? Is there a Sister/nun who helped you in your lifetime who you admire?
Who do you play in Nunsense and what do you admire the most about your character? Are there any personality traits that you both share?
I play Sister Mary Hubert, Mistress of Novices. I think that she is hilarious and she doesn’t mind throwing in a little sarcasm whenever she gets a chance. We both have dreams of doing something bigger and better. But we also understand that there’s a process and some stepping stones (like Mother Superior) along the way.
This will be the first performance of Nunsense that I have seen being performed in a church. How do you feel about performing this show in a church? Is there anything in the script that you feel may be a little ‘unholy’ that a real Reverend Mother may want to hit you over the knuckles with a ruler for? What will performing Nunsense on a ‘holy’ stage add to the audience’s experience?
I think the fact that its being performed in a church is perfect. It makes the story more real. I don’t think there’s anything “unholy” in the script or anything that a real Reverend Mother wouldn’t encounter in real life. These are real people doing real things. Things that might ordinarily be hidden are being brought to the spotlight.
It will have them thinking, “Oh no she didn’t!”, “She’s going straight to hell”, right as they are laughing their butts off! And that’s exactly what we want.
What song that your fellow castmates sing moves you the most and makes you laugh the most?
We’ve only gone through about 4 of songs so far, so I’m not sure about this one yet.
Dan Goggin has written ‘solos’ for each of you. Tell us about your big number(s) and what we learn about your character as you perform them. What is your favorite line or lyric in your big number? And why?
- “Don’t demand the spotlight, let the spotlight come to you” from “The Biggest Ain’t the Best”. I like this because I firmly believe that our gifts (what we were designed to do or be) will make room for us and that everything we’ve ever dreamed of will come to fruition in time.
- “I train all our novices and do it on my own. Cause I know Reverend Mother’s Here – A Stepping Stone” from “Just a Coupl’a Sisters”. I think this line is sooo funny because it reveals Hubert’s true intentions and catches Rev Mom totally off guard. Rev Mom is looking at Hubert like “a stepping stone for what?? What the hell you talkin’ bout Hubert??” And then Hubert just plays it off like she was just making a rhyme. Too funny!
- “Holier than Thou” – I haven’t found a favorite line/lyric yet. I like the song for its gospel undertones and this is like Hubert’s “coming out party,” so to speak.
What are some of the themes of Nunsense and lessons that Nunsense has to share with the audience?
I guess the overarching theme is that nobody’s perfect and we all have some “stuff” with us. Lessons that I take away are to just be you, just do you, each of us are equally important and we each have something to bring to the table no matter how good, bad or indifferent.
What are some of the ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ that Director William Leary has told all of you and what are some of the best suggestions and directions that he has given you that has made your performance better?
LOL!! I’m almost 99.99999% sure that I’m the only sister that he has told to “Get Yo Black On.” He also dropped another pearl on me that I can’t repeat. LOL! I will say this … I’ll never forget it and it pretty much let me know that anything is fair game in bringing Hubert to life. He has also told us to find and become our character. That caused me to take a closer look at Hubert — what does she say about herself, what do others say and think of her, where is she from, how old is she, what does she want, why does she want it? It makes the performance more than just memorizing and repeating lines. I AM Sis Mary Hubert, Mistress of Novices, shining in my own way!
Why do you think Nunsense is still so popular after all these years?
People love to laugh. The nuns have no inhibitions and do what most people only think of doing.
Have you ever appeared in another performance of Nunsense?
When was the first time you saw Nunsense performed? And if you did, which Sister was your favorite then?
The first time I ever even heard of Nunsense was when I saw the audition notice. I immediately Googled and watched YouTube Videos. The funny thing is Hubert was my favorite even before I built enough confidence up to send my info to Bill. While I’ve sung on many stages, I’ve never done musical theatre When he told me I was cast as Hubert, I damn near lost it. I was like, you gotta be kidding me. LOL!
Which Sister in Nunsense is most like you and why?
I would say Hubert (and possibly Rev Mom) because I’m the leader of the pack in just about everything that I do … and it’s not by choice!! I just somehow end up in leadership positions. I’m the one that everybody depends on to get the job done. The one that most look up to or come to for advice. The glue that holds it all together.
What new ‘habits’ as an actress have you developed while rehearsing and being part of this divine experience?
I’m learning to make bold decisions and think over-the-top. Truth be told I have a tendency to procrastinate and I’m almost always late for meetings, rehearsals, etc. But my friend Bill “don’t play dat!!” So being part of this divine experience is also causing me to be more diligent in my studies and to manage my time more wisely.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you singing and dancing and having a great time performing in Nunsense?
I want them to walk away with the confidence that they can be and do anything that they want to in life and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
Nunsense opens April 10, 2015 and plays through April 19, 2015 at St. John Lutheran Church – 5820 Riverdale Road, in Riverdale, MD. For tickets, call (240) 271-5471, or purchase them online, or at the door.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 1: Joanna Matthews.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 2: Melanie Pino-Elliott.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 3: Linda Whiting.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 4: Brigid K. Lally.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 5: Jamie Crowne.
Meet the Cast of ‘Nunsense’ at Wolf Pack Theatre Company: Part 6: Francine Kent.