In Part 6 of a series of interviews with the cast of How the Other Half Lives at The British Players, meet Laurie Simonds.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
I have been involved in theatre since high school, and majored in it at Towson University. I have worked on the cast of the Maryland Renaissance Festival since 2006, playing various characters both in the Court and Village. I have most recently been on stage in It Runs in the Family with 2nd Star Productions.
Why did you want to be part of the British Players’ production of How the Other Half Loves?
I saw the audition notice and thought it would be fun to be in a British comedy. I read the script before the audition and it seemed so funny that I couldn’t wait to see how it would play out on stage. I’ve been in comedies before, but nothing quite like this one.
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 readings from the script. I was at home when I was offered the role of Mary, and happily accepted.
Who do you play in the show, and how do you relate to your character?
I play Mary Detweiler. She is the timid and mousy wife of William. She and her husband get caught up in a whirlwind of misunderstandings. I’d like to think I’m a bit different from my character, in that I can stand up for myself more than she can. However, I can relate to her in that she and her husband have a good relationship and want to make each other happy. They differ in how they go about doing this, but I think she is still likable.
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 show with Pauline, and I love working with her. She gives you the freedom to try things, and works to refine them from there. I think the main suggestion she gave was to “be more mousy.”
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
I have not seen any productions of How the Other Half Loves.
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 probably the second half of the final scene, where everything comes to light. I think the dinner scene is my favorite scene in the show that I am in. So much happens in such a short amount of time.
Which character in the show is most like you and why?
I don’t know that any one character is most like me, but I think there are parts of each of the three women that are.
What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?
I love that we still make each other laugh during rehearsal. If we can keep that up, I’m sure audiences will love it too.
How did you prepare for your role, and what were the biggest challenges you faced; and how did you resolve them?
I hadn’t used a British accent in a couple years, as my last two roles with the Festival were Italian and Irish. But, since it’s one of many accents I studied at Towson, I just had to brush up on my British RP.
Why should audience goers bring their families to see How the Other Half Loves?
This show has so much going on, the audience will laugh out loud. It’s a must-see.
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.
Meet the Cast of ‘How the Other Half Loves’ at The British Players: Part 2: Karen Romero.
Meet the Cast of ‘How the Other Half Loves’ at The British Players: Part 3: Peter Harrold.
Meet the Cast of ‘How the Other Half Loves’ at The British Players: Part 4: John Allnutt.
Meet the Cast of ‘How the Other Half Loves’ at The British Players: Part 5: John O’Leary.