In Part 7 of a series of interviews with the cast of August: Osage County at The Highwood Theatre, meet Laura Goldberg.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform on the stage before.
My name is Laura Grace Goldberg, and I am in 10th grade. Previously, I have been a part of Moving Target at Arena Stage.
Why did you want to be in this production of August: Osage County?
I wanted to be in this show because I want to help lift the stigma off of mental illness, which is exactly what this production strives to do. I also found the intensity of the story very intriguing and felt it would be a fun challenge to take on.
Who do you play in the show, and how do you relate to your character. What do you admire about your character and what do you not admire?
I am lucky enough to play Barbara Fordham in this show. I can understand Barbara’s frustration towards others, the way she lets her anger out in bursts. I admire the fact that Barbara tries so hard to keep everything together and do things to keep others more… cheerful, if you will. I don’t admire her coping methods very much.
What have you learned about mental illness while working with the Active Minds organization that you didn’t know before and how has this experience given you more insight into the character you are playing?
I’ve learned that mental illnesses affect so many people worldwide, and that due to stigma, on average, it takes people 8-10 years to get treatment for a mental illness after being diagnosed. Active Minds has done activities and talked with us to really help the cast understand what living with a mental illness is like.
How has this Highwood Theatre experience changed your life and made you a better person and actor?
Highwood has opened their theatre to me and given me an amazing cast, now practically family, to work with. This show and cast mean so much to me, and I can’t thank them enough for this experience. This is a tough show, but it has allowed me to work on my acting a lot, which is great.
August: Osage County is a long play. Any tricks or methods or advice on learning so many lines that you can share with other actors who are about to learn their lines in another production of this play?
Repetition, so much repetition. Whether it’s just running lines over and over or the scene itself, repeat it. I also find that I memorize better when I run lines or scenes with my actual scene partners.
What scene or scenes were the most challenging to learn?
Personally, all of my scenes in which I had to have small talk were the hardest to learn.
Which character in this play is so much like you and why?
Unfortunately, I’ve only really gotten to study Barbara, so I can’t exactly tell you who I’m most like because I don’t know all of the characters well enough. But truthfully, I’m probably most like Barbara because I can relate to the frustration she feels towards so many different things.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in August: Osage County at The Highwood Theatre?
I hope we can help start discussions about mental illness and raise awareness because it really is important and should be talked about.
August: Osage County played from March 27-29, 2015 at The Highwood Theatre – 914 Silver Spring Avenue, Suite 102, in Silver Spring, MD.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 1: Max Rome.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 2: Madison Middleton.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 3: Layla Edwards.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 4: Eva Silverman.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre: Part 5: Shannon Leach.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 6: Elena Meiman.
Meet the Cast of ‘August: Osage County’ at The Highwood Theatre Part 7: Laura Goldberg.