In Part 2 of a series of interviews with The Playwright, Director, and cast of Calendar Girls at McLean Community Players, meet Kathryn (Katie) Johnston.
Tell our readers where they may have seen you on local stages.
I was seen last fall as Martha Gillette in MCP’s production of Game’s Afoot, and before that with Silver Spring Stage in Red Herring, Expecting Isabel, and Recalculating. I’ve also worked with Chevy Chase Community Players on Kind Lady, and Foundry Players in You Can’t Take It With You. My favorite role is still the Grand Duchess Olga Katerina from that play.
Tell us about the character you play and how you relate to her. Does this character have any of your personality or character traits?
Playing Jessie is not a big stretch for me, as her personality is very similar to mine. As a mature woman, she knows her mind, accepts her age, and has settled into a contented retirement. She doesn’t suffer fools lightly and has an acerbic wit which she isn’t afraid to use. Finally, she is a loyal and supportive friend – a character trait which I hope I can claim in addition to all the rest.
What has been the most fun playing this character?
Having some of the best lines in the whole show.
What have been some of the challenges you have had preparing for your role and how did your director help you with these challenges?
Since Jessie and I are a lot alike, preparing for this role has not been difficult. Learning lines without paraphrasing them and using the proper accent is a challenge. Unfortunately, this isn’t something a director can really help with! Bob Sams has a clear idea about where he wants to take the show, yet is willing to listen to the actors’ opinions. This makes him a pleasure to work with.
Which character in the show is most like you, and why?
Jessie – for all the reason’s stated above.
What do you admire most about your fellow cast members?
Everyone is comfortable with their roles, is very professional, and has a good sense of humor. There are no big egos, which is extremely important in an ensemble production such as this one.
What do you want audiences to take with them after watching you perform in Calendar Girls?
Even an old bag can be comfortable in her skin.
If you were a Calendar Girl, what would your page look like, and which month would you be and why?
I’d be April (my birth month) and be surrounded by everything that flowers in the spring.
What is your favorite line that your character says? What is your favorite line that another character says?
My favorite line: “She looks like she has pelvic floor trouble.” Someone else’s: Cora’s line: “Yo ho sodding ho.”
Calendar Girls plays from September 18- October 3, 2015 at the McLean Community Players performing at McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre – 1234 Ingleside Avenue, in McLean, VA. For more information, call (703) 304-3176, or visit their website. Tickets are available at the Alden Box Office, through OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111, or online.
Meet the Cast of McLean Community Players’ ‘Calendar Girl’: Part 1: Diane Sams.
McLean Community Players Presents Tim Firth’s ‘Calendar Girls’ September 18 – October 3, 2015.