In Part 4 of a series of interviews with The Playwright, Director, and cast of Calendar Girls at McLean Community Players meet Jennifer Levy.
Joel: Tell our readers where they may have seen you on local stages.
Jennifer: I have been active in MCP productions since 2006. Before joining MCP, I appeared in the annual Hexagon production in DC for ten years.
Tell us about the character you play and how you relate to her/him. Does this character have any of your personality or character traits?
I play Brenda Hulse, the “Broccoli Lady.” She arrives at the Knapeley Women’s Institute meeting to present a lecture on the history of broccoli, only to face technical difficulties at the beginning of the lecture that curtail her presentation. She is a character who is passionate about esoteric topics such as this one (the previous year, her topic was the history of the tea towel), oblivious to the fact that no one is interested in what she has to say. She is a dull speaker despite her passion. I have nothing in common with this character, though she provides wonderful comic relief early in the play. Insofar as she tries to engage people in her presentation, I share that enthusiasm with her.
What has been the most fun playing this character?
strong>The interaction with fellow actors in the scene.
What have been some of the challenges you have had preparing for your role and how did your director help you with these challenges?
The biggest challenge has been incorporating the appropriate accent, and I am very grateful for the time and attention of the accent coach brought in by the director.
Which character in the show is most like you, and why?
Cora seems to be most like me. Her sharp wit, her close friendship with others in the KnapeleyWomen’s Institute, and her musical background all remind me of my better qualities.
What do you admire most about your fellow cast members?
Each member of the cast in remarkably talented. They have a vast amount of theatrical experience and are not afraid to explore their respective characters to create an amazing ensemble performance that makes me both laugh out loud and feel a heavy heart during the more somber moments.
What do you want audiences to take with them after watching you perform in Calendar Girls?
I would like the audience to chuckle a bit at my portrayal and leave the theater reminiscing about the performances of the entire cast, and if they have enjoyed the production, spread the word about this remarkable play and its area premiere in McLean.
If you were a Calendar Girl, what would your page look like, and which month would you be and why?
I would be “Ms. October,” since that’s my birth month. The page would include pumpkins and other gourds on the ground, a scarecrow and a large haystack in the middle of the page, in which I would be positioned, covered up to my shoulders, reaching out to the scarecrow.
What is your favorite line that your character says? What is your favorite line that another character says?
If a slight paraphrasing is permitted, my favorite line as Brenda Hulse would be: Broccoli “is perhaps the only vegetable rumored to share a common ancestry with” James Bond.
My favorite line is spoken by Jessie: “And the danger, girls, of age, is what you think age expects of you.”
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.
Meet the Director and Cast of ‘Calendar Girls’ at McLean Community Players, Part 2: Kathryn (Katie) Johnston.
McLean Community Players Presents Tim Firth’s ‘Calendar Girls’ September 18 – October 3, 2015.