Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 10: Melissa Dunlap

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In Part 10 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Charles Morey’s Laughing Stock, meet Melissa Dunlap.

Melissa Dunlap
Melissa Dunlap.

Joel: Where have local audiences seen you on the stage?

Melissa: Little Theatre of Alexandria – Daria in Game’s Afoot!; at McLean Players – Madge in Game’s Afoot!; Vienna Theatre Company – Suzanne in Picasso at Lapin Agile and  Providence Players of Fairfax – Karen in Dinner with Friends.

Why did you want to be part of the cast of Laughing Stock at LTA?

I auditioned because I love farces and I really enjoy being part of the LTA community. At callbacks I was so impressed with the talent of everyone who was auditioning. I wanted to be cast even more after that evening because I thought it would be fun to work with a talented cast.

Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to this character? 

I play Sarah the stage manager. Sarah attempts to organize the chaos of cast and crew. At home and at work, I am always trying to manage the chaos. Sometimes I am more successful than at others.

What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?

Laughing Stock is about a summer theatre company rehearsing and performing three vastly different plays with different levels of success.

Which character is most like you and why?

I think Sarah is a good fit for me personally, but I can also relate to Braun. I still feel like I am relatively new to theatre and I’m trying to figure out what to do and when.

What did you perform at your audition? Where were you when you got the call that you had the role?

I did a monologue called “Death by Zumba” by Moreen Littrell. I got the call that I was cast when I was down in Williamsburg taking my daughter for her college admission interview at William and Mary. My cell reception was not great, so I didn’t trust that I heard right that I was cast. It wasn’t until I got an email from Shawn that I believed I was cast.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced preparing for your role and how has Director Shawn Byers help you through these challenges?

Sarah is a fairly guarded and sarcastic character but she has some vulnerable moments. Those vulnerable moments are special and a bit tricky to get right. Shawn has helped me to think about when those moments are and carefully share those moments. This has come mostly through table work and reflection on Sarah’s back story.

What is your favorite scene that you are not in and why?

Without a doubt Act 2 scene 2. I am so happy I am not on stage so that I can laugh and giggle as much as I want. I think this scene is particularly amusing for stage actors and crew because it wraps up every horrible moment you have experienced on stage or behind the scenes into one hilarious nightmare. Be sure to use the bathroom at intermission or you might pee your pants.

What is your favorite line or lines that your character recites and what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the show?

My favorite lines mean nothing out of context – I love “Mina!” and “No!” and “Wildebeest, wildebeest!” Brian had us crying the other day with his “… and me thinkedeth it lookedeth like this melon”

What are you doing next on the stage?

I will be auditioning for 1776 at McLean Players next. Whether or not I’m in that show is up to the director.

What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Laughing Stock?

Most of all I hope people enjoy the show, and laugh and laugh and laugh. Maybe they will have an appreciation for all the effort actors and crew put into a show to make sure it goes right, after they experience what it looks like when things don’t work out so well.

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Laughing Stock plays through September 25, 2015 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria – 600 Wolfe Street, in Alexandria, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 683-0496, or purchase them online.

LINKS:
Review of Laughing Stock  by Caroline Simpson on DCMetroTheaterArts.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 1: Will MacLeod.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 2: Director Shawn G. Byers.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 3: Tom Flatt.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 4: Abigail Ropp.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 5: Ted Culler.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 6: Hilary Adams.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 7: Larry Grey.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 8: Lars Klores.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 9: Brian Selcik.

Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 10: Melissa Dunlap.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.