In Part 2 of a series of interviews with the cast of WSC Avant Bard’s production of Holiday Memories—a stage adaptation of two classic short stories by Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory” and “The Thanksgiving Visitor—meet Liz Dutton.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you perform recently on stage?
Liz: I performed this summer in a two-person play called Our Lady of the Clouds as part of Capital Fringe 2015 and the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival in Charlottesville. Prior to that, I’ve been involved with shows at the Source Festival, 1st Stage, Totem Pole Playhouse, and American Ensemble Theater, and I last performed with Avant Bard as part of the cast of Six Characters in Search of an Author.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Holiday Memories at Avant Bard?
I loved the lyrical narrative of the piece, and I also liked the idea that it was a small cast with a tight-knit ensemble feel.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to her?
I play the “Woman” role, which means all the other female characters that Truman (Christopher Henley), Buddy (Séamus Miller), and Miss Sook (Charlotte Akin) encounter during the play. I also get to play Queenie, their little rat terrier dog! I can’t say I can relate too much to Queenie, but I do have a small dog myself and have mirrored most of the mannerisms from my own dog, Maggie. She’s really good at guilting you into giving her whatever she wants, so hopefully I’m able to portray some of that in Queenie.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
From Queenie’s point of view, the show is about getting her Christmas beef bone. I think all of the “others” are fleshed out in order to give the true colors of the life that Capote was living in at the time—and how a lot of these people became inspiration for characters in his stories and shaped his writing.
What are your own favorite holiday memories?
For Thanksgiving, my family used to drive up to Massachusetts in the snow to spend the holiday at my great grandmother’s house—at the time she was in her 90s, and she lived to be 107. We all gathered at her small place, and I think she managed to cook the whole meal herself, including her famous “homemade” pies (until we saw the Mrs. Smith’s boxes in the trash…). She didn’t have a whole lot to entertain my sister and our cousin, but at night we would sleep on her pull-out couch and watch State Fair (the only movie I think she owned).
If you could be granted one holiday wish, what would it be?
Good health to everyone in my family.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character says, and what is your favorite line that someone else says in the show?
When I play Miss Armstrong, Buddy’s second-grade teacher, and I scold him for his tardiness: “Little mister big britches!”
And when Miss Sook exclaims, “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!”
What are you doing next on the stage?
I’ll be appearing in Collaborators by John Hodge with Spooky Action Theater in February 2016—and on December 7 I will be playing Joan in a reading with Tonic Theater and the National Academy of Sciences of Moving Bodies by Arthur Giron.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Holiday Memories?
A different perspective of Truman Capote.
Holiday Memories plays from November 25 to December 20, 2015 at WSC Avant Bard performing at Theatre on the Run – 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 418-4808, or purchase them online.
David Siegel’s 5 star review of ‘Holiday Memories’ on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 1: Séamus Miller.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 2: Liz Dutton.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 3: Christopher Henley.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’ Part 4: Charlotte Akin.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’ Part 5: Devon Ross.