In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of George is Dead, meet Kerri Rambow:
Joel: Please tell our readers where they may have seen you perform on our local stages?
Kerri Rambow: I am a company member at Keegan Theatre and was in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof that re-opened our renovated theatre space at Church Street in May. I was in the Women’s Voices festival this fall at Theatre Alliance in Night Falls on the Blue Planet. I have worked at The Hub (I will be back there in the spring with Lauren Yee’s in a word. There’s also Arena, Forum, Longacre Lea, Rep Stage, Rorschach, Source, Theatre J Washington Shakespeare Company and Woolly Mammoth.
What is it about George is Dead that made you want to be part of the cast?
The writing, and this woman. How much fun to get to play an archetype of a stereotype, and what a challenge to keep it real. Plus working with Fiona and Ian.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character? What do you like the most about your character?
I play Doreen. She is–on the surface–a spoiled, vapid, delusional rich woman. She is masterful at getting people to do what she wants. What I like most about her is how unapologetically and truly awful she is as a person. Wow, what does that say about me?
What is the shAdd Newow about from the point of view of your character?
My husband has died and someone has to take care of me.
Have you ever heard of Elaine May before working on this show and had you seen any of her work before? And now that you are working on her play, what impresses you most about her writing?
I was Elaine May-ignorant prior to Ian asking me to read the script. I love her voice and her structure of “the funny.” It isn’t a straight-down-the-line set-up/punch line structure. It’s tricky and SMART. I think DC audiences will eat it up, because they are also tricky and SMART.
What is your favorite line or lines in the show and what is your favorite line or lines that someone else recites and why?
No, not going to give that away. This show is so full of slow-burn funny that I can’t give a line; there are exchanges that Fiona and I have trouble getting through without going full-on Harvey Korman as far as breaking. There are still times when we can’t look at each other when we know what’s coming next.
You came in when a member of the cast sustained an injury. When did that happen and how is she doing and what have been some of the challenges learning the role since you came in?
I did come in to replace an injured cast member. I don’t know how she is doing, that’s wrong of me, maybe I am a bit more Doreen than I thought.
The challenge was learning lines. (That rapid rattling sound you hear is the collective, fierce head-nodding of every director I have worked with since 2006.) I learn lines through rehearsing, kinesthetic learner here. And since our rehearsal process was really tight…ugg, I don’t want to think about it anymore.
What has been the most fun for you in rehearsals? What is the craziest thing that has happened in rehearsals?
What has been most fun are the lunch breaks. It has been really great re-connecting with Fi, getting to know Ian better, and hanging with the rest of the group. NOTHING crazy has happened in rehearsals because we have been working our a***es off.
What is the best advice or the most helpful suggestions that Director Ian Allen has given you that has made your performance better. And what suggestion made you shake your head in disbelief?
Best advice: slow down and don’t play the punchline.
Head-shaker: slow down?! Don’t play the punchline?!?!
What is it about Ian Allen that attracted you to join his new theatre company The Klunch?
I was a huge fan of Cherry Red. If you think of it in terms of human development Cherry Red was the nasty, punk-rock teenager; The Klunch has grown up, travelled, gotten a steady job and is ready to show us what its got going on now.
And what does heck does ‘The Klunch’ mean to you? And what do you hope The Klunch will offer local theatregoers that will entice them to come to see this new theater company’s productions?
I don’t know exactly but I expect smart, discomfitting, and slyly/darkly funny.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in George is Dead?
Any trash that they brought into the theatre with them.
George is Dead plays through December 19, 2015 at The Klunch performing at The DC Arts Center (DCAC) – 2438 18th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, buy them at the box office 30 minutes before the performance, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of ‘George is Dead’ at The Klunch: Part 1: John Tweel.
Meet the Cast of ‘George is Dead’ at The Klunch: Part 2: Fiona Blackshaw.
Meet the Cast of ‘George is Dead’ at The Klunch: Part 3: Kerri Rambow.