Amadeus, the late Peter Shaffer’s Tony and Academy award winning masterpiece opens next week, September 30, 2016, at the James Lee Community Center Theater and kicks off the Providence Players 2016-2017 season. In Part 3 of interviews with the cast and Director of Amadeus, meet Julia Buhagiar who plays Constanze Weber.
Chip: Please tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on our local stages and roles you have played.
I am thrilled to be making my Washington area stage debut with the Providence Players. I recently graduated from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Over the years I have had the opportunity to perform in a number of productions including The Nutcracker, Mame, The Sound of Music, Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, and A Christmas Carol. I am truly grateful for the opportunity Director Julie Janson has given me to perform in this brilliant play with an amazing team of actors and crew.
You are playing the wife of Mozart, who is a larger than life figure. What challenges do you face playing Constanze and how have you managed to make the role your own?
The most challenging part of playing Constanze is finding the balance between her lighter and more serious moments. She has this infectious, fun personality, but at the same time she is street-smart and not to be messed with. I have tried to make the role my own by embracing, what I imagine would be, my natural reaction to some of the challenges she faces.
The author of Amadeus, Peter Shaffer, died the same day that your company announced the show to the membership. How does Sir Peter’s passing alter this performance?
Sir Peter Shaffer’s passing, I think, enhances the performance in a way, because we not only want to show our respect to him as a writer, but we want to honor his life and his amazing accomplishments.
For the most part, your production will not be using traditional 18th Century costuming and design in an effort to convey the timelessness of the work. How do you feel about this direction?
I feel that the story of Amadeus is so relatable that whether or not the characters are wearing period dress, the audience will still be able to take away the same overall story as it pertains to life today. I think the director’s overall vision, departing from some of the traditional staging of Amadeus, to enhance focus on both the story and the music will be welcomed by audiences.
What does Amadeus bring to today’s audiences? Why should people see this particular run?
Mozart was a brilliant composer because of his ability to tap into real life within his music. The story of Amadeus is a wonderful reminder of how important relationships are and how easily they can be influenced. People should come see this particular run of Amadeus because the amount of hard work and creativity that has gone into the making of this production. It will create a show they would not want to miss.
Traditionally, Amadeus mimes the musical pieces of the show but your production will have some live singing and playing. What do you feel this brings to the show?
Having live music be part of the show adds a beautifully authentic component to our production and allows for the audience to better feel like they are a part of the story. Using the talents of the cast to bring the music live to the audience, really adds to the production values.
How have Director Julie Janson and Music Director Kyle Keene helped you and the cast to mold your performances?
Julie and Kyle are wonderful directors in the way that they give a general direction and wait to see what creativity the actors bring to the table. I don’t just feel like I am rehearsing a play, I am learning to be a better actor. Julie has taught me to ask the right questions about my character and weigh the different points of view.
Why do you think Amadeus is still so popular so many decades after it opened?
It is an amazing story. It pushes so many emotional buttons. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry!”
Amadeus plays from September 30- October 15, 2016 at the James Lee Community Center Theater – 2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church VA 22031. For tickets, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (703) 425-6782, and leave a message, or purchase them online (there is no fee).
Here Are Performance Dates And Times:
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 PM on September 30th, October 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, and 15th. Sunday Matinees are at 2:00 PM on October 2nd and 9th. Tickets are $20 for Adults and $17 for Seniors and Students.
Meet the Cast and Director of Providence Players’ ‘Amadeus’ Part 1: Meet David Whitehead (Salieri) by Chip Gertzog.
Meet the Cast and Director of Providence Players’ ‘Amadeus’ Part 2: Mike Ruddent by Chip Gertzog.
Meet the Cast and Director of Providence Players’ ‘Amadeus’ Part 3: Julia Buhagiar as Constanze by Chip Gertzog.