In Part 1 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Mongomery Playhouse’s Postmortem, meet Gemma Davimes.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages.
Gemma: My name is Gemma Davimes and I play May in Postmortem. My last show was Go Back for Murder, with Rockville Little Theatre, where I played Angela. The last show I was in with Montgomery Playhouse was Woody Allen, Woody Allen. I have also played Juliet in Central Park West. I’m very happy to be back.
Why did you want to become a member of the cast of Postmortem?
I knew I liked the board members at Montgomery Playhouse, and I love the stage (and wonderful staff) at the Arts Barn. I had heard wonderful things about Loretto, our director, and I thought the play sounded interesting. When I auditioned, I hadn’t read the show yet, and it ended up being a great experience to figure out my character with the other cast members. Everyone I auditioned with seemed really nice, and I’m very happy with our cast.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to this character?
My character’s name is May Dison. She is “an ingenue with a heart of steel.” I relate to her because she is a romantic but also has firm beliefs and stands behind them. She is very close with her family, both real and on the stage, and I can relate to that. Every cast I’ve been involved with has become like a family to me, and I’m very grateful.
What were some of the challenges you faced while learning your role and how did Director Loretto McNally help you with these challenges?
Loretto is wonderful at asking us about the character’s motivation for each scene. Why do we enter the room, why do we say what we say, what do we ultimately want from the character we are speaking with? With each new scene, I ended up naturally asking myself, “What do you know about May so far and what more do we learn after this dialogue?” It really helped to approach character development scene by scene, and have the pieces become the whole, rather than to analyze May all at once.
What does Postmortem have to say to today’s audiences?
Postmortem is largely about William Gillette’s relationships with different women in his life, both past and present. When people see the show, I hope they will realize how rich these female characters are, and how strong women can be, even during stressful or dangerous times. We don’t always have to be best friends to protect and care for one another.
Which character is most like you and why and how?
I really think I’m most like May, and it has been wonderful getting to know her character. She is very passionate about her family and friends, about theatre, and about those she loves. I think she feels everything deeply and can still act tough even during harder times.
What are your favorite lines that you recite and your favorite lines that other characters recite in Postmortem?
My favorite lines that I recite will spoil the plot for future audience members, and my favorite line that another actor says in Postmortem is, in my opinion, the funniest in the show. You’ll just have to come and see for yourself!
Where are you appearing next on the stage after Postmortem ends its run?
That’s a wonderful question. My mother moved to Florida recently and I plan to spend some time there after the show because we’re very close. So perhaps my next role will be on a Florida stage! I honestly audition all over the place and am always looking for new opportunities. Community theatre is one of my biggest passions.
What do you want audience members to take away with them after seeing you perform in Postmortem?
I hope they like the show as a whole. I’m always very honored whenever a stranger from the audience tells me they enjoyed my performance in particular, but this show is very much an ensemble piece. There are eight characters and they’re all very important to the plot. We’ve all been working very hard on our character development, relationships with one another, and our choreography during the more complicated scenes. I hope it shows! There are some thrilling moments, but overall it is a very entertaining piece with a little something for everyone.
Postmortem plays weekends from November 4-20, 2016 at The Montgomery Playhouse performing at the Kentlands Arts Barn – 311 Kent Square Road, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 258-6394, or purchase them online.