In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Montgomery Playhouse’s Postmortem, meet Sydney Ouellette.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages.
Sydney: My name is Sydney Ouellette and I am playing the role of Louise Parradine in Montgomery Playhouse’s Postmortem. Originally hailing from New Hampshire, I recently finished my studies at American University and am pleased that this will be my first production postgrad.
Why did you want to become a member of the cast of Postmortem?
Having recently finished school, I was itching to dive back into the community theater scene. When I heard that Postmortem was The Montgomery Playhouse’s next production, I was thrilled to audition and explore more of the challenges behind the mystery/thriller drama.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to this character?
Ms. Louise Parradine is a very eccentric character, and having been an actress in a famous New York production in the roaring 1920’s, being the center of attention is her forte. As Director Loretto McNally puts it, “Everything is way over the top!” However, most of these characters are putting on a farce. In this instance, Louise is a very complex character with layers that not everyone gets to see, which is why I relate to her as she struggles with her inner conflict of love and loss.
What were some of the challenges you faced while learning your role and how did Director Loretto McNally help you with these challenges?
Being able to submerse yourself into a piece is a wonderfully challenging and rewarding experience. With such little backstory aside from what is explained in the exposition, it was great to explore and formulate key moments that would impact the character before entering the present moment of the play. Loretto McNally has been an incredible director in allowing me to explore my character’s past, present, and future, while continuously raising the stakes in each scene.
What does Postmortem have to say to today’s audiences?
This is a story where every character has a different angle, depending on who the audience decides to place their faith in. Like a good mystery, almost everyone has a motive. But perhaps the most interesting driving force of this play are the women. Each woman represents some form of insecurity and strength, while willing to take charge and challenge the conventional 1920’s norm. And of course the actors portraying these women have all been very intuitive and wonderful to work with.
Which character is most like you and why and how?
I would have to say that I relate to Lilly the most, because she has always been this great moderator of conversation or the “hostess with the most-est.” She can command a presence when she needs to, but can also sit and listen as the storytelling goes on. But perhaps she is mostly relatable to me when I am running late to a dinner party: Stressed and possibly in the wrong outfit.
What are your favorite lines that you recite and your favorite lines that other characters recite in Postmortem?
There is a fine line that Louise balances on when she comes across someone she does not particularly like. It is coy, manipulating, and hits them where it hurts. But the audience will just have to wait hear these saucy lines! There are also a few comedic one liners that made their way into the script that make me laugh every time, especially since these characters are all actors, it is great to hear their witty play on words when having a conversation.
What do you want audience members to take away with them after seeing you perform in Postmortem?
I hope the audience takes away the point that innocence is not so cut and dry. The simple plot of the play in and of itself is not at all that simple. I encourage the audience members to really enjoy these characters in this time period while also keeping an open mind. Exclude the impossible and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
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.
Meet the cast of ‘Postmortem’ at The Montgomery Playhouse: Part 1: Gemma Davimes.
Meet the cast of ‘Postmortem’ at The Montgomery Playhouse: Part 2: Dell Pendergrast.
Meet the cast of ‘Postmortem’ at Montgomery Playhouse: Part 3: Sydney Ouellette.