More responses are coming in! Today we hear from Amy Zuch and Paula Schultz.
Q #1: Who do you play in A Woman of No Importance? Tell us a little about your character.
AMY ZUCH: I play Lady Stutfield. I tell my friends that if the ladies of WONI were the Golden Girls, she would be Rose. A bit naive.
PAULA SCHULTZ: I play Mrs. Allonby, a flirtatious and witty woman who enjoys male attention, a suggestive joke, and a stiff drink, not necessarily in that order.
Q #2: Director Paul Hardy has changed the setting of the play from the 1890’s (which is when Oscar Wilde wrote it) to the 1980’s. What surprised you about making the time switch? Did you discover issues or social mores that were surprisingly similar (or not) almost 100 years apart?
AMY ZUCH: I love the 80’s so it’s been very fun to experience. If you think back to all the classic 80’s movies, class actually was a reoccurring theme. There was always the preppy kids, or the poor kid who wanted to get in with the “it” crowd that was always rich. Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful… movies like that, but maybe not those specific movies. I can’t remember. The 80’s were a while ago.
[Ed note: yes, about 30 years. Love the crimped hair, Amy!]
PAULA SCHULTZ: it certainly got me thinking about the complexities of feminism throughout the ages. The post-dinner scene in which the women discuss their differing views on men and relationships and sex and power, certainly feels like it could happen in a contemporary context.
Q #3: Can you relate any anecdotes from rehearsal (e.g : another actor – in character or out – doing something unexpected)?
AMY ZUCH: I’m still a fan of grey sweater day. Paula [Paula Schultz, as Mrs. Allonby], Gillian [Gillian English as Lady Caroline] and I all showed up at rehearsal wearing pretty much the same sweater.
PAULA SCHULTZ: Well, Mr Kelvil (the wonderful James Graham) made a spectacular entrance during one rehearsal that none of us will soon forget. Let’s just say he was drunk. Very drunk. His character, I mean. Not James.
[Ed note: Hmmm. This is the second mention of James’ entrance – Gillian English described it as “committed”. Now I’m curious to hear what James himself intended!]
Q #4: Do you have a favourite line or moment from the play – yours or anyone else’s?
AMY ZUCH: I love Lady Hunstanton’s [Andy Fraser] lines that call out Illingworth’s nonsense talk. And that the audience is with her. She puts herself down, like it’s her fault that she doesn’t understand, but everyone knows it’s just that Illingworth [Andrew Batten] is full of it.
[Ed note: sorry, Andrew – looks like nobody’s buying your character analysis that Illingworth is “humble, self-effacing, warm, kind…” ]
PAULA SCHULTZ: One of my favourite lines belongs to Lady Hunstanton (the fabulous Andy Fraser): “No, dear, he was killed in the hunting field. Or was it fishing, Caroline?”
A Woman of No Importance runs until Feb 9. Don’t forget: following this Sunday’s matinee (Feb 3), there will be a Talkback with cast, director, and maybe some designers. Tickets are PWYC.