Here’s a short Q&A with Toronto-based actor Marina Moreira, who delivers a delightful bilingual (Portugese/English) performance as reluctant house-cleaner Matilde in Sarah Ruhl‘s The Clean House, directed by Ali Joy Richardson. Ruhl’s play, opening Friday at Alumnae Theatre Company, tells the story of Matilde, an aspiring comedian who moves from Brazil to Connecticut after the unexpected death of her parents to clean the house of two married doctors. It’s soon apparent that she gets swept up in more than just dust bunnies. Moreira, who is Portuguese Canadian, gives us some insight as to what it’s been like to play Matilde.
Q: What has your experience has been like performing in a bilingual play as a bilingual actor?
A: So exciting! I grew up speaking both English and Portuguese, the transition between the two is so natural for me, but I never get to do that on stage. I’m excited because I get to play a character who is connected to my life not only in experience or personality, but also in language. Also, I’m excited that my parents get to come see the show and have a connection to what I do (even though they will likely poke fun at me for being so excited).
Q: What has it been like exploring a character whose cultural background aligns in some ways with your own?
A: Familiar? I don’t know how to explain it. It feels comfortable to speak the language and tell the jokes and not imagine that there is a gap between myself and the character I am playing. I guess seamless is a better word for it.
Q: Is there anything that particularly interests you about the character Matilde?
A: I love her deadpan nature. She is written as a character who is observant and not afraid to share her observations with others. She is much bolder than I am.
Marina and the rest of the cast clean up April 7 – 22! Performances Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. Tickets: 2-for-1 Wed; $20 Thu – Sat; PWYC Sun.
Purchase Wed – Sat* tickets online (www.alumnaetheatre.com), or reserve seats via phone (416-364-4170 Box 1) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and pay cash at the door. Please note that Box Office does not accept credit or debit cards for in-person sales. *Sunday matinee tickets not available online.
Post-show talkback: Sunday, April 9 following 2pm show
FREE Pre-show event “Laughter Yoga”: Thursday, April 20 at 6:45pm. See https://www.facebook.com/events/285150885243312/ for more info.
Follow us on Twitter: @AlumnaeTheatre #CleanHouseTO