Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Interviewer and the Pea (Day Four)

Well folks, a new season is upon us! A new season of adventure and comedy. A season a new faces. And to introduce some of those new faces (as well as say hello to some returning ones) we are once again sitting down with our latest cast for a series of interviews. I took a few moments to sit down and talk with newcomer Danika Wood.

So, Welcome to the Makeshift Family, tell our readers a bit about yourself!
I grew up in Ithaca, New York. I can remember being bitten by the acting bug when I was 6, and auditioned for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Hangar Theatre. I didn't get a role, but my sister did, and I was so jealous of her! But I went on to take classes and perform at various theatres in Ithaca. I was involved with, and for a year was Artistic Director of, Orange Tree Theatre Company, which was made up of kids ages 8-18 only; we did everything ourselves, and I'm very proud of having been a part of it. I received a BFA in acting from Syracuse University, where I played Bardolph in Henry V and Jack's Mother in Into the Woods as well as other roles. When I graduated I moved to New York City, where I lived for the past several years. My most recent role there was The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.

This is your first show with Makeshift, what has that been like for you?
Having just moved to Boston from New York, this is my first time with Makeshift and I am so glad I got to be a part of this production! It has been a professional and really fun experience! Plus, everyone is not only talented, but so nice!

What role will our audiences see you as when Pricness and the Pea opens this weekend?
I play Queen Margaret of the Northeast Kingdom. It is always fun to play the ruler of a kingdom and imagine all my subjects, and my huge castle, and collection of velvet capes, and the cast-iron footed bathtubs in every bathroom. (No? Just me?) Queen Margaret is very proper and very bossy, and while I myself do not see much of a resemblance, I imagine if you'd asked my brother and sisters when I was, say, 10 years-old, they might disagree.

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do as an actor?
I guess the hardest thing I had to do physically was perform something like 40 shows as a One-Armed Woman in a show called The Dybbuk. I had one arm in a sleeve strapped across my body and tied and a giant puppet in the other hand. To top it off, it was a period show and I was wearing a corset. Unless you've spent time in a corset, I couldn't explain to you the uniquely horrifying aspects. All in all, it was an extraordinarily claustrophobic experience. Luckily the show was beautiful and I was offstage a lot.

Of all the shows you've ever been in , which was your absolute favorite?
I couldn't pick! Each experience brought something different into my experience as an actor, whether it's working with a phenomenal director who inspired me, getting to sing and dance in a favorite musical, perform Shakespeare for the first time, or play a man and speak French.

How do you prepare before you step on stage?
I always warm up my body and my voice so that they're ready for anything. And then I always drink too much water, so I end up visiting the restroom a few times.

What advice would you give to a young person in the audience who might be interested in theatre?
There are so many classes out there right now for young people, in acting, singing, probably design and directing too, just get out there! If you're not finding what you need out there, you can always create it! I was involved with a theater company who had no one over the age of 18. Get involved in everything you can, at school, community theatre, local theatres; especially at this point every experience is valuable. Also make sure you go see a lot of theater, as much as you can. I remember seeing King Lear when I was 13, and I didn't understand one whit of it, but believe it or not I am still inspired by it today.

What do you think families should take away from Princess and the Pea?
It doesn't matter whether you are a Princess or a Tailor or anyone in between, what matters is who you are inside. Love, especially, doesn't know any titles or status and when you love someone, you should love her completely, no matter who she is or where she comes from.

The Princess and the Pea is performing throughout October. Visit for more information!

The Regent Theatre
Arlington, MA
Sunday October 17th 1:00pm
Saturday October 23 10:30am

Riverside Theatre Works
Hyde Park, MA
Saturday October 2
11:00am & 1:00pm

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