Stories & Cast Interviews
Sister Amnesia! Is that you?
Jeanne Tinker plays the somewhat confused, Sister Mary Paul (aka Sister Amnesia).
Touch me, feel me!!
I caught up with the hilarious Amy Griffin who plays several character roles in the show.
I grew up in Melrose, Massachusetts--a suburb of Boston. I went to college at Northwestern University out in the Chicago area.
My brother and I used to put on plays in our basement and force our parents to watch. I have had some wonderful teachers, especially Dawn Mora at Northwestern. I still use what she taught me basically every day.
Oooh, there are too many favorite shows to count! I will say PETER PAN was always my favorite growing up. I am incredibly blessed to have played the dream role of Peter Pan seven(!) times.
I grew up in a very funny family, so I think I was naturally inclined to be funny from following their example. I do think some of comic timing is innate, like having an ear for music. I am indeed a huge Mel Brooks fan--he's one of my dad's favorites, so I grew up watching all his movies. I think I first saw THE PRODUCERS when I was about eight. My brother and I used to run around the house yelling, "Bialystock and Bloom" in a Swedish accent, a la Ulla. .
My son Nicholas saw me as Peter Pan last summer when he was two and a half. That was a big thrill--I think it was even more thrilling for me than it was for him. He kept pointing and saying "Mommy flying!" My husband was desperately shushing him during the performance.
Most of the time I'm offstage, I am chasing my three-year-old son. I am a working mom, so any downtime I get is a huuuuge luxury! After my son is asleep, my husband and I snuggle on the couch and commune with our TiVo.
ULLA - licious!
I spoke to Karyn McNay who is wowing the audiences as the tantalizing Ulla! She said:
I grew up in Quincy, Illinois. Its a fairly small town on the Mississippi River. My immediate family was simply my parents and one older brother, but nearly all of my extended family lived within a few blocks from our house. No one in my family, to my knowledge, has ever been involved in the arts whatsoever. I was lucky that the community had such an incredible support for the arts and wonderful outlets for kids to experience.
I sort of became an actor unintentionally, really. I have always wanted to be a singer. That's really where my talent lay as a child, and it’s what drew me to performing. I knew early on that I loved musicals, loved the fact that songs could tell a story and convey feeling. I went to college for musical theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University and had some wonderful professors who really inspired me to explore my love of the theatre and acting as well as my love of music.
I have so many musicals that I love, and truthfully, most of my dream roles hold that place because I want so badly to be in the show itself. I’d love to play Eva Peron in Evita. Mother in Ragtime. Then there are the ones I literally will never play, but this about dreams, right? Anita in West Side Story, Effie in Dreamgirls, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha!
Being on the Road itself is always an adventure. My favorite thing about performing The Producers in so many different areas of the country was seeing how every person in every culture reacted to all of the comedy. Everyone would laugh.. a lot. How can you not? Mel Brooks’ humor is incredible. But what they found funny changed drastically from place to place. It was fascinating. Gosh, I wish I had gotten the opportunity to meet Mel Brooks. I’m not through yet, though.... maybe we’ll cross paths eventually.
There are certainly those who just are naturally hilarious, but I don’t think anything is beyond the realm of learning. It just takes time. I feel very lucky to have gotten to work on this show so much, with so many seasoned comedians. It makes it a lot easier to learn by example.
I’m obsessed with arts and crafts. I’m always knitting or sewing, I make my own crystal jewelry. I love to paint and redecorate my apartment. There is always something. I also am a puzzle enthusiast. I do crosswords, sudoku, logic or mathematical puzzles almost every day. My iPod has all sorts of things on it. Beatles, Feist, John Mayer, Tons of musicals, The Format, Running Still, Lots of 50’s/60’s. Jazz standards...... I have to keep my options open!
The company of The Producers