A Chat With Actor Hannah Wayne-Phillips at the Watermark Theatre
Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?
HWP: The incredible thing about live theatre is, every night is different because every night we get a new scene partner- the audience. One of the wonderful things about working in an intimate space like Watermark is that as actors we can really be present with the audience and have an exchange with the audience. That relationship, or that exchange, is very different with different groups of people and that alone keeps the work fresh. Sometimes I also like to focus on one detail and see how it changes the action. So I might focus on how a certain memory from childhood, or a relationship with a character in the play, affects the character’s journey in the play.
Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the island?
HWP: I am thrilled to be spending the summer on the island. I’m excited for many things about being in PEI this summer, but top of the list is getting to swim in the Atlantic Ocean everyday.
Q: Tell me about the characters you are playing this summer?
HWP: I am very excited about the two characters I will be playing this summer! In Boeing Boeing I’m playing Berthe, a Parisian maid, who already has me busting a gut at her bold and slightly cantankerous way of communicating with her boss. Amidst her boss’ chaotic lifestyle, Berthe applies her shrewd and exacting mind to holding the house together, and with great success (most of the time). Berthe runs a tight ship; she has a ubiquitous watch over her domain. I cannot wait to jump into the skin of this fiery, smart-as-a-whip, subversive, fretful, wonderfully dramatic Parisian.
I’m also playing Lenny in Crimes of the Heart. Lenny and her sisters have already captured my heart and imagination. Lenny is the sister who is the caregiver; she is reliable, and self-sacrificing. She’s very interesting to me, because at face value she appears meek, but just below the surface she has a depth of soul and an emotional life that is very intense and at times quite dark. When we meet Lenny at the beginning of the play her life is very hermitic. Yet, she yearns for a life that’s bigger, with more passion than she believes she is able to have. That internal tension and Lenny’s journey to becoming an active person is extraordinary to me. I am very excited to fall further in love with this wish-making, horse-riding, yearning, cautious, sensitive, intense, empathetic misfit.
Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?
HWP: Yes! Alex Montagnese and I were in the same class for our MFA in Acting at York. We always hoped we would be able to share the stage again soon, and I’m thrilled that the opportunity has come again so quickly. Alex is a truly gifted artist and I can’t wait to jump into the ring with her and the entire cast this summer.
PEI Professional Theatre Network
PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse