A Chat With Actor Alexandra Montagnese
Q: Tell me about the characters you’re playing this summer?
AM: I am playing Gabriella in Boeing Boeing the passionate, feisty yet forgiving, Italian flight attendant. She speaks a language of love through her actions and soon becomes protective when she starts to catch wind of the situation at hand. All Gabriella wants is calm sensual companionship in an otherwise turbulent lifestyle, hopping airport to airport without much time to lay roots.
In contrast, I play the social butterfly, Chick in Crimes of the Heart letting me dig in the deep rootedness of southern American family matters. I’m playing the cousin to the three sisters at the centre of the story. Every time we see Chick, she is coming from a meeting, or headed to another responsibility, always with an eye for scrutiny and decorum. She is sharp, ready to pounce, and will certainly fill any dead air with her extensively long sentences. She’s got this fast-talking, friendly manner of getting what she wants while tossing jabs here and there, if you catch them.
Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?
AM: I was lucky enough to spend 2 years at York U with Hannah where we did our MFA together. And when I say together, I mean there were only 5 of us in the acting program, and we spent day and night, every single class, and rehearsals together. We even got to play sisters in Three Sisters as both of our thesis roles.
Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the Island?
AM: This is my first time on PEI and I am just delighted to start the summer full of seafood and sandy beaches! I’ve made extensive lists of all the things I want to do while on the island but I am most excited to go on adventures and see things I’ve never seen before. I’ll be the one asking people where I should go on my days off.
Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?
AM: The wonderful thing about theatre is that it’s humans every night, and as long as I remain true and honest with where I’m at, it will be fresh and interesting and new. I really value the work my fellow actors do, and out of respect to them, I listen, and respond authentically to what they’re offering. To me, honouring the work stage management, direction, lights, sound, front of house, and all the folks working to put me there onstage keeps me motivated. I also like to dedicate each night to a new person in the audience, whether I know them or not.
Robert Tsonos Artistic Director
PEI Professional Theatre Network