What brought you to acting?
It's been so long since I started, I'm not sure I remember the initial draw. Part of what keeps me acting is storytelling. I think the human animal needs storytelling as much as it needs food and water and sleep: look at the cave paintings -- that's storytelling. And, it probably goes back even longer than that.
I am drawn to telling stories, because I have been told so many wonderful stories, myself. And, because by telling stories I can inform or inspire or entertain, or do all three at once. Or, I can just help another person forget their troubles for a while. To me, that is very worthwhile.
What did 10-year-old Mary think she'd be when she grew up?
I honestly don't remember what I thought I might be. I remember telling someone once that I didn't want to be a nurse, like my Mother.
Ten-year-old me was probably already enjoying being told stories so much that somewhere inside, the foundation was laid to do it myself.
What is the greatest challenge of playing Petra Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Being the straight man.
What do you hope that Shakespeare in the Park fans will take away from A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Laughter; a pleasant memory of time spent with friends and family watching magic under the stars...
Other than yourself (!) who should play you in the feature film of your life?
I don't know, but I've been told that I look like Linda Hamilton, so maybe her?
What Shakespeare character's personality do you most resemble?
It sounds like a cop-out, but there are too many plays and too many characters that nothing leaps to mind. Maybe if I read or reread all the plays I would be able to say with assurance, "This one."
I can say that in some ways I identify with Kate from Taming of the Shrew; in other ways, with Queen Katharine from Henry VIII. Those are two very different women, so who knows? Maybe I most resemble one of those many male nobles from the Histories.
What's your superpower?
A facility with language and pronunciation. I can look at the most technical jargon and after a few practice runs, I can read it to you as if I know what I'm talking about.
Tragedy, comedy or history?
Truth or dare?
I...don't like this game.
More about Mary:
Mary experienced magic under the stars last summer, playing Paulina in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of The Winter’s Tale. Later last year, she had a rare opportunity to sing in Heresy/the Crackdown Cabaret at Next Act Theatre.
Mary has worked with: Next Act Theatre in Microcrisis, Youngblood Theater in Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, In Tandem Theatre in Equus, Two Rooms, and The Afghan Women, and Theatre X in The Hunting of the Snark, among others.
She has long had an interest in bringing historical figures to life, and since 2008 has portrayed Cordelia Harvey, former First Lady of Wisconsin during the Civil War, in a one woman show that is part of the Theater Program at the Kenosha Civil War Museum. Mary is loving making more magic unfold this summer, on a bluff overlooking the city, under velvet skies!
Follow Mary at her website.