By Andrew Gans
24 May 2014
Here, via email, we hear from actress Jean Lichty, who currently stars as Lila in the revival of William Inge's A Loss of Roses at Theatre at St. Clement's.
What show recently impressed you?
As an avid Ingephile, I was most impressed by TACT's revival of William Inge's Natural Affection. As soon as I walked into the theatre and saw the set, I felt as if they had created both Inge's world and the world of the play. And once the play began, I entered its world and was transported. Kathryn Erbe held everything together, and John Pankow was simply brilliant, giving one of the best stage performances that I have ever experienced.
What production are you most excited to see?
I can't wait to see Straight White Men at the Public Theater later this year. It features my mentor, Austin Pendleton, in a role that Young Jean Lee wrote for him. I also look forward to seeing Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, another play about the hidden terrors of an upper middle class family. Directed by Pam MacKinnon and starring Glenn Close, Lindsay Duncan and Martha Plimpton, it abounds with women, something that I always appreciate.
Notwithstanding A Loss of Roses, the play that I am currently doing, I would love to revive The Traveling Lady by Horton Foote and play Georgette Thomas, a role that the legendary Kim Stanley originated. Georgette has to decide between two men, her charismatic ne'er-do-well husband and a local cotton buyer, the nicest man that she has ever met. And, she makes the right choice, which I find so refreshing.
I also would love to tackle the role of Mae Wilenski in Clifford Odets' Clash by Night. A role that Tallulah Bankhead originated and Barbara Stanwyck played in the film version, Mae is another woman torn between two men. But, in this instance, disaster ensues. And, it would be so thrilling to revive a play that has been dormant since its 1941 debut.
What are your current/upcoming projects?
This summer, I plan to stage a reading of Horton Foote's The Traveling Lady, under the auspices of my newly established theatre company, La Femme Theatre Productions. I then travel to the Delaware Theatre Company to play the title role in Nora, Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House. Directed by the Broadway veteran actor Michael Mastro, it looks to be an outstanding and exciting production.