As part of our ongoing Meet the Cast of Calendar Girls Blog Series, let us introduce you to Anna Hickey:
ROLE: Elaine, 20s
AS DESCRIBED IN PLAYWRIGHT TIM FIRTH’S SCRIPT:
Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie [see blog featuring Linda Kelsey] seems from another world. The world of her gran.
DIRECTOR MARY FINNERTY’S COMMENT:
Anna Hickey has a really fresh, sensual inhabitation of the character of Elaine. She also had great chemistry with Shanan Custer [who plays Ruth]. Anna has good comedic instincts and the ability to create a character with depth, which is important since her character is not on stage long.
QUESTION FOR ANNA:
Elaine is not an especially likeable character. What did you think of her, and how did that inform your role playing?
I wouldn’t describe Elaine’s character as “not likable.” She’s actually very charming and genuinely wants to help women feel better about themselves. To a different group of women, she’d be a hit. Of course, to the characters in this play she is problematic, but that is only five minutes of Elaine’s life. It’s important to look at the whole scope of the character and not just the snippet the audience gets to see. What is her history with male and female relationships? What are her wants, desires and dreams? I believe all characters are more than the sum of what we see on stage, and to me, Elaine is a woman who is passionate about beauty treatments, who has high hopes for a make-up career in film, who is greatly comforted by positive attention from others, and who is oblivious to the way her actions affect people. And that is so much more fun to play than simply being unlikable.
Park Square The School for Lies Representative Theatre Hennepin Theatre Trust: The Realish Housewives of Edina; Walking Shadow Theatre Company: The Three Musketeers; Illusion Theater: My Antonia; Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Spamalot; Loudmouth Collective: A Bright New Boise; Bloomington Civic Theatre: Singin’ in the Rain Training B.A., Theatre Arts, University of Minnesota; M.A., London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Other Freelance Choreographer and Teaching Artist with Stages Theatre Company