Women of The Revolutionists: Jane Froiland as Marie Antoinette

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre, and PRIME Productions present the final installment in the Women Wednesday Interview Series! For our last interview, we sat down with Jane Froiland, who plays the iconic former Queen Marie Antionette in The Revolutionists

Jane first discovered her love of acting when her second-grade teacher nurtured the creativity in her by carving time out of the school day for Jane to perform scenes. These scenes were completely made up by Jane and oftentimes included roping in the rest of her classmates. 

Jane later continued her studies at Normandale Community College and University of Minnesota, but was determined not to be a theatre major. After getting a theatre scholarship and excelling, she came to the conclusion, “I’ll be a theatre major even if it means I’ll have a miserable life.” Yet, college Jane would be comforted to know that her life seems to be everything but miserable! Since 2010, Jane has been completely freelance. For her, this means she gets to work in theater, television, film, and more. “Anything that I can use my very narrow but deep skillset is what I do now,” Jane shares. Last fall she even consulted with a politician for debate preparation. 

Working on The Revolutionists is particularly special because “this production shows that there’s room for a bunch of women.” Being part of an all-female cast is an experience that not many actors get. Jane’s first union house show was right here in Park Square Theatre, and it is great to have her back on the Proscenium Stage as Marie Antionette in The Revolutionists.

This play is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character. Who is she and how did you prepare for your role?

I was gunning for this role for a long time, ever since I first played her in a different show called Marie Antionette 5 years ago. Somebody asked me, “You know there’s another play with Marie Antionette out there?” They sent me the script and the moment I read it I knew exactly how to play this role. And that’s partly due to Lauren Gunderson’s really great writing, but a lot of research was embedded from that previous show for me.

Marie Antionette herself is not particularly fascinating to me, it is the way history at the time–her culture at the time and the culture to this day–has treated her. It is almost entirely false and it is in a way that she does not necessarily deserve. People don’t really know much about who she really was. They are obsessed with the way she dressed and her as an icon, so it’s very funny to me that 250 years later she’s still famous. The fact that she’s kind of like a pre-Kardashian is what I like about her. But underneath all of that, she was really just an average young woman who was constantly thrown into situations that she didn’t ask for. She was simply doing her best…and she really liked pretty clothes. That’s really who she was, and then she just got a really bad deal. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

I love how quick and snappy the dialogue is! As I said earlier, Lauren Gunderson has written this so well that she’s almost scored it. It’s almost like reading music. I know exactly how she wants it done, so that means, as an actor, I just get to play within this incredible structure. Lauren Gunderson built us this wonderful playground and we can play on it however we want! Or she drew this beautiful painting and I can color it however I like! It’s really satisfying as a performer to be able to have so much room to play and have moments of real poignancy and weight alongside the funny ones. 

This is the second time that you are playing the character Marie Antionette, how is this time different? How did the past experience with acting as Marie Antionette help in this new play?

Well, what helps is that I already have a bunch of language for her so I can easily access a bunch of her history in my brain. I would even study paintings of her to see how she would pose and the facial expressions she made. Granted, those are all artist interpretations, but it goes into my brain. I know a lot about her from having a previous rehearsal process where I could try things to see what failed and succeeded there. I have a language already. 

What makes playing Marie different now is that I also have to acknowledge that this is a different show. Here, Marie is part of an ensemble whereas everyone else was an ensemble around Marie in the previous show. Though that works to Marie’s character too because, to Marie, the world does revolve around her. Now that I have all of this information in my brain and body about her, it’s asking the question: what does that bring to this piece, to this time, and to this process opposite these women? It’s really fun to have this extra rich layer to be able to bring to the table. There are definitely worse people to play multiple times. I hope that, if there’s ever another one, people would be like ‘well let’s get Jane Froiland on the phone!’  I would be honored to keep playing Marie Antionette.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

I hope that they experience the full gamut of catching a couple of feelings. I hope that they laugh and that the poignancy makes them think a little. I hope that everyone has a good time and leaves feeling energized. My biggest hope, though, is for everyone to leave the theater, get on the phone, and start googling these women. 


The Revolutionists is playing on the Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage from March 31st to April 16th. To buy tickets, please call the box office at 651-291-7005 or visit https://parksquaretheatre.easy-ware-ticketing.com/events

Interview & Article by Victoria Martynko


The box office is currently closed. Please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org with any questions.

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