Bucks County Playhouse announced earlier this year that they would be presenting THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES with a star-studded cast. The cast includes Andrea McArdle, Adriane Lenox, Olivia Oguma and Zuzanna Szadkowski. In addition, Karen Lynn Carpenter directs the show. These multi-talented artists bring a variety of talent to the show.
The Bucks County Playhouse collaborated with A Woman's Place, the only domestic violence organization in Bucks County, for this production of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. Ten dollars from every ticket sale will be donated to the organization. Ifeoma Aduba, the Executive Director of A Woman's Place, explains that A Woman's Place offers an array of services. They assist victims of domestic abuse, as well as prevention education. The organization's mission is "a community-based social change organization committed to the empowerment of women and to ending intimate and domestic violence for all." Aduba also illustrates that "there is an importance to the message of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. The show helps raise awareness and people come away from the show with acknowledging shared experiences as well as recognizing violations women experience." Lastly, Aduba adds that the relationship between the Bucks County Playhouse and A Woman's Place "helps the community see that these two organizations are committed to creativity and the community."
We had the privilege to speak to two members of the cast, Andrea McArdle and Adriane Lenox, to discuss their careers and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, which opens February 13 and runs through February 17.
Kelli Curtin: Who influenced you as a stage performer? Were there performers who influenced you as a child and are there ones who continue to influence you in your continuing career?
Andrea McArdle: One of the people that I have listened to throughout my life is Angela Lansbury. Specifically, her performance in musicals such as MAME. The thing with performing in musicals is that you have to have a great voice, but you also have to be able to act. Angela was successful in both those aspects in MAME. Also, as a musical influence I listen to a lot of R&B and jazz - especially Philly R&B and jazz artists.
Adriane Lenox:I have been a performer for as long as I can remember. I performed in Sunday School and church plays. The people there encouraged me to speak well. I also watched black and white movies and actors such as Carol Burnett, Loretta Young and Lucille Ball influenced me. Now, I watch Turner Classic Movies and still learn from these movies. I continue to watch really good actors and the people I worked with such as Robert DeNiro and Sandra Bullock.
Kelli Curtin: Which roles that you have played have been the most challenging? The most rewarding?
Andrea McArdle:I have played many characters such as Annie in ANNIE and Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The most challenging and the most rewarding was playing Sally Bowles in CABERET. It was a change of pace to go from playing Belle to playing the bad girl, Sally Bowles. I found playing the bad girl character rewarding.
Adriane Lenox:The most challenging for me would be MISS EVERS' BOYS. In the role I had to transform with the passage of time, and having a character that ages within the story was challenging. The most rewarding was DINAH WAS - a play about singer Dinah Washington. I played a multiple character role in that play. This was the play that people really started to recognize my various talents and me.