Thursday, August 21, 2014

Behind the Curtain with Geneva Carr

by Chad Kinsman, Artistic & Management Coordinator

Full Given Name: Geneva Louise Carr. As far as stage names go, I just got lucky. Thank you Grandma Neva and Grandma Lulu!

Hometown: My dad's job took him all over the Midwest and East Coast. I'd lived in 11 states by the age of 18 and then went and lived in France for several years. But my hometown is now and forever New York City. It's the melting pot that finally welcomed me home nearly 20 years ago.

First time on stage: Speed-The-Plow. The cloggers of Minnesota couldn't make a scheduled show in Peekskill, so the theater had to find a last minute fill in for one night. I was in an acting class and my scene partner had worked there. He got a call to see if he had an idea. We rehearsed for a week, did the show one night and I got my Equity card. Miracles do happen.

Biggest onstage disaster: I was in a show at Rattlestick Theater with the fabulous actor, Rob Sedwick. The scene called for me to point a gun at him and threaten his life. I got on stage and there was no gun in sight. We did the scene as planned and I obviously had a look of sheer panic on my face. What was I going to do?! As we approached the critical moment, Rob looked at a book on the table he was sitting at and cried out, "Don't you try and kill me with that book!" I grabbed it and well, tried to threaten his life. Barely held it together on stage. We laughed for days. But the show went on!

Dream role you’ve not performed yet: Martha in Albee's brilliant play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Why you love Things We Do For Love: First, it should be known that I would act out the phone book if Joey Tillinger asked me. And when he asked me to be a part of Things We Do For Love, I jumped. And then I squealed. Both with terror and joy. This play is the most challenging of all the plays of Ayckbourn's that I've done at the Playhouse. It's funny and it's deep. It's about risking everything for love when we find it, even when broken hearts and egos are at stake. Juxtaposed with the unbridled comedy genius of Ayckbourn are real consequences. And hopefully that will touch audience members.

Describe your experience working with the Playhouse: In addition to several script in hand readings, this is my fourth play at the Playhouse and the simple reason I come back is The Staff. From the producers to the administration to the stage management to the interns to everyone there, the experience is always fabulous. You come in and you are welcomed with open arms. You can focus on the play because anything, and everything is attended to with precision and passion by a team of people. And of course, the theater and the grounds are beautiful. Being on that stage drenched in Theatrical History is a thrill.

Book on your nightstand: Having just married a Japanese man, I am reading The Tale of Genji. Trying to get a few pages in at bedtime. It's over a thousand pages, so it may take awhile. Thank goodness my husband Yuji is a patient man.

Last great movie you saw: Obvious Child with my Japanese teacher. I feel the need to give her a little American culture in exchange.

Guilty pleasure: Magazines. Specifically fitness magazines. Reading about what I "should" be doing makes me feel fit and fabulous. The power of suggestion?

Your motto: Go for it!

Best piece of advice you’ve received: Do it. Now. My dear friend and mentor, the late actress Jane Hoffman, gave me that advice. Not as succinctly as that, but watching her live life to the fullest every day was an inspiration.

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