THE WAYWARD WOMEN opens March 17 at Mary’s Attic (5400 N Clark St)
AMANDA CARSON plays THE DUCHESS, PENTI CELIA
Q: How long have you been in Chicago?
AMANDA: I have only been in Chicago since June of 2015, so I am fairly new. I have not worked with many companies here yet, but I have had a few lovely opportunities working on a web series and some sketch shows. Hoping to continue to network even more with the wonderful theatre community here in Chicago.
Q: What can you tell us about Penti Celia, the Duchess of Amosa?
AMANDA: The Duchess is, simply put, the baddest bitch in town. Haha, I mean, she is the ruler of Amosa, she has the highest rank, but she also has the difficult job of keeping her feisty knights in line. I think the Duchess exudes power through height – physical height and heightened language – because she has to contrast the physical power of the others. She is a dreamer, she is a romantic, she is confident, and I think the audience will like her ability to be the calm in the midst of chaos; however, she is not weak, for it takes a powerful person to command others through voice and demeanor alone.
Q: THE WAYWARD WOMEN is set on the fictional Island of Amosa, a matriarchal society. Does this differ much from other performances?
AMANDA: This very much differs from other plays, being that it takes place in a matriarchal society! There is a combination of taking pride in the power and strength of women, and also of poking fun and the attitudes shown toward women in today’s society by making this obvious gender reversal. The result can be exaggerated at times, but I think it makes a humorous yet important commentary on the roles of men vs. women; many of the matriarchal themes come from stereotypical but true interactions and treatments in patriarchal societies. I feel a sense of safety playing a character who is indeed the ruler of this land, because I’m not fighting with men for power. The Duchess makes the rules, the Duchess uses her power for punishment and reward, without any permission from a husband or male counterpart, and that is an exciting opportunity for playing onstage and with other characters, both male and female.
Q: How much experience do you have with Elizabethan theater? Do you have a favorite play? Character?
AMANDA: I do not have a lot of experience with Shakespeare, aside from undergrad classes and scene/monologue studies. I have seen a fair amount of Shakespeare’s work performed, and I hope to keep growing in my knowledge and experience. My favorite Elizabethan/Jacobean play is ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford, of which I saw an amazing production directed by Declan Donnellan at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2012. I enjoy many of Shakespeare’s works, some of my favorites being Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and As You Like It.
Q: The Duchess is often the voice of reason in her scenes, and paradoxically is often ignored. Do you relate to this character at all, or is she a complete stranger to you?
AMANDA: I do relate to the Duchess, and I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to remain a leader in this strange world. I identify with her need for peace and structure, to her optimistic nature, and her fierce frustration when this outlook is challenged unnecessarily.
Q: Favorite line?
“And song, O music, heartbeats of the Earth,
Give this to me before all other shows,
For it alone is closest to the Nature
Of our highest Hopes, our dreams, reaching out
Like th’ daring Sapling out the lowly soil
Of our baser atavism.”
Q: Anything more you’d like to add?
AMANDA: “Moon’s wounds!”
Reach out like the daring sapling! Join us!
THE WAYWARD WOMEN
March 17 – April 2
Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays
Mary’s Attic, 5400 N Clark Street
$3 at the Door