Award-winning actress Meredith Rust is scoring kudos in Laurie Rae Waugh’s production of Irving Greenfield’s BANNED IN BISBEE – an adventure piece about literary characters of an author (um-Irving) coming to life. This play -m as per many reviews – is on to see.
We thought we’d take a page or two of comments from Meredith Rust, winner of the prestigious Jean Dalrymple Award, and bring them to life.
Thank for joining us, let’s star with you sharing some thoughts on you as an artists.
To me, life is art, and everyday is a chance to reflect your soul. It’s beauty and it’s ugliness. Every aspect of our lives has a chance to be artful. Awareness and careful thought create worlds we can inhabit and tend to. But It takes a certain amount of rigor and discipline to craft a world you can call your own.
Tell us a little about your role in the play and how it effects the overall plot.
In Banned in Bisbee, I play June Furst, the town librarian. She is unafraid of the truth and tells it like it is. She doesn’t believe in banning books and keeps to her own compass of what she believes is right. She’ll blurt out anything. She’s a sharp woman unafraid of the men in town who try to keep a tight lid on things. She aids in the trial conducted by captain Boxer- by telling the truth.
Do you feel the play resonates with audiences today?
Banned in Bisbee is especially relevant in today’s climate of a polarized America. In some areas, where the Bible has replaced the science books, and people believe what they are told, banning books is a reality. We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s true for everyone. As my character states “[our kids] critical skills are well below the national norm”
An actor in NYC? Are you a native New Yorker? If so, how has NY theater changed in your time in it. If you’re from elsewhere – so how’s NY working’ out for you?
I’ve been in New York theater for seven years, coming from a non-theater world. I think it’s alive and vibrant and so varied and voracious. There is room for everyone and every idea. Broadway shows are brilliantly spectacular, and Off-Broadway shows are top-notch, as well as affordable. The well of talent here is like no other. It’s thrilling to be a part of it.
To you, what makes up a real actor (I say real as good can be interpreted so many ways)
Acting is about honesty. Being unafraid to go to those weird places in all of us. It is truly playing. Like children. Envisioning a world, a person, in your head and sharing it with others. As an actor, I find that every role comes to you for a reason, at just the right time. And I might add-doing the work-it’s not always about fame or acclaim-but exploration and dedication.
What’s your next endeavor?
Next on my schedule, I will be appearing in a new play by Dorian Palumbo in the fall entitled “Divination”, also at ATA, where I play a Scottish clairvoyant living in New Jersey. I lead a group of women who all share certain “gifts”. It is an all women cast, and it’s going to be great fun!