Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Streetcar Named Desire - Meet cast member Hilary Adams

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?

Eunice and I are kindred spirits, I think. We’ve both got very keen maternal instincts, loyal to those we care about, and we’re both prone to making a racket if something’s wrong. She’s funny and sarcastic, but at heart she’s incredibly empathetic and she feels very deeply.

This show is one of my favorites purely because of Tennessee Williams’ awe-inspiring ability to cut away the veneers we put on every day and show us the raw instincts and emotions that drive us to do certain things. The drama in Streetcar is intense, but it all stems from basic human truths and desires—hey, see what I did there?

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of Eunice?

I’ve learned that I can yell a lot louder than I thought I could! Honestly, though, I’ve learned that you can never be too kind, especially to strangers. You never know everything that’s going on in someone’s life, particularly if you’ve never met them before, so it’s crucial that we be kind to each other and treat even strangers with respect.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

I think there are lots of things you can take away from this show: from Blanche, I think the takeaway is that you can’t keep running from your choices forever—you have to face them. From Stanley, we see the cautionary tale of what happens when you’re so driven to destroy someone that you forget that they are a human being with feelings. And from Stella, we see that the truth doesn’t always necessarily set you free.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?

I’ve been working on a lot of Shakespeare lately, so the drama in this show feels very familiar. I will say that the majority of my roles have been comic, and while Eunice certainly has her share of hilarious moments, this is the first show I’ve done where I’ve had to really cry—“sobbing luxuriously,” as Mr. Williams calls it. Tapping into the place that allows you to cry from your gut isn’t exactly something most people relish doing, but I do enjoy the challenge.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?

I’ve been acting since the tender age of 7, when I started throwing myself wholeheartedly into every summer theatre camp I could find. I loved the direct connection with the audience, hearing people laugh when I said something funny, seeing them applaud at the end of a show; but most of all, I loved (and still love) the sense of community in theatre. It’s like having a second family who you can talk to about virtually anything, and actors are some of the funniest, most intelligent and insightful people that I have had the pleasure to know. I got involved with LTA for the first time after I graduated from college this spring. I auditioned for Spamalot with my boyfriend, and though I wasn’t cast in that show, I didn’t lose hope and went out for Streetcar. It’s like I always say: throw Jell-O at a wall long enough, eventually it’s going to stick!

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

For all the actors reading this: never stop auditioning. Actors face more rejection on average than non-actors, and those who have been fortunate enough to make a living out of acting have had to develop a pretty thick skin to the criticism and the thousands of “no’s” they had to endure along the way. Don’t let not getting cast in one, two, or even ten shows dissuade you from pursuing your craft; if theatre is one of your greatest loves (like it is mine), then no one should be able to tell you that you can’t pursue it. Take classes. Hang out with actors. Watch movies with the greats. Go out to see community theatre with your family and friends. Immerse yourself in theatre, and it will make you better.

Tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire can be purchased online at www.thelittletheatre.com


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