Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Grey Gardens - meet cast member Cassie Cope

What do you find appealing about your character and the show itself, Grey Gardens?
My character, Jackie Bouvier, is such a well known figure in history and it is intriguing to explore what made her into the person she ultimately became.  In the play, there are a lot of foreshadowing details and glimpses into her future life and what will become of her.  The show itself is intricate and layered.  For example, one line that Little Edie speaks in the beginning of Act 1 becomes an important lyric in a song that helps to define her character in Act 2.  The deeper you dive into it, the more connections you see.

What have you learned about yourself in playing your role?
She is just a little younger than me at the time of this play, so I can definitely relate to her.  Of course, it is set in a very different time and place.  Jackie is a proper young lady, and she takes to heart a lot of the good advice her grandfather gives.  Playing her has given me a perspective on how to internalize advice so you can make your future what you hope it will be.

What single word would you use to describe your character?
Regal.

What do you want the audience to experience and take away from Grey Gardens?
This show is about love.  It's not really a soap opera that you're watching for entertainment.  It's a story of how these two women choose their love for each other over anything else the world has to offer them.  One of the lessons is that it's important to stay true to what you want, not to what you have to be.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
Grey Gardens has a much darker tone than other shows I've done.  I've mainly performed in shows for young audiences as well as musical classics like The King and I.

How long have you been acting?  How did you get involved with LTA?
My mom has always taken me to lots of plays in DC, New York, and even London.  We have seen many plays here at LTA and I have always loved Broadway soundtracks, including some really obscure ones.  I took ballet from age two and for almost ten years that was my passion.  But I was going to theater classes and camps too, starting around Kindergarten.  When I was eight, I took my first voice class at LTA with Linda Wells.  It's called Singing for Musical Theatre and now my little sister is in it.  I got cast in my first play when I was nine, and around the age of twelve, I made the difficult decision to switch my focus from ballet to musical theater and voice.  Now I study acting, singing, and dancing, including ballet, but it's all with a clear focus on musical theater.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Keep going and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.  The creative team would rather see you try and fail than not try at all.  Also, performing is really fun, but you also need to train regularly to keep improving at your craft.



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