Cathy Simpson appearing in Eurydice at The Wilma Theater
Part of our look at Philadelphia’s spring season
Interviewed by Joel Markowitz
DC theatre-goers remember her powerful Helen Hayes Award nominated performances: for Ntozake Shange’s Spell #7 at The Studio Theatre in 1992 and, the next year, for Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena at the American Showcase Theatre (MetroStage), which she credits as ‘the most rewarding and the most challenging role of my career.’
We caught up with this former Washington actress after her Sunday night performance as the Loud Stone in Sarah Ruhl’s interpretation of the Greek myth Eurydice. Listen in as Cathy tells us how the three actors playing the Stones came to understand their characters, and then this petite, soft spoken actress delivers her opening line and you’ll see how very loud an angry inanimate stone can get.
Thanks to composer Toby Twining, we’re able to give you some samples of the music that underscores this astounding and gorgeous circus-inspired Wilma Theater production which closes June 1st. We will have a chance to see Eurydice at Round House Theatre next spring.
Cathy has found a home in the Philadelphia theatre community. She won a Barrymore Award for Old Settler at Freedom Theatre, and has been a company member of People’s Light & Theatre Company since 1994. Last year’s, People’s Light’s critically acclaimed production of Six Characters in Search of An Author was mentioned in The New York Times.
Cathy talks about the difficulty African American actors still have breaking the color barrier. “I’m not likely to be cast in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Unless there’s an all-black version. And why do they have to have an all-black version for that to happen”?
And what does she want audiences to take with them after seeing Eurydice?
“That love can heal all the mishaps in our lives.”
Click here to listen.