Every story needs conflict. Every great story has one that is complex. Amanda Baird personifies that in Sylvia with her portrayal of Kate, Greg's wife. If anyone's ever had reservations about caring for a pet, she's right there with you, balancing tough truth with hilarious Shakespearean one-liners. We asked her to speak!, and he's what she had to say!
What's something special or new about our production that potential audiences need to know?
I think audiences will be surprised by the fact that this is not just a funny play about a dog. It truly is a heartwarming story that speaks to anyone who has ever balanced a beloved pet and a significant other, especially when the two don't always get along.
Has this role challenged you or changed your thinking in any way?
The part of Kate really threw me for a mental loop at first. As a dog lover I was predisposed to be on Greg, the husband, and Sylvia's side!! I wanted everybody to be one big happy family! It wasn't until after I dove into the script and really read between the lines so to speak, that I found Kate's voice and discovered a great deal of sympathy for my character. As an actor it's always a fascinating experience to discover those kinds of nuances about a character and then figure out how to portray that convincingly to an audience.
Do you have any special pet or animal adoption memories you'd like to share?
I was lucky enough to have had a fabulous little Bichon Frise named Max that was with our family for almost 11 years. Some of the expressions Devin gives as Sylvia, especially wanting to go "out" remind me so much of that hyper little guy!
What's something you and your character have in common?
Ironically my character Kate is a teacher trying to make a name for herself in public school teaching, and personally I just delved into the world of education preparation myself in an effort to start teaching social studies!!
Something that makes you two very different?
Unlike Kate, I am an avid dog lover. Not to give too much away, but when my character wanted to send Sylvia to the pound I actually got really upset! I was tempted to ask Lisa if we could cut that line!
Will Stageworks/local audiences recognize you from something else?
The last time Stageworks' audiences saw me was 2017's Noises Off directed by the one of a kind Sean Thompson!
What's a fun fact about you that might surprise our readers?
Fun fact about me... I have been to Disneyworld 23 times!
What's a fun behind-the-scenes memory from rehearsal so far?
I think my favorite behind the scenes moment has been our second to last dress rehearsal. Towards the end of the play, I have a scene with Leslie the marriage counselor played by Tim. I don't actually look at him for the first half page of the scene so I didn't see the the new costume look for Leslie! Needless to say, I turned around and completely lost my concentration in the best way!! Anyone who comes to see the show will understand why!
We're glad we don't have to keep a straight face! If you haven't seen SYLVIA yet, you've got just a few chances left to do so: Friday and Saturday @7:30, and closing Sunday February 2nd at 3:00! Come on down, we would love to have you! www.stageworkshouston.org/tickets