By Maureen Torsney-Weir
So what’s it like to live in one of Jacqueline Goldfinger’s fabulous, complex, characters? In short – it’s like getting the best Christmas/birthday/pick your holiday present ever!!! I’ve been blessed to play Midge in Skin & Bone, Jackie’s second play in her southern Gothic trilogy that premiered at Azuka Theatre just 2 weeks ago!
Drucie McDaniels (left) and Maureen Torsney-Weir in Skin and Bone
I work a lot on new plays. I love new plays and I’ve learned a lot about acting by working in new plays. When my children were young, I couldn’t do more than one play a year but I could do play readings. I signed up with a bunch (well, four) of playwright groups in New York and Connecticut (where I lived at the time) to agree to perform in their reading series. What an education!!! The plays would come in the mail and I’d have a week (or less) to work on the character that I was playing for the reading. I learned to see what the playwright intended, and not to want to rewrite their play. I learned about structure, language, character development, and most of all, how the story was being told to the audience. Jackie is a master of all of the above. I especially love her use of language. There are so many wonderful interior rhythms. It’s a joy to work on this play.
There are lots of clues to Midge’s character and some are more obvious (like her family traditions) but some are delicious little treats hidden within the lines. For example – several times Midge mentions phrases like: “you can have it next year” or “I’m gonna die here…” which lend an urgency to her wanting to keep her home and a desperation to her fights with Ronnie. The play is full of treats like that, but I don’t want to give it all away. You’ll have to come and see us!