Curious about the cast of Public Works Twelfth Night? We asked a few of the cast members from this amazing adaptation to share their experience rehearsing virtually, their favorite quotes, and much more in a series of interviews. Hear from Misty Doty, Rebecca Cort, and Dolores Maria Rossman in our second Meet the Cast of Twelfth Night interview.
TELL US WHO YOU PLAY IN TWELFTH NIGHT AND SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER.
Misty Doty: I’m in the community ensemble for Twelfth Night and my character is Lady Olive. She is often mistaken for the Countess Olivia. Duke Orsino is often confused because he keeps sending love letters to the wrong person. She comes from money and therefore is a big influencer.
Rebecca Cort: I am in the Illyrian ensemble in Twelfth Night and I'm playing a 17-year-old girl named Nadine Edmundson. Nadine is very cutesy and flighty and has decided to train to be a veterinary technician, so she can work under a very handsome man named Hugo. She also attends a weekly Illyrian improv class.
Dolores Maria Rossman: I play an Illyrian officiant. I get to mary a few of our characters, all while reminding them of their contract of eternal love. I am excited to have my first lines in our third Public Works production!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING ON TWELFTH NIGHT?
MD: My favorite part is being in community with such an amazing group of people. It gave me something to look forward to. I was also interested to see how we were going to pull it all together and make it work. I also loved getting to be in a show with two of my former students (William Johnson and Rebecca Cort)!
RC: My favorite part about working on Twelfth Night has been the immediate sense of community and camaraderie. This is my first Public Works show, so I was a little nervous that I would be losing those cherished connections with my cast-mates and team members rehearsing in a virtual medium. The crew took great effort to let us have lots of time to bond in smaller groups with fun questions. Cast members also organized outside activities like weekly "Among Us" sessions. I was impressed and touched with how connected I instantly felt, which is all thanks to the people in Public Works and their desire for inclusivity and unity.
DMR: Singing and dancing with the cast in my kitchen has given me great joy! I love to dance, and singing is a work in progress.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE REHEARSING VIRTUALLY?
MD: I was worried it would feel like another Zoom call or virtual meeting, but it didn't feel like that at all. I was almost in tears the first time I logged on and saw all of those familiar smiling faces. We were there in that space together, supporting and valuing each other. The production team was so supportive and prepared to make the experience positive and meaningful. We were able to show up, create, work hard, and shine.
RC: Angie, Steven, and Hattie have made rehearsing virtually a blast. While I miss hearing everyone's voices at once and being unmuted, I have loved not having to commute to rehearsal in Seattle traffic! I'm also captivated with watching my cast-mates on their computer screens, because the energy and joy they exhibit is still so palpable. I can feel what they are giving to me in the room, even though we are not sharing the same room. You really have to show up in a different way since you can't be heard, and probably aren't seen by most people on the call, but that is just a new challenge.
DMR: I’m happy that my only commute has been to my kitchen, and not having to stress about reaching Seattle Rep in time for rehearsal has been great. It’s been fun practicing vocal warm-ups with Steven (in solitude) without having to worry about how I sound to others (Ha!). The Zoom link was super easy. Rehearsals were so well organized by the creative staff. Also, I appreciated the “Green Room,” after formal rehearsal was over, so we could ask additional questions.
FAVORITE QUOTE FROM TWELFTH NIGHT?
MD: So many! I love Viola’s soliloquy and what it does to expand her character - discovering what she is experiencing beyond just dressing as a boy.
RC: I am going to use a quote from this show and not my favorite from the play, but Viola's soliloquy is a masterclass in writing and exploring modern Shakespeare adaptation, "Who am I besides how I look to you?" catches my heart!
DMR: Without a doubt, “If music be the food of love, play on!” I often tell my friends music is my best friend.
DESCRIBE THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF TWELFTH NIGHT IN THREE WORDS?
MD: Family. Creativity. Support.
RC: Exuberant, witty, impassioned.
DMR: Fun, smart and kind.
One additional note: My hubby of 28 years died in July 2019. In August, we started rehearsing for As You Like It. The first song we learned was “Still I Will Love.” It brought me to tears. Afterwards, I told Director Timothy McCuen Piggee that I didn’t think I could sing that song. He was so kind and told me if things became difficult for me, to just walk away for a time out.
Throughout our rehearsal and on to performances, the Public Works cast became my family during my grieving - they were so thoughtful. In addition, an “In Memoriam," dedicated to my Kristian was included in the As You Like It program. How kind was that?
WHAT DO YOU HOPE AUDIENCES TAKE AWAY FROM TWELFTH NIGHT?
MD: I hope it brings them joy during this time in our world. I hope they hear and process the words of the closing song, "if we allowed ourselves to consider what others are going through we just might be able to create a better world of empathy and understanding."
RC: I hope audiences take away that theater is still around, just different, and the arts can still be abundant from our own homes. I hope they feel united to those different than them and have a newfound energy to love and include others!
DMR: An understanding, especially right now with our current state of divisiveness in the U.S., of how important it is to "see through the eyes of another.” To gain understanding through discernment and through heartfelt listening - why do people think and do what they do? To realize we have more in common than we think. And, lastly to see the joy in life when we come together as human beings, unafraid of our foibles, to see the humor of life, and realizing that we are all in this together.