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MEET THE ENSEMBLE: KATHARINE BRAUN-LEVINE

August 15, 2017

 

 

What is your name?

 

Katharine.

 

What character do you play in The Trojan Women?

 

I portray Hecuba, queen of Troy.

 

Reminisce about a time you were homesick or forced from your home.

 

I remember being homesick for the first time I went to sleep away camp. I was with my best friend, so I felt mostly fine during the day, but one night I woke up crying. I couldn't remember any dream to cause the sadness, and I hadn't gone to bed in a particularly sad mood, but suddenly, my face and pillow were all wet and my best friend was softly whispering, "It's okay, Katharine. I'm here with you."

 

What is the purpose of community and how does war disrupt this? 

 

Community gives its members a place to belong and an identity. Like a parent-child pair with a secure attachment, a community provides a safe space for its members to venture out from and return home to. Without the security of the attachment, children cannot feel safe to explore, cannot take risks to learn, and have no structure within which to organize new information. War disrupts the bonds between people, makes them question old identities (what does it mean to be Trojan / Greek / Syrian / American?) and accommodate new identities (as homeless, a victim, a refugee, a widow, an orphan). 

 

What is something about the show and your experience with the material that has surprised you?

 

I went into the show with a bias that the women who interact with Hecuba (Cassandra, Helen, Andromache) were somehow more "correct" or had a better vision or a nobler intent than she did. However, in getting to know Hecuba so profoundly, I now feel that she has the most nuanced picture of the war and its impacts. I was surprised at how much the survival of her people, her community, and their identity burdens her, and yet it feels so exquisitely personal as well. 

 

 

Be sure to see Katharine in THE TROJAN WOMEN at The Luna Theater on August 17-19

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