What is your name?
What character do you play in The Trojan Women?
I am a member of the Chorus.
Reminisce about a time you were homesick or forced from your home.
When I was almost four, my family moved from our home in Virginia (where my siblings and I had all been born) to Massachusetts. Even though I was so young at the time, I can still remember the waves of sadness and confusion I felt at the prospect of leaving the only home I had ever known for some new, unfamiliar place. I remember looking at our bright yellow-painted basement, my favorite room in the house, for the last time, and hugging all the neighborhood kids goodbye. Then again, it’s likely I didn’t fully understand the reality of the situation: According to my parents, during our car trip to Massachusetts I kept saying things like, “Okay, this is fine, but when are we going back home?” Once we were in our new house, I remember the itchy, unsettled feeling that everything was wrong in a way I couldn't accurately express. Because of my age, this feeling mostly manifested itself in temper tantrums, and I think my parents understood how much I was struggling with the move.
What is the purpose of community and how does war disrupt this?
A community is a physical place, but it is also a feeling – it provides a sense of peace and belonging for the people who live there. Communities are held together by bonds between people. War threatens all of this: it makes people physically and psychologically unsafe and it tears apart relationships. As we see with the women in the show, the experience of war can also strengthen bonds between the people who live through it. But overall, it is a destructive force for communities.
What is something about the show and your experience with the material that has surprised you?
As a member of the chorus, a large part of my performance involves observing and listening to what is going on around me. Of course, those things are major components of acting in general, but it’s been really illuminating and refreshing to specifically focus on them for this role. What has surprised me is the extent to which the show changes every time we do it: During each run, new lines stand out to me as if I’m hearing them for the first time; I have new reactions and emotions that lead to physical instincts; I notice particular shadings and nuances both in the language itself and in the ever-evolving performances of my cast mates.
Speaking of those cast mates – It has also been so delightful and soul-nourishing to work with an all-female creative team and mostly female cast. To be fair, this wasn't exactly a surprise – in fact, it was part of the reason I auditioned for the show in the first place - but even my high expectations were exceeded by the humor, love and support shown by everyone involved.
Be sure to see Maya in THE TROJAN WOMEN at The Luna Theater on August 17-19