Cherry Jones On THE GLASS MENAGERIE Versus WHEN WE WERE YOUNG & UNAFRAID
Acclaimed stage and screen star Cherry Jones comments on her role in the new Off-Broadway drama WHEN WE WERE YOUNG & UNAFRAID as part of a new interview.
Juxtaposing her recent work in the lauded revival of the Tennessee Williams classic THE GLASS MENAGERIE to WHEN WE WERE YOUNG & UNAFRAID, Jones relates, "What was most different coming from Tennessee to Treem is he writes these paragraph-long sentences and most of my sentences as Agnes are four words long. You know nothing about this woman. And she ain't going to give nothing away. Not talking like that. So it's been interesting because often characters who don't say much are usually able to show what's inside. But Agnes can't even do that. I guess it's the most closed-down character I've played before. That's why I so love those scenes with Hannah because she delights Agnes increasingly, so you get a little glimpse of this woman."
Furthermore, Jones elaborates, "The play's intriguing. You don't know quite what's going to happen next because no one's squeaky clean. Mary Anne the poor little victim is a messy character. And Agnes is enigmatic. She went out into the world in the most aggressive way possible as a field nurse. She fought not just in one, but two wars. Now she's retreated to protect Penny, but she can't help but stay active to save lives. She's encouraging these women to come into this safe haven she's created, which immediately makes it no longer safe: Anyone looking for those women could come bursting through the door with a shotgun. When we started, I made Agnes slightly lighter. Our director, Pam MacKinnon, let me know I needed to go to a more in-charge place. Agnes has gone back to that World War II nurse, which really was my first instinct. I love making a 180-degree adjustment. Now when you get something in that final monologue about the mother of the child, you're hungry for some little tidbit about this woman."
Discussing whether she is interested in instigating her own projects or prefers to be offered a part, Jones asserts, "I find it's better for me if someone else has the idea and invites me to the party. I'm not a producer. I depend on others for work. I have no desire to do a one-woman show, ever. I understand why it must be pleasurable for people. It must be thrilling, as you have total freedom. I'm probably preventing growth in myself, but I just love the camaraderie. I'd be lonesome. With this interesting play, in this small theater, sharing a dressing room with three young women and a young man next door, sharing stories, hearing where they are in their lives; it's the most thrilling part of the process. Life is short. So when this play's over, I shall just enjoy life and my bicycle and the city in the summertime and trust that by the end of the summer, there'll be some place for me to go with a script involved."
Check out the original article on the matter here.