BWW Interviews: Maureen Anderman Talks THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING & Getting into a New Habit

I will do A Delicate Balance again in Florida in the fall. It's an exquisite piece. Edward and I are friends. I count myself as fortunate. I understood his characters. I don't ask a lot of questions. Instinctively I could just get it from the page. He would only use me if he thought I was right. He wasn't just handing me parts. We had a history. We were close. I knew his mother. We saw each other at Thanksgiving, at Montauk. It was a very intimate friendship. His partner, Jonathan Thomas, and I were simpatico.

Who are your other favorite playwrights and why?

Nicky Martin got me doing Wendy Wasserstein. I loved going into Wendy world. She wrote about my generation and my people, our generation. I loved The Sisters Rosensweig.

What was your favorite role and why?

My absolute favorite was Beatrice [in Much Ado About Nothing] in college. It was joyous, so much fun. I always loved doing Shakespeare.

I love doing comedy. Most people don't know that. I realized what great fun it is with Kaufman and Hart's The Man who came to Dinner and You Can't Take it With You. Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst, Elizabeth Wilson … such an amazing family. We went from New Jersey to Kennedy Center. Colleen was a driving force. A wonderful loving crazy family.

What were your most challenging roles and what were the difficulties?

One that was really tricky was Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery…. His brilliant writing. He did all these overlaps. The dinner table scene was just unbelievable. We had to be eating, talking, paying attention to these overlaps. It was also difficult because Eileen Heckart was very fragile [with Alzheimer's].  She was brilliant. Again, it was a play about family.

Richard III. The Bridge Project was an experience of a lifetime, but it was also an experience for an actor for a lifetime some might not appreciate. For most of us, it was very special to see the world and perform. It was a lot of work and very, very difficult work. We'd arrive in a new country and each time there was new tech rehearsal, a new dress rehearsal, a new stage crew. There were four different sets and we were always on a different set – the doors were different, the floors were different.

What roles do you want fans to remember you most for?

Seascape. [Maureen played the likeable lizard-like creature, Sarah.] People still say "I remember I saw you in Honey in Virginia Wolf." People will always associate me with Edwards's work. I'm in Act III. I'm going and going what I want to do.

What roles would you still like to play?

I'm glad I'm doing A Delicate Balance again [at Palm Beach Dramaworks].  When I did it in Stockbridge, it was such a short period. Audiences loved it so much. I said to Edward, "I wanted to do it again." I will also do Doubt. I always wanted to be a nun. I would love to do The Seagull. I want to go into Chekhov's world. I know what it's like to go into O'Neill. I would like to do A Long Days' Journey Into the Night. It's very moving, very powerful. You feel a little lighter afterward. The heart gets that closing in the chest. Then you feel a little lighter. My heart stopped when I saw Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards in A Moon for the Misbegotten. It's like I stopped breathing.

It seems that Maureen never stops. Be sure to catch her in The Year of Magical Thinking, directed by Nicholas Martin,at The Westport Country Playhouse from June 12 to 30. For more information, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call 888-927-7529.

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Sherry Shameer Cohen Sherry Shameer Cohen is an award winning parachute journalist and blogger who is always looking for more challenging work. Her articles and photos have appeared in Connecticut Magazine, Greenwich Magazine, Stamford Plus, The Advocate, Greenwich Time, The Minuteman, Connecticut Jewish Ledger, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Press, The New Jewish Voice, and various daytime magazines. She has stage managed, designed flyers, programs and props for community theatre and reviewed theatre for the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, Theater Inform and New England Entertainment Digest. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Ken, and her two little drama kings, Alexander Seth Cohen and Jonathan Ross Cohen.


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