BWW Interviews: Kathleen McCall of Denver Center's WHEN WE ARE MARRIED on Her Love of Shakespeare and Her Husband
M: On behalf of BroadwayWorld, I just have to say how much I adore you and the wonderful work that you have done at the Denver Center over these years.
K: Well, thank you so much. I’m glad you’re a patron and have a good time when you come.
M: Last time we saw you was in a fabulous funny role at in Shaw's Heartbreak House - what have you been doing since then?
K: Well, what have I been doing? I don’t know if you know this. I sit on a board at Denver Health, the major hospital downtown, and we’ve been raising funds for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, so I’ve been very busy doing fundraisers for them. And I also have a son who is at Drake University – plays football at Drake – and we went to a few football games. And now, of course, I’m back in rehearsal. We’ve just started performances of When We Are Married. So I actually kept very busy since the last show.
M: I am excited about your performance in When We Are Married – can you tell us a little bit more about that?
K: Sure. The play is by J.B. Priestley and it takes place in about 1907. It’s about three married couples, so there’s six of us, who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. And on the evening of their 25th wedding anniversary, it’s discovered that the parson who married them, or they think, was not legitimate – he didn’t have all his papers. So they’ve been living together for 25 years but they’re not married. And, of course, it’s very funny and very sweet, but it’s all about, you know, when you’ve been living with someone for 25 years, thinking you’re married, and all of the sudden you’re not, you look at them and you go, “You know, I never liked you anyway.” It’s just a great deal of fun. It’s a nice complement to White Christmas, which is going on, of course, in the Buell. But it’s a lovely little funny thing and anybody who’s in a relationship and been married will recognize themselves in it. We have one couple – the bossy woman that bosses her husband around. And then we have the couple that the husband is pompous and arrogant and tells his wife what to do. And, you know, it’s how they flip roles as they discover that they’re not married. So it’s great fun.
M: If you and your husband faced a similar situation, how do you think you would handle it?
K: Well, you know, it’s very different today because, you know, in 1907, to have been living for 25 years with someone that you then all of the sudden discover “Oh, I’m not married to you,” there’s a whole social pressure put on, you know, of “We can’t let anyone find out about this,” because it was taboo. People didn’t live in sin – they got married. So today – that’s a really good question; I haven’t thought about it – but today, there wouldn’t be the social taboo placed on it by society. I wonder, you know, I don’t know how Kent and I would react. I suppose we would probably look at each other and go “Oh well, so what’s different?” You know what I mean? And I think relationships today are built on different things, you know. Back in 1907, the woman stayed at home, women didn’t work, they were somewhat property of their husbands, and, like I said, there was the whole social issue of not wanting anybody to know. You know, today, women have their own jobs and their own lives and there wouldn’t be this social taint on them, so to speak, so I think we’d be okay. I think we’d look at each other and go “Okay, so do we really want to spend the money on a wedding or should we just carry on?” You know what I mean?
M: Can you tell us about your wedding?
K: About my wedding personally? Oh! Well, I was married in Upstate New York. And one of my dearest friends in the world, David Carlson, was the Episcopalian priest who married us, who married my husband and I. And he’s also my son’s goddaddy. So it was a very small wedding. It was only about 20 people. It was in December, so our anniversary’s coming up. It was a winter wedding. It was beautiful. Like I said, a very small wedding in a church that was built in like 17 something. And one of my best, best dearest friends in the world married us, so that made it very special. It’s interesting you should ask because my niece, one of my nieces, got married this last summer and she asked me if I had any advice and I said, “The only piece of advice I would give you is that whoever marries you, just make sure that they’re important to you,” because when the person officiating at your wedding knows you and cares about you, and knows you personally, it just means so much more. So it was a really simple lovely service with my best friend marrying us.