BWW Interviews: Spell the Word 'Love' - Five Minutes with Jill Iverson of Bloomington Civic Theatre's SPELLING BEE
In honor of the fast-approaching day of love, BroadwayWorld.com thought we'd take a little time out of our busy schedules to go back a few decades--back to the days of childlike innocence. So, we caught up with Jill Iverson, who is playing Olive Ostrovsky in the Bloomington Civic Theatre production of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE by William Finn (score) and Rachel Sheinkin (book). Even though they're only 12-years-old, these characters and certainly Olive, know quite a bit about the big "L" word.
BroadwayWorld.com: Tell us a little bit about SPELLING BEE, and how your character is involved?
Jill Iverson: Spelling Bee is a hilarious coming of age story about six young kids (and four lucky audience members) competing for the title of Spelling Champion. Olive is a very shy girl with a great fondness for words and their origins, as well as their capacity to connect her to the people around her. She takes an important step at the bee which propels her journey into adulthood.
BWW: In the show, Olive seems to be the character most overwhelmed with the idea of "love," why is that?
JI: Olive's fascination with love stems from her great capacity to love. She has not had the most involved parents and her efforts to make friendships do not come easily. I think we are most overwhelmed with the things that seem to be absent in our lives. Instead of these circumstances shaping her into a bitter self-doubting youth, we see Olive compensate for the absence by being extra aware and attentive to the needs of others. Which is pretty cool.
BWW: How did you prepare for this role? And is this the role you were seeking?
JI: This role was pretty interesting to prepare. By day, I work with children about Olive's age, so I find many similarities in their daily trials and tribulations. Watching them, and using the words of the script made the search for Olive pretty exciting. I am so happy and honored to portray this role with a knock out cast!
BWW: Why do you think SPELLING BEE was such a success and now being produced so often?
JI: It's completely relatable. Everyone has either been these characters or knows these characters from their personal experience. The music is stellar, the cast is small, and the show can be produced with minimal budget concerns. Its a hilarious, tumultuous, sometimes devastating coming of age story. And with four unpredictable volunteers, its different every night!
BWW: In honor of Valentine's Day, how will you be spending this holiday? Do you have someone special to share the day with?
JI: I will probably be having a nice dinner with my boyfriend and our cat before the show. It's kind of a silly holiday in my opinion though, because you should tell the ones you love how you feel everyday! Candy or no, I'm grateful to be loved by my nearest and dearest. :)
BWW: Why do you think SPELLING BEE would be a fun evening for two this Valentine's Day?
JI: Its hysterical. It takes you back to the days when you were young and unsure and that's something with which we all identify. You will definitely have things to talk about at the end of the show.
BWW: What is your favorite synonym for the word "LOVE" and why?
JI: I like the word "adore." Because it speaks to respect and admiration which are both vital to being in love. "I adore you." How nice does that sound? Butterflies.
Looking for something to do on Valentine's Day? Follow and tweet @BWW_Minneapolis with a picture of you and your special someone, and tell us your favorite synonym (syn-o-nym [noun]: a word that has the same meaning as another word in the same language) for "love" and #BCTvalentine. Winners will be announced via BWW Minneapolis Twitter and BCT's Facebook page on February 10.