BWW Interviews: Kristine Reese Talks PIPPIN
PIPPIN, Diane Paulus' new circus-inspired production features an acrobatic troupe of performers and tells the story of Pippin, a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life.
PIPPIN is winner of a Tony Award for Best Musical Revival! It features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse with breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts De La Main. PIPPIN is at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, May 19-24. Tickets are on sale at Blumenthal Performing Arts Box Office: 704-372-1000 and BlumenthalArts.org.Blumenthal Performing Arts Belk Theater.
I spoke to Kristine Reese, who plays Catherine, Pippin's love interest, while she was soaking up the sun in West Palm Beach.
LAW: Where are you now?
KR: West Palm Beach, Florida. It feels like a little vacation after a long cold winter. I was on tour in very cold places this past winter.
LAW: Where did you grow up?
KR: Cold places [laughs], Minneapolis and Philly. I was born in Philly and then we moved to Minneapolis.
LAW: What was it like growing up?
KR: I love Minneapolis. It had a very progressive school. I go back when I can.
LAW: When did you start acting?
KR: I started at 16-years-old. I sort of, fell into it. I started singing in middle school. I was in choir and I also played sports. There was an audition for the school musical and I found that I liked acting. I then went to the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
LAW: How did you get the role in PIPPIN?
KR: I auditioned. I love this role.
LAW: What part do you play?
KR: I play Catherine, Pippin's love interest. She's a widow with a child and she lives on a farm.
LAW: How do you prepare for this role?
KR: My initial process is to bring myself to Catherine. My daily warm-up includes voice for 30 minutes, so my voice isn't tense or inhibited and I rest. I have to maintain my energy level because my character enters late in the second act of the show at 10 p.m.
LAW: That's a long time to be offstage waiting.
KR: It is, but I'm onstage during the first part of the show. I play a different character. I play a silent clown.
LAW: What circus arts do you perform, as the silent clown?
KR: I ride a tiny bicycle. Gypsy Snider [circus arts choreographer] matched all of us with a circus art to perform in the show.
LAW: What was your most memorable experience in your profession?
KR: There are so many memorable experiences for different reasons. My husband, [Billy Harrigan Tighe] proposed to me onstage when we were performing together at the Vancouver Symphony in front of thousands. That was very memorable.
LAW: What was the worst experience you've had on the road?
KR: Um,... being on the road, missing my bed and my house and vegetables, roasted vegetables. I miss cooking [laughs]. I like the cooking experience.
LAW: When you're back home, what's your favorite thing to do?
KR: To play with my Boston Terrier, Buster, to cook and to go to Pilates classes.
LAW: What are you plans after this tour is over?
KR: To spend time with my husband. He's currently touring in The Book of Mormon as Elder Price. I will be very happy to not have a plan
LAW: What will an audience take away from PIPPIN?
KR: I think, well cool,... there's not one answer. The take away is unique to each person in their life journey and how they're emotionally affected by the story and the characters. The physicality of this show serves the story. It has purpose. It's a magical show!