BWW Interview: Harriett Trangucci of CLEVER LITTLE LIES at Bickford Theater at The Morris Museum
We spoke with Harriett Trangucci, star of Clever Little Lies playing at the Bickford Theater in Morristown, about relationships, family dynamics and being a successful actor in the Garden State.
Tell us about this production!
We have four actors, playing two couples; a mom and a dad and the son and his wife. And the cast is lovely, I have to say, the rest of the cast is amazing and I think it's going to be a really great show. Eric Hafen is directing and together we have found some really fun stuff and also some heart in this piece.
What was the audition and rehearsal process like?
The audition was pretty easy and straightforward, went to the call back and read a couple of times and received a call a few days later! Rehearsal has been a lot of fun. I think today we will get to see our entire set which will be great, I think it's going to be really pretty. All the actors and Eric are really playful people which is such a joy to work with people who are like that because you can really go for the ride and see what happens. Sometimes you find great stuff and sometimes you don't but for me it's really the best way to fill out a character and figure out what she wants and her relationships with these people and their history. You start forming a back story from just playing in these rehearsals.
Tell us about your career as an actor, I notice you perform in New Jersey often.
Yeah, I've been pretty lucky out there. It's funny the other day I was trying to figure out when I joined the union I think it was 15 or 16 years ago and before that I was doing community theater and I was a theater major in college. Then I went back in the mid 90's to William Esper Studios in New York for two years and it was an amazing experience and I figured out what I was missing in my acting. It was thrilling; I use those tools all the time. I've worked a lot at Dream Catcher, Bickford a couple of things in New York, Fringe Festival. I've been very lucky.
I noticed you've done a few shows at Bickford which seems like a place that supports all forms of the arts. Can you speak to that?
Absolutely, I feel like there can be cross pollination between theater, arts, music; there's a great jazz scene at the Bickford. It's a haven for pretty much all the arts there. It's really an amazing place to perform.
What do you feel is the central theme of the play?
For me it's taking you loved ones for who they are and recognizing that everyone makes a lot of mistakes. Some of them bigger than others. Forgiveness and love go a long way but it's not always going to be a smooth road.
How will the audience relate to the piece?
Well, anyone who's ever been married, will be married, in a long-term relationship will relate to what's going on in this piece. Also, if you're a mom or a dad, or even a son or a daughter and find yourself battling with those relationships you'll relate. There are lots of interesting dynamics.
How are you like your character, Alice, and are you different?
Alice is a lot more meddlesome that I am. She definitely crosses boundaries, which is a blast to play. I kind of had to find that within me; to figure out the circumstances I would meddle in. I would start with that scenario in my mind to figure out where she gets the courage to act the way she does. I think she's funnier than I am, she's quicker witted than I am naturally. I feel like I'm easier on the people I love than she is. I think it should be really fun for the audience to see her in action!
Clever Little Lies by Playwright Joe DiPietro, a Tony Award-winner for the musical Memphis and the author of the long-running comedy I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, runs at the Bickford Theater at the Morris Museum from April 20 - May 7, 2017. For tickets and more information please visit http://morrismuseum.org/main-stage-performances/.