2005 Tony Awards Q&A: Cherry Jones

Nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play is Doubt star Cherry Jones. Cherry's previous Broadway productions include The Lincoln Center Theater production of The Heiress, Imaginary Friends, Major Barbara, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Our Country's Good and Angels in America. Off-Broadway and regionally, she's performed in: Flesh and Blood, Pride's Crossing, The Baltimore Waltz, Night of the Iguana, The Good Person of Setzuan and 25 productions as a company member of the American Repertory Theatre, including Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Lysistrata. For stagework, her awards include a Tony, an Obie, two Joseph Jeffersons, two Drama Desks, two Outer Critics Circles, the Sidney Kingsley, the Lucille Lortel, the Elliott Norton and the Drama League.

You've won one Tony, and lots of other awards in the past, how does being nominated again feel versus previous times?

This is something else, because I've never been part of an experience that began in a tiny little rehearsal room like this one did, and then within weeks in front of an audience we realized that there was something really extraordinary going on between the audience and this play. Then a few weeks later, we found that we were moving to Broadway, and then a couple of weeks after that it won the Pulitzer! And now, with the Tony nominations, and everything else, the crowds just keep growing. We are just so astonished, and thrilled, because that means that we're going to keep doing it. That's the greatest gift of all, because it's something that you want to keep doing. I want to do this more than I've ever wanted to do any play.

Why is that?

It's 90 minutes, and it takes people into their own hearts and minds in a way that I've never seen before. It engages them, and excites them in ways that I've never seen a play do. It's like audiences were starved for this kind of play, and they didn't even know that they were hungry for it.

You mentioned wanting to keep doing this play, how has it been evolving?

I want to keep finessing it, because it's gotten so much better in just the last two weeks. We've been doing it for months, but just in the last two weeks we've gotten so much better.

How have audiences been reacting to the show every night?

The audiences have just been great, and I just wish that I could ride home with them every night. I'd love to ride home with a couple of different people, or to just bug them to hear what they were saying about the show. People go in so many different directions that it's wild, and I love to hear about them.

The show is really just a parable, and I'm so glad that he added that to the title. He [John Patrick Shanley] just published the script, and it's now labeled as it should be as being a parable. It's a very simple story, but it has a huge concentric circle just emanating out. I hope to be helping tell that story for a long time to come!

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