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BWW Interview: Angela Reed Talks BROKEN GLASS at Westport Country Playhouse

With Broadway credits, national tours (Spring Awakening and War Horse, no less), and the firecracker role of Barbara in August: Osage County under her belt, Angela Reed has done it all. However, the Westport Country Playhouse first timer is currently learning a lot in rehearsals for Arthur Miller's intense Broken Glass.

You play Margaret, the wife of Dr. Hymen. Tell me about your character.

Unlike everyone else in the play, who are New Yorkers and Jewish, Margaret is from Minnesota and not Jewish. This does have significance because the play deals a lot with identity and relationships and how religion and society shapes you.

What have you learned about yourself from playing her?

That I enjoy being an observer more than I thought I would. And Margaret is very astute. She has very little information, but she is intuitive about her husband and the people around her. She talks about being a talker, but for somebody who is so talkative, she's also a great observer. I myself have enjoyed observing and not having to be in the thick of it in a way that maybe I would not have appreciated as much years ago. I'm OK with contributing what I can to tell the story. Mark [Lamos] has been great. I've never worked with him before. It's a really good group.

This particular work of Miller's touches on some dark historical events. What kind of research did you and the cast conduct for the production?

We have a fantastic dramaturge Marlee Koenigsberg. That's been really great because she has given us so much source material to constantly be going back and looking through.

This is your first time acting in an Arthur Miller play. What's your favorite thing about performing his work?

What's so interesting about his work is how he writes nuances for relationships. There are married couples. There are sisters in this play. There are doctor-patient relationships. The conversations that we often do always have are a lot of two-person scenes. There's so many nuances going on and layers and things not being said, but they're intuitive from what he's writing. He's brilliant in that way. He was 79 when he wrote this play. He was creating work well into his seventies, and that's remarkable to me.

What is your least favorite thing about performing the work of Arthur Miller?

The woman who plays Sylvia [Felicity Jones] and her husband Phillip [Steven Skybell] really go on a difficult journey. They are really carrying the weight of it. It's about secrets or truths that you did not reveal entirely, that you didn't reveal to someone you've been married to for 25 years. There are a lot of dark and scary places that the characters have to go and therefore the actors have to go. The three of them are exhausted by the end of the day. I have the great fortune of watching their process and journey, and I feel really lucky that I've been able to witness it. I want to feel like I'm in the same world. I like being there when they're rehearsing their scenes that I'm not in, and figuring out ways I can make myself part of that world.

You have quite the theatrical resume. Is there a favorite past role you've played?

I would say it's probably Barbara in August: Osage County. She's a force. Parts like that come along, and I loved doing it. Sam Gold directed it, and he's a fantastic director. It did feel at the time that it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of role.

Do you have a favorite current or upcoming role or project?

I did one upcoming Girls episode, and it was a lot of fun to shoot.

Do you have a dream role?

There are so many hot classic roles that I think people are dying to play. I'm not dying to play Hedda Gabler. Those really brilliant parts have been done over and over and over. I'm more interested in finding those kind of undiscovered parts and things that haven't been written yet. I think Barbara was a part that just fulfilled so many things in me. I don't think I want the pressure of coming up with a brilliant Blanche or a brilliant Hedda. It's been done brilliantly. Many times.

You've got a dog?

Yes! Butley. He's been on two national tours. He's driven over 50,000 miles.

Photo Credit: Seth Fisher



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