Interview: EVERYBODY's Anne Gee Byrd Rifts On Her Long Ties To The L.A. Theatre Community

Next up at the Antaeus Theatre Company the Los Angeles premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody September 16th

By: Sep. 06, 2022
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Interview: EVERYBODY's Anne Gee Byrd Rifts On Her Long Ties To The L.A. Theatre Community

Next up at the Antaeus Theatre Company the Los Angeles premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Everybody September 16, 2022 (with previews beginning September 11th). Jennifer Chang directs the cast of Anne Gee Byrd, Dawn Didawick, Lisa Sanaye Dring, Cherish Monique Duke, Nicole Erb, Harry Groener, Alberto Isaac, Antonio Jaramillo and Gerard Joseph. I got the chance to finally interview Anne after all these years of seeing her wow her audiences on the Los Angeles stages.

As an Antaeus company member, do you all have to go through an audition process? Or do the producers pre-cast certain actors for certain roles?

The protocol in the past was that one had to audition. But the pressures changed once we had to produce a regular season, as you can imagine, and so there is some pre-casting.

You play Death in Everybody. What attributes of your character would audiences not expect for you to portray?

Wouldn't that require a spoiler alert. Death can be so many things. Sometimes horrifying, sometimes a blessing... but always mysterious.

Who in Everybody have you acted with the most?

Interview: EVERYBODY's Anne Gee Byrd Rifts On Her Long Ties To The L.A. Theatre Community Harry Groener and Dawn Didawick.

What would your three-line pitch of Everybody be?

Good comedy is always a fresh attempt to examine important aspects of our humanity. I think this applies. (That was only two lines, but the laughs are implied.)

Besides Antaeus, you are on various other theatre company rosters (i.e., Rogue Machine and LATW). What keeps you coming back to the L.A. boards time and time again? We all know it's not the money.

It's what I do. Live theater seems crucial to our culture.

You've done so much work on the Los Angeles theatre boards, you must be on the short list of many directors. What do you look for in taking on a role?

That changes with my circumstances. If I have been doing one type of character too much, I will be drawn to something different, Sometimes I just need to work. Occasionally it will be to support another actor or director I love.

Interview: EVERYBODY's Anne Gee Byrd Rifts On Her Long Ties To The L.A. Theatre Community Who is the director you've worked the most with? Is it Cameron Watson?

The things I have done with Cameron have been consistently special for me. With a special place in my heart for the All My Sons at the Matrix.

What theatre advice would you give to an acting newbie?

Learn your lines.

What common interest would bring some of the characters you've inhabited (Uncle Vanya's Marya, A Permanent Image's Carol, Autumn Garden's Mrs. Ellis, Mother Courage, Four Places' Peggy, The Savannah Disputation's Mary) together at an event or venue? (Should we include your current character Death in Everybody?) Attending an afternoon brunch? In line for a holiday sale? At a local AA meeting?

Oh, Lord! The only real common denominator is that they are all survivors, They would probably tear one another to shreds and a few could definitely do with an AA meeting.

What do you remember of the evening of March 18, 2013 when you won both the 2012 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle's Lead Performance and Featured Performance awards?
Interview: EVERYBODY's Anne Gee Byrd Rifts On Her Long Ties To The L.A. Theatre Community I remember making a racially insensitive remark in ignorance and that my dear friend Saundra McClain vouched for my lack of malice.

Is there a dream role that you still yearning to tackle?

One that deals with the wonderful complexity of getting old in this society.

What's in the near future for Anne Gee Byrd?

Sushi from Gelson's and a glass of chardonnay. Seriously I don't plan ahead much which probably explains the nature of my career.

Thank you again, Anne! I look forward to seeing you wow the Antaeus audience with your portrayal of Death.

It should be a fun ride.

For tickets to the live performances of Everybody through October 17, 2022, click on the button below:




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