BWW Interview: Kathleen Choe in NOISES OFF at Two River Theater in Red Bank from 1/12 to 2/3
Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 25th Anniversary Season with Michael Frayn's Noises Off, directed by Sarna Lapine. Performances will begin in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, January 12 and continue through Sunday, February 3.
Produced at Two River Theater 20 years ago in the company's 5th Anniversary Season, Michael Frayn's Noises Off belongs on any list of the funniest plays ever written. In this celebrated backstage farce-within-a-farce, mayhem ensues as a third-rate touring theater troupe rehearses and then performs the ill-fated Nothing On.
Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Choe who plays Belinda Blair in Noises Off.
Choe's theater credits include: When the Sari Travels (Rising Circle Theater Collective), Devising the American Dream (Geva Theatre Center), A Piece of My Heart (Speranza Theatre Company), Avenue Q (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase (Theatre 167), A Midsummer Night's Dream (dir. Austin Pendleton), Ginger (Ensemble Studio Theatre), 4.48 Psychosis (59E59 Theaters), Trying to Find Chinatown (Bank Street Theatre). Film and TV: Maniac, The Dangerous Book for Boys, Quantico, Show Me a Hero, Mysteries of Laura, Forever, Broad City, Delivery Man. Thanks to Sarna, the wonderful cast and creative team for this amazingly hilarious ride, and much love to my family and friends. Training: MFA, The New School for Drama.
What is your earliest memory of performing before an audience?
Playing the violin at four years old at music school. I don't know if I was any good, but I've got a huge grin on my face in all the photos so I must have been having a good time.
Did you always plan to be an actor?
I didn't! My undergrad is actually in filmmaking. I loved working in production but I burnt out, and my best friend from college suggested I try acting classes. The teacher there took an interest in me and suggested I audition for RADA's summer program in London. I got in, came back home and decided to apply to grad school for acting.
Who are some of the people who inspired your career?
Tell us about your role as Belinda in Noise's Off.
Belinda loves everything about the theater and her cast so hard, especially Freddie. She's the Joan Harris (Madmen) of the show: she knows everything that's going on onstage and off, her lines, and everyone else's lines, and tries her best to take care of everyone.
What are some of the challenges of a "play within a play" format in the show?
Act II definitely keeps you on your toes. Keeping track of where you are can be a bit difficult with all the physical hijinks "backstage" in addition to the abbreviated dialogue from Act I going on "onstage", but it's also great fun.
How do you like working at TRT?
They're so welcoming and really love actors. Anything we need they do in their power to provide. Red Bank is also so lovely to walk around. I see the sunrise from my housing every morning and it's a great way to start the day.
What would you like audiences to know about the show?
We laugh a LOT during rehearsals. Everyone in the cast just goes for it, it's really inspiring to be a part of and work with. If it looks like we're having fun on stage, believe that we totally are.
Can you share some of your future plans?
Auditioning for the next job-the actor's life-and also writing. My producing partners and I are shopping around a screenplay that I've written. Also, my friend Christian DeMarais is doing a podcast called "Cure for the Common Actor" which starts streaming on January 3rd. I was so pleased to be one of his first guests on it, it's a really wonderful, honest talk about how actors handle the "business" of our profession.
You can follow Kathleen Choe on Instagram: @katchoe and visit her website: www.Kathleen-Choe.com
Ticket prices for Noises Off range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from https://tworivertheater.org/ or by calling 732.345.1400. Two River's 2018/19 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kathleen Choe