In a few short days, Hole in the Wall Theater will be opening its doors again to the public. Its newest production, Marjorie Prime, will be underway and we are more than excited for that to happen. In the meantime, the cast and crew are still getting ready as well as taking time to allow some behind the scenes sneak peaks. With that, we have another interview to share.
A regular at Hole in the Wall Theater, with roles in shows like Much Ado About Nothing, School for Manners, Champagne & Licorice, and The Laramie Project, we’re so excited to chat with Marjorie herself, Barbara Gallow-Liskow!
What drew you to audition for this play? What character are you playing, and what is your favorite piece of technology?
Barbara: What drew me to this show was the fact that I was very excited to be back on stage after a forced hiatus of almost two years! I thought the play was very interesting after reading the script. I was excited to unravel the layers of the play on stage. My favorite piece of technology would be my phone since I can use it as a camera. I primarily use my phone as a camera, its neat having a tiny pocket sized camera.
Very early on in the script Marjorie notes that Tess is “the mother now.” When working with an aging parent or adult in your life, how do you work with them to ensure their comfort but that they keep their sense of dignity?
Barbara: In the show, Tess tells Marjorie what to do (such as how to style her hair and what to eat), but Marjorie doesn’t like it. It’s very hard for a person who’s lost the ability to care for themselves. Marjorie is not so far gone yet that she doesn’t realize what is happening to her. This is the hardest part, in terms of people experiencing dementia. The fact that they know what is going on and that they are losing their memory, but there is nothing they can do and it is only going to progress. That’s where Marjorie is. Even the use of Walter Prime only delays this process a bit.
Some of the roles in this show are not actually human, but Artificial Intelligence.What do you think the benefits to having your own AI in real life would be? The consequences?
Barbara: For me, it would be particularly weird because I’d like to talk to my mother. She died young, younger than I am now, so we wouldn’t be able to talk about the now. We could only talk about the past. The AI’s in this show are like sounding boards. You can talk to them about the past, but they don’t know anything new. I would like an AI of my former pets though.
Although Marjorie’s memory is failing her, characters in the show are there to help her remember her life. What is one memory that you would want someone to help you remember?
Barbara: I’d like someone to remind me of my wedding day. It’s such a blur already and having someone to help me remember that would be great. I’d also like to remember the times I felt good while on stage and to be reminded of what I was doing during those times.
Throughout the play one particularly unpleasant memory for Tess and Marjorie is skirted around. If you lost your memory, would you want your loved ones to do the same and omit unpleasant memories, or would you want to know your memories, for better or worse?
Barbara: I think that the instinctive thing is to omit unpleasant memories, but I think it is important to remember them. Not wanting to remember or acknowledge them only creates problems that reverberate throughout time.
And we want to acknowledge and thank Barbara for talking with us on her upcoming performance in what is going to be an amazing show.
Be sure to get those tickets now, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to find out more upcoming theater news. Thank you and see you on the stage!