Teresa Langston, right?
Which character are you playing?
What town are you from?
Is this your first time at Hole in the Wall?
No, it’s my first time after a very long break.
What was the last thing you were in?
The Year of the Hiker, over on Harvard Street.
How did you get into theater, what’s your background in theater?
You know, it started when I was crawling and I wanted to have the attention of the room. I did things on stage from the time I got into public school. Mostly in high school. I was mentored by a very amazing teacher, Mr. Sterner, at East Hartford High School. I think there’s quite a lot of alumni from around here who worked with Mr. Sterner at one point in time. No longer with us, but he was terrific, we did a lot of musical theater. I took some classes at Middlesex Community College during that time with an acting teacher. I took a break to have children, and then I found my way back to it. It’s interesting because for a long time, if you asked me why I did it, I couldn’t exactly tell you, but now I know why I do it.
Because I’m an actor. It took me a long time to know that. I did acting, but it wasn’t that I acknowledged it to myself- that I was an actor.
Do you have a favorite part of acting?
I’m a process person, I love the process. I love working, collaborating with the cast.
So, all throughout rehearsal, that’s your favorite part?
Yeah, I love the rehearsal. I mean, putting the show up is kind of an adrenaline high, it’s like nothing else. It’s like, if you’re an athlete then you train, and you train, and you train. Then you run the race. The show is the race. If you don’t love the training, you’re not going to be an athlete.
What do you do for a living?
I am a freelance web-developer. I build websites for people.
Did you start doing that on your own, did you go to college for it?
No. When I got back to work, after my kids were old enough, I started working in manufacturing. I was kind of geeky, I had the first TI-99 when it rolled off the trucks in Connecticut. I learned the BASIC programming language, and I started working in manufacturing. Because of my geeky side, I got pulled into the IT side of things. I worked in the conversion from the old mainframes to client-server for a lot of the big companies in central Connecticut. I was doing a lot of writing of technical analysis and documentation. I was doing theater on the side, working with non-profits, and participating in boards. We needed websites. I started learning how to build websites, cultivating that skill. That was a long time ago. I’ve been building big websites for big national lobbying firms and companies like that.
What do you like to do besides theater? Obviously, you’re into computers.
I love to ride my bicycle. I love to hike. Anything I can do with my dog.
Oh, you have a dog? What kind?
Have a name?
What are your dreams for the future?
I think that what I want more than anything else, is to be part of growing the arts in a different way. I think that the model for arts organizations is terribly broken. We’ve been thinking about the economics through a lens that is an old, old lens. There are newer and different ways of approaching a more sustainable future for the arts. My dream in the future is to be involved in helping to develop cooperatives, where arts organizations can pool resources to share, as opposed to every theater having to have their own facility, their own administrative staff, their own ticketing, etc. If you could pool those things, there’s a cost savings. I’m also a big believer in talking about the arts holistically. We talk about theater, visual arts, all those things, like they’re separate things. But they’re not. They’re very much part of a holistic animal that we don’t necessarily acknowledge. I want to try and figure out how we can do a better job of integrating those things, and working together as artists. I think that the long-term sustainability of art in the world will be a completely regenerative idea of how we manage art, and how we grow.
Why did you audition for The Glass Menagerie?
Amanda’s a bucket list role. I’ve been very lucky to have played some amazing roles in my lifetime. This one has always been on the list of “when the time is right, and someone is doing it, you are going to audition.”
Do you have any other roles that you’d like to play?
Yes. Hopefully going to be playing one up in Vermont in August: Osage County, soon. The role of Violet. I have a weird desire to put on trousers and play some male roles in Shakespeare.
How would you describe your character, and in what ways are you like or not like your character?
Amanda’s very caring, to the point of being smothering. That is completely unlike me. I’m very caring, but I raised my children to be very free, independent people. Amanda’s very scared of the world. She has this icy-cold fear of poverty. She’s stared it for a very long time because of her situation, but hasn’t quite gone all the way to the bottom of it, and she’s just frightened to death of it. I think she’s bipolar, I think she has great big highs and very deep lows. I love her character because she’s extremely complex. There are ways you can play this role that would be a lot more basic, but I think she’s just way too complex, and I have too much respect for her. I think I would like her. I don’t know how long I could stay in the same room with her, but I think I would like her. She tries really hard, and that’s like me. I try really hard.
Have you ever collected anything? Cards? Rocks? Crystals? Shoes?
I collect electronic devices. A lot of electronics in my house. I have to stay on top of the new trends. I need them. I’m thinking about developing something for VR- an immersive theater experience.
Do you have a favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?
Any particular kind?
Four Roses is my house bourbon.
Do you have a favorite song?
No, I have too many. I love music, period. Actually, maybe- Mozart’s Requiem. I love the whole piece.
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Other ventures? Shoutouts?
Connecticut Heritage Productions is a theater company in Middletown. It has been somewhat dormant while the former artistic director retired, and started focusing on other things he was interested in. I’ve taken over as artistic director and am in the process of reorganizing and refocusing. Keep your eyes open, when I get ready to do something, we’ll do something! Also, I teach Michael Chekhov technique for actors, so I’ll probably be putting some workshops together.