Monday, March 14, 2011

ON THE SPOT with Rachel Donovan and Frank Wilson

Mischief's tag line is, Let's not be serious, it's more fun to be mischievous! And it certainly seems that cast has taken this light-hearted mantra to heart. Read on to learn more about two of the adventurous cast members, Rachel Donovan and Frank Wilson!

Frank Wilson
New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Frank Wilson: South London
Rachel Donovan: I was born in Germany and then raised on an armed forces base on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where the temperature was so warm that my school day finished at 1:30PM! It was too hot to study in the afternoon, so most afternoons were spent on the beach and by the pool. Bliss!

NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
FW: Meeting with friends and cooking up food

NV: Favorite hometown food?
FW: Sunday roast
RD: Grilled Halloumi - it is a Greek goat cheese. It has a salty taste and is great fun to eat because you can hear it squeaking against your teeth!

Rachel Donovan
NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
FW: Skyla Chi and her Mother
RD: The people in my life - my family, boyfriend and friends.

NV: Favorite family activity?
FW: Going on holiday together
RD: Egg bashing at Easter. Each family member prepares a boiled egg (you are allowed to paint/glitter/dye your egg but it mustn't affect the condition of the shell) then we pair up and go head to head. The aim of the competition is to tap and crack as many other eggs as possible whilst keeping your egg in tact. Hours of fun. My Dad is always the adjudicator.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
FW: In 1998 whilst performing at the Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki [Finland], I saw  a French hip hop theatre dance company called Frank II Louise performing a piece called Drop It.
RD: Watching Theatre de Complicite's production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the National Theatre when I was 16. At one point Grusha's baby grows into a toddler [and] they used a fabric mannequin puppet to represent this. Then in the next sequence the child grows again into a young boy - at which point the puppet sprang to life without its puppeteers and ran across the stage all on its own. Magic! I gasped out loud. They must have swapped the puppet for a little boy without us noticing. [UPDATE: Sue Buckmaster, the artistic director of Theatre-Rites, was actually the Puppetry Director for that production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Thanks for letting us know, Theatre-Rites!].

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
FW: My own solo Clown-A-Dread
RD: The fire alarm has gone off during two of my shows. Generally all performers are advised to keep on acting until the Company Stage Manager comes onstage and makes an announcement - but both times the audience ran out of the theatre before I'd even registered that there was an alarm!

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
FW: Cooking and some kind of healing

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
FW: Whoopiieee

Shot from the Ski Cyprus Troodos webcam
NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you.
FW: I have nine lives
RD: I learned to ski when I was three years old. In Cyprus, the snow-capped Troodos Mountains were the perfect playground for my hobby. Also I once did a bungee jump over a river in Thailand......never again.

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
FW: I teach dance to children and I do crew work
RD: I am a motion capture artist for movies and computer games. This involves dressing up in a lycra body-suit with reflective markers on each of my joints and muscle groups, my every move is then recorded on 70 plus infra-red cameras in a studio. If you've seen Avatar, this is a good example of the kind of work I do.

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
RD: I studied at Middlesex University and gained a First Class BA honours degree in Performing Arts. I took the Uni route, rather than the Drama school route because I wanted to keep my options open and meet other students who were studying various subjects. At Middlesex I met the Theatre Director, John Wright, who introduced me to Clowning/Mask and Comedia. It was a whole new world to me, I found it very freeing and thrilling to be able to make people laugh one minute and cry the next.

NV: What is your cultural heritage? Has it influenced your work, and if so, how?
FW: Afro Caribbean ... What is in you most come out...

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
FW: My father, Skyla Chi and Mo-ideas

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
FW: Cause I get to come to New York!! Plus I get to perform on Broadway :0)

Mischief runs at The New Victory Theater from March 18-27. Watch the trailer here.

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