Interview with Doreen Loring

Doreen Loring plays Corryn in Dreawmwell Theatre’s upcoming production of Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams, directed by Matthew Falduto. Performances will be held March 4, 5, 11 & 12, 7:30pm, at Public Space One (120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City). Order your tickets today at http://www.dreamwell.com/view-tickets/

Why did you decide to audition for Gidion’s Knot?
I really thought this role would be a challenge for me as an actor. It’s the first lead role I’ve had in a long time. And I was drawn to Corryn for varying reasons that, in some ways, parallel my own experiences as a parent and a professional. And the script is so honest; so heartwrenching and yet also humorous in some scenes. Which is what life really is like. We find humor in the darkest of places just to keep our sanity.

How would you describe Corryn?
Corryn is extremely intelligent, liberal, (somewhat) cynical and creative. She can’t help but look down her nose at many people who disagree with her views, although she does respect honesty and courage in people. Her career is her life; she would be lost without her research. She mentions she never thought she’d have children, so she is – deep down – a reluctant parent. She’s also a single mother, and grapples with everything that involves raising a child alone. I don’t believe she was ever married to Gidion’s father, although she allowed him to let Gidion take his last name instead of her own. I think she regrets that now. Corryn is obviously in a great deal of pain in this play, and she struggles to maintain her composure during every moment with Heather. When it slips she quickly reels herself back in. It’s a defense mechanism.

In what ways do you identify with Corryn?
I understand her frustration with people who choose not to be informed. I don’t suffer fools easily, which makes me cynical at times myself. I have had immediate family members die, and I have a daughter who fought and won her battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. So I can identify with her feelings of fear, loss and bitterness. However, I wanted to be a mother. I wasn’t always good at it, I confess. So there’s that notion of being a failure at something that still haunts me. Fortunately, now my daughters are strong, independent young women who are very confident, fun loving and creative!

You are onstage for basically the entire show. As an actress how does this experience compare to what you might experience in a typical show?
It’s definitely more intense and a bit intimidating at times, because you can’t run backstage and check your script or run to the restroom! But it’s also so much more effective to have this drama unfold in real time. We’re experiencing an interaction as it would realistically take place; in the time it would naturally take to get through this dialogue. In that way it’s refreshing and the building of the drama is much more fluid and natural.

What has been the most challenging part of the rehearsal process?
For me, the sheer volume of lines Corryn has in the play is daunting. It’s the biggest role I’ve had as far as stage time is concerned as well. But the more I read it, the more closely I identify with her, and thus the lines seem to flow forth on their own. It’s a beautifully written play.

What has been the most rewarding part of the rehearsal process?
The freedom we’re given as actors to explore any dimension or facet of our characters. We can try anything and if it doesn’t work, no big deal! We’ve been given so much to play around with, so to speak, and it’s been a refreshing experience to have the liberty to take things wherever we want in rehearsal. And I learn something new every time we get together. It’s fascinating.

Why should people come see Gidion’s Knot?
I feel it tells an incredibly touching and timely story. Everyone can relate to SOMETHING in this remarkable drama. It makes you think about topics we tend to sweep under the rug in our everyday lives; things we’re afraid to acknowledge exist in this technologically and intellectually advanced time. It’s a moving, challenging and hopeful dramatic experience.