Onstage / TEN QUESTIONS FOR Alexandria Watts
(Miss Bennet in MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY)
What’s your relationship to this show/Miss Bennet/Pride and Prejudice?
I hadn’t delved into any of Jane Austen’s novels or the film adaptations before being introduced to this show. At the suggestion of our director, Katie Mallinson, I indulged myself in watching the 2005 film and Death at Pemberley, and both were amazing. I fell in love with the intricacies of humor, the subtleties in courting, and especially the specialization of language.
What’s the best acting advice you were ever given?
When I am creatively jammed, I remember what my professor, Stephen Henderson, taught me: “Don’t get it right, get it true.” Sometimes, I feel like I’m supposed to be filling someone else’s idea of what the character is, which is inaccurate. I work to get it true for myself.
What’s your best “the show went on” moment?
During a children’s show, I missed a step on a ramp and fell really hard while holding a huge puppet. It was hilarious and painful all at the same time, but I just popped back up and continued on.
What’s the role that got away?
I would love a chance to play the Witch (Into the Woods) and Rose Fenny (Dogfight). I know my time will come to explore their stories.
What line from a former play have you never forgotten and why?
Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Orlando says, “O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!” It reminds me of a different quote from Theodore Roosevelt, stating that “comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and to look at what you don’t have instead of what you do. I want to praise the inspiring work that others are doing, but also salute myself and all of the projects that include me in the collaborative process.
What “against type” role are you dying to play?
It would be a hoot to play Dawn (Waitress), Jamie (The Last Five Years), Eliza (Hamilton), Rosalind (As You Like It), the list goes on. I rarely get to delve into the idea of the ingénue or bending gender in a show, so it would be a welcome challenge.
What’s your classic actor nightmare dream?
I always have a dream that I’m sitting in the audience of a show on the West End and one of the actors drops out. The director finds me and hands me a script, telling me that I have an hour to be off book before I take the stage. I try my hardest, but the show turns out horribly and I’m fired forever.
What’s been the best thing you’ve seen this season and why?
I really loved watching Sweeney Todd at the Kavinoky Theatre. It was such an amazing spectacle and I was so proud of everyone who worked on the production. So crisp and clear.
Plugs for the rest of the season or something else?
After Pemberley, I’m fortunate enough to be doing Ragtime at MusicalFare and Dragons Love Tacos at Theatre of Youth!
Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley runs December 6–23 at Shea’s 710 on December 10 (roadlesstraveledproductions.com; 629-3069)