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Onstage / TEN QUESTIONS FOR Mary Kate O’Connell

(MEMORIES & MARTINIS at O’Connell and Company)

Mary Kate O'Connell


What’s your relationship to this show?

Memories and Martinis is simply a trip down my memory lane of songs and theater experiences. I will highlight some of my important moments with stories and songs.


What’s the best acting advice you were ever given?

“Stand still. Less really is more.” Storytelling in words or song is best told from a stationary position.


What’s your best “the show went on” moment?

We were performing The World Goes ’Round at the Lancaster Opera House. We were doing a number on roller skates and it was a raked stage. I lost my footing and went down: bam! I lay on the stage singing while laughing while the rest of the cast just rolled right over me. Moments later, song ends. Curtain closes. And we all melted into hysterical laughter. That show was my first and last foray on skates.


What’s the role that got away? 

I don’t know if there is a role that got away. Maybe I can still do a role that has eluded me. I’m not done yet!


What line from a former play have you never forgotten and why? 

Last season, I had the gift of playing Countess Aurelia in Dear World. She had many lines that still live with me. A favorite Aurelia quote is “One person can change the world.” It serves as a lovely reminder.


What “against type” role are you dying to play?

I would like playing the mother in The Manchurian Candidate. Pure evil and self-serving mothering at its best.


What’s your classic actor nightmare dream? 

I’ve had all the actors’ nightmares. Sometimes when I’m actually sleeping! 


What audition would you love to do over?

I am a terrible auditioner, so, all of them!


What’s the best thing you’ve seen this season and why?

I saw Jimmy Janowski in The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey directed by Todd Warfield presented at Buffalo United Artists. Thoughtful, beautiful, and memorable.


Plugs for the next season?

We celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary at Park School and the Smith Theatre with Gentlemen Prefer DIVAs!, Young Frankenstein, A Long Walk With Patsy Cline, Winter WonderettesNunsense A-Men, Betsy Carmichael’s Hawaiian Luau BINGO, Glorious, Lucky Stiff, and Steel Magnolias.

Memories and Martinis runs June 6–23 at O’Connell and Company (oconnellandcompany.com, 848-0800)


For more theater info, CLICK HERE.



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