Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Spotlight On...Dana Watkins

Name: Dana Watkins

Hometown: New York City

Education: Lycee Francais de New York, Stuyvesant High School, SUNY Purchase acting conservarory

Select Credits: Hallmark Hall of Fame's “Christmas with Holly,” French Lieutenant's Woman at the Fulton, Marat Sade and The Cherry Orchard at Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Jazz Age at 59E59.

Why theater?: That's where my heart is.  I've been performing since the age of 7 and nothing beats live theatre.

Who do you play in Edwin?: Edwin Booth

Tell us about Edwin: Edwin is about Edwin Booth, the most successful actor of his day returning to the stage after his brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln.  It's about reconciling your past in order to move on to a better future.  It's about family and duty, love and loss, and the stories we tell ourselves.

What is it like being a part of Edwin?: I adore working with these people.  The play itself is huge in scope and I couldn't  imagine a better group than the people who have come together to bring it to life.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that challenges the audience, that makes you think - perhaps changes your viewpoint.  I also love any kind of theatre that makes you dream.  Good stagecraft is something that makes me inordinately happy.  As to what inspires me, that changes day to day.  Some days it's a sculpture, others a piece of music, a book, a kind gesture on the subway.  Claude Monet said "Every day I discover more and more beautiful things.  It's enough to drive one mad.  I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it."

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Richard the III, Iago, Trigorin in the Seagull. I love the poetry of August Wilson - unfortunately I'll never get to be in Fences.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Right now Tosca's “E lucevan le stele”...it's in a show, and it's a tune.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Tom Waits....and, of course Meryl Streep...and Mark Rylance....and....wait the list is endless.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: No one. It would be an animated film with a great score. Not sure of the title yet.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would love to see Edwin Booth perform his Hamlet.  I'd love to go back and see Shakespeare...actually Shakespeare.  I'd love to go back and see Brando and Jessica Tandy doing Streetcar.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Black Watch, Propeller's Winter's Tale, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Blacks at Classical Theatre of Harlem, Cate Blanchett in Streetcar

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The big blockbuster summer movies that go “boom."

What’s up next?: Filming more scenes for a pilot called “Once in a Lifetime.”

For more on Dana, visit www.danawatkins.com. For more on Edwin, visit greatcircleproductions.org.