Friday, December 14, 2018

Spotlight On...Judy Frank

Name: Judy Frank

Hometown: Fort Thomas, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana

Education: Indiana University, Yale Drama School

Favorite Credits: Mary in Mary Mary, Shirley Valentine, Desdemona etc.

Why theater?: It is the most immediate art form for me; I am drawn not just to it, but intoit.

Tell us about Notes To Wherever: After my husband’s death, well meaning friends gave me a number of “how to deal with loss” books, and though I found parts of them somewhat helpful, my overwhelming reaction was that grief is a highly individual process, so I followed my instincts and began to write notes to my husband, with the underlying idea that if what I was writing turned out to be a book – I had been published previously – the reader could take what helped and leave the rest. The surprise for me, though it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise since my husband was wonderfully witty, was how much humor there is in even the bleakest situation. It gets me, and I hope, an audience, through.

What inspired you to create Notes To Wherever?: The transition from book to stage happened because after so many – don’t ask – years in the business, I guess theatre just sort of leaks out of me. Professionals who read the original draft kept saying, “Judy, this is a theatre piece,” and so it became one.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Comedy. And theatre that reaches the cerebrum through the heart. There are so many things, so many people – but first was a wonderful professor at IU whose love of theatre was absolutely contagious.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Doug Hughes I think. But first I’d like to work with a number of people I’ve already had the good fortune to work with, including my current director, Kathryn Markey.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Come from Away recently, though I am rather ashamed to admit I’ve been too involved in my own work to do my usual amount of theatre going.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I have no idea who would play me in a movie, but I think as I look back, in spite or perhaps because of some bumps and bruises, I would call the movie “Lucky Girl.”

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Opening night of Oklahoma, or anything with the Lunts or Laurette Taylor.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be?: Dreaming…

What’s up next?: The great (or maybe just interesting) American novel, which friends will probably turn into a play.