Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Behind the WARDROBE: An Interview with Donna-Lea Ford

We're going to keep getting to know the people behind the performances! Further to my series of interviews with CHRISTMAS PRESENCE performers (more to come!) and the lovely video interviews with THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE director Kerry van der Griend and sound designers Jeff Tymoschuk and Corina Akeson, it's time for you to meet Lucy! ... and by Lucy of course, I mean the lovely Donna-Lea Ford.

PT: Introduce Yourself.
DLF: Donna-Lea Ford - Vancouver born and been involved in the t.v, film, and theatre industry here in Vancouver for more years than she cares to really admit, with time taken off for good behaviour - or having two children anyways.

PT: When were you first exposed to the world of Narnia? What drew you to it?
DLF: I wish I could say it was one of those great childhood memories that transported me into the wardrobe but, alas, what brought me to the story was looking for good literature to read to my own children. We read it to our son when he was four and it captivated me. And so, I came to it as an adult through the eyes of a child. Lovely really.

PT: Who is your favorite character to play in this story?
DLF: This is a hard one to answer because they are all so wonderful in their own way. I love Lucy and her fearless commitment to the magic of the story, her faith, her naivete, her passion, honesty, and spirited nature. And, who wouldn't want the opportunity to play out the delicious darkness of the White Witch?

PT: How do you feel this story works as a theatre adaptation with two actors?
DLF: The story played by two actors is magical. It is a great opportunity for me as an actor to play so many roles but most importantly, I think, it is a very beautiful way to experience the story that C.S. Lewis penned. It asks of the audience - like the novel asks of the reader - to be an active member of the story. They must jump into the magic with us and use their imaginations to transport them from spare room, to the woods of Narnia, to the witches castle. It's almost like jumping into the mind of a child and how we all once 'played'.

PT: Why should people see the show?
DLF: Why should people see the show? Because I am in it! No. Really? Oh, how does someone so close to and so invested in it answer that? I do believe in the story so much. And, what a perfect time of year to see a piece of theatre that still believes in the 'magic' of this world and beyond. The sound design, lighting and costumes are also really lovely. I am told that in one sound cue, a little girl 'gasp' at the magic of it. That makes it worth while!

PT: What has been your most "epic" journey?
DLF: Childbirth. No question about that! Oh, and memorizing this show!

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