I made a big mistake when I went to the January 20th first read of Women in Jeopardy! I didn’t bring any Kleenex. I’m ashamed to admit that I used my sleeve to wipe away tears that I couldn’t stop as I laughed throughout the reading. I should have known better because when I read the script at home, I laughed so often that my husband asked me what I was laughing about. As funny as the play was when I read it by myself, it was a million times funnier when I heard the actors read it. I know that when I see the final production, it will be a zillion times funnier still. I can’t wait.
During a break, I chatted with Jessica Wortham, the actress who plays the sweet character Mary, an attractive, divorced librarian. Jessica was saying what fun it is to be in a comedy for a change. I asked if hearing laughter throughout a comedy makes it more rewarding since actors usually don’t get feedback in a drama until the ending applause. Jessica said that comedies can be a little scary. She told me that she assumes the audience is with her when she is acting in a drama, even if the house is quiet – that silence means the audience is listening. On the other hand, not having laughs when you expect them in a comedy, can be disconcerting. I told Jessica that there is no way an audience can remain quiet during this play. She agreed, as do the other actors. The last character to appear in the play is Trenner, a clueless teenaged snowboarder played charmingly by Jacob York. I overhead one of the actors
say to another “Jacob is the icing on this cake.”
Director Sean Daniels talked about the very democratic process of putting on a comedy. If expected laughs don’t happen, lines maybe reworded or cut. We have a vote on the plays we see at MRT and how they will be shown to future audiences. That’s pretty cool. As I’ve been telling all my friends, please don’t miss the opportunity to see Women in Jeopardy. This play has everything—sex, murder, paprika, and a creepy dentist.
Oh, and when you go, don’t forget to bring Kleenex!
-Terri Munson, Cohort
Women in Jeopardy! runs February 15 – March 12.