In the Spotlight: Twelfth Night
| 11:55AM.August 2nd, 2012
APT talks to Cristina Panfilio about playing Viola (aka Cesario) in the 2012 production of Twelfth Night.
APT: What is your favorite thing about playing viola?
Cristina: Viola is one of my all-time favorite characters: she's smart, she's funny, and she has a great big full heart. She's patient, loving, open and passionate, and just about all of the things that I'd like to be on my best days.
APT: What do you think is her greatest strength?
Cristina: I think that great big heart of hers is absolutely her greatest strength as well as the thing that sometimes gets her into trouble. It's what makes everyone fall in love with her - which ultimately works out for her in the end, but not without first tangling her up along the way.
APT: What is your favorite thing about this production?
Cristina: There's something very freeing about playing a character that is out of her element and in disguise. That, coupled with Viola's intelligence and openness, to me, is a recipe for freedom. There's a terrific sense of play onstage. Everyone involved in the production enjoys telling the story. And when we can feel the audience coming along for the ride...it's the greatest.
APT: How is acting Up the Hill at APT different than other places?
Cristina: It's an incredible space. It's easier than you'd think and it's harder than you'd think. On a clear night, you can whisper the words and they'll make it to the back of the house. No question. But sometimes there will be wind or cicadas or a humid thickness in the air that changes everything. It requires an extra sense to determine what kind of night it is, and what we have to do in order to get the story out there truthfully within the environment.
I've also been hearing for some time now that APT audiences are special. And it's true. These houses are filled with some of the most attentive, thoughtful, generous, wonderful audience members I've ever encountered. It's inspiring.
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