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You Have the Right to Remain Dead Cast and Crew Spotlight: Doris Turnbull & Blanche LaToure

You Have the Right to Remain Dead Cast and Crew Spotlight: Doris Turnbull & Blanche LaToure

Name: Doris Turnbull
Role: Sweet Mama
Hometown: Ojai, CA
Favorite Food: roasted beet and arugula salad 
Hobbies: knitting, private acting coach
Favorite Play or Musical: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

What made you decide to start acting/working backstage?
Truly, it chose me. To paraphrase JK Rowling, the wand chose the wizard.

Who is your favorite co-star?
My, I mean OUR, audience. 

Do you have a fun backstage story?
In professional theater you are trained to not speak backstage, but if I had to chose something, it would be the time someone swapped out Lois’s eyelash glue with a tube of gorilla glue.

If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d love the opportunity to meet Angela Lansbury; I really feel that some of my little friendly notes could have helped round out some of her characters.

Can you give us any hints to solve the mystery?
I live each performance as though I don’t know what is going to happen, for authenticity. So, no.

What is your favorite part of the play?
My favorite part of the play is my solo moment where I’m able to pour my emotions out onto the stage like so many rain puddles, connecting to my audience through my vulnerability and authenticity. 

How did you prepare for this role?
I spent months rehearsing. In an attempt to hone my method, I moved to Savannah, GA and immersed myself in the culture of the gentility. 

Do you feel personally connected to your character?
As I become any of my characters, I lose all sense of “Doris”; our connection becomes inseparably integrated.  

What was the hardest thing to do when preparing for this production?
Coming to terms with the fact that I’d be working with my ex husband was quite daunting. 

Do you have a life philosophy?
To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.

Name: Blanche LaToure
Role: Director
Hometown: Aurora, New York
Favorite Food: Sushi
Hobbies: Writing and drawing, I love sketching characters from my short stories.
Favorite Play or Musical: The Producers! My father took me to see it at the St. James theater for my sixteenth birthday, it’s one of my favorite memories with him.

What made you decide to start acting/working backstage?
I have grown up loving theater. My parents bought the ART back in 1986 when it moved to the Baird Center. I was only two back then, and the theater really became a second home for me.

Who is your favorite co-star?
I couldn’t possibly choose one! Lois and I share a very special bond that goes way back, Ajax has been a close friend of mine for a few years now, and Trudy is like a daughter to me. I would not survive without those three.

Do you have a fun backstage story?
Ajax brought his cat to one of our set building days about a month ago. He let her out the backdoor for a little bit, and when she came back inside she had a tiny toad in her mouth! Trudy spent hours looking for the poor thing after the cat let it go. We never did find it, who knows where it is now.

If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Lucille Ball. She is a legend and I would have done anything to share just one meal with her.

Can you give us any hints to solve the mystery?
Don’t believe everything you hear.

What is your favorite part of the play?
Clete’s first entrance. Ajax does such a great job and it makes me laugh every time.

How did you prepare for this role?
As director? I learned from my dad, he was my role model.

Do you feel personally connected to your character?
Trudy! Did you not look over these questions before you sat down with me?

What was the hardest thing to do when preparing for this production?
Keeping Harnell in line. He drives me insane.

Do you have a life philosophy?
My father used to tell me to always pursue happiness, even it means abandoning all you’ve ever known.