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Marianna Bassham Answers the Proust Questionnaire


Marianna Bassham

Marianna Bassham

Marianna Bassham (Rachel in SpeakEasy Stage Company’s Reckless which begins this weekend) won the 2009 Norton Award for her unforgettable performance in SpeakEasy’s 2009 production of Blackbird. Ms. Bassham’s other recent credits include Quills, Tartuffe, A Streetcar Named Desire, Silence, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (New Rep); The Tempest, Hamlet, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and The Merchant of Venice (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Miss Witherspoon and Talley’s Folly (The Lyric); Antigone (The Nora); The Heidi Chronicles (Gloucester Stage); and Little Black Dress (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre).

What is your definition of misery?
Fear or the unknown.

What is your greatest fear?
Having a closed heart.

What was your first “real” job working in theatre?
Great Lakes Theater Festival 1998. Bart Sher directed Richard III and made up the role of Mistress Shore, and I got the part because I had a sexy walk.

Are you a good at waiting tables?
Nope: I’m a terrible with multitasking and timing.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Well she’s still here, but Joni Mitchell Circa 1974.

Who are your favorite heroes of theatre?
Liv Ullman and the cast of Soho Rep’s Blasted last year.

Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
All the women I know who teach, create, and raise families simultaneously. And Rachel Maddow.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being well-trained.

What do you consider the most underrated virtue?
Verbal economy.

Your favorite painter?
Odd Nerdrum.

Your favorite musician?
Joni, no question.

Your favorite playwright?
Tennessee Williams.

When and where were you happiest?
Driving on two-lane dirt roads in Arizona and happening upon The Theodore Roosevelt Dam, alone, listening to Beck’s “Around the Bend.”

What do you most value in colleagues?
a sense of fun– even when it’s the darkest, blood-spitting tragedy.

Is there a class in which you wish you had paid more attention?
8th grade Social Studies. Can I audit?

If you didn’t work in theatre, what would you do?
Make collages and mobiles and sell them at fairs and to restaurants, and live out West.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making a home for myself in Boston.

What you’d like to be the world’s best at?
Listening.

What book would you read more than once?
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes. I’ve read it several times.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Why?
Miranda July. I love her and she understands everybody.

What sports teams do you follow?
Not a single one. The better our teams do, the lower our ticket sales are.

Where would you like to spend a vacation?
A 3 month Holland America Cruise of the Pacific.

What car would you like to be seen driving around in?
Yellow Ford Mustang, baby!

What book is currently on your nightstand?
Giants in the Earth by O. E. Rolvaag. Haven’t cracked it.

If you could see a great production of a classic play, what would it be?
Our Town at Barrow St. Theater in NYC.

If you could travel back in time to visit or live in any time in history, when would it be?
A quick visit to a 1940′s dance hall.

What actor will see in any project they do?
Gena Rowlands. Always mesmerizing. I steal from her shamelessly.

Thank you to Marianna Bassham (tag archive). Photo courtesy of the SpeakEasy Stage Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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