Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Lauren Traynor, who is performing as Mrs. Pugh in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far.
LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?
LT: It was Lyric Arts that drew me in. I have wanted to get involved with a theater that does more shows in a year and voila there Lyric was.
LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?
LT: Annie is a show about optimism, plain and simple. Here is a kid who is down on her luck but never fails to see the bright and shiny of it all. Sounds like a good way to live to me!
LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?
LT:I am playing Mrs. Pugh the cook. In creating this character I have come up with a loveable Irishwoman who’s life work is nourishing with both food and love this Warbucks family that she has chosen to become a part of.
LA: Why should people come and see Annie?
LT:Because right now we could all use a little lightheartedness and optimism, right.
LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?
LT:All of them! This is my first Lyric Arts show and everyone welcomed me from the first minute. I am a fan of how we are all working so hard together to create a great finished product. What a team!
LA: What do you feel are the “wow” elements of Annie?
LT:I know this may seem a bit biased because I am in the chorus, but the chorus really “wows” me. Becky (the director) has put together such a great group that I know we will sparkle come show time.
LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?
LT: To be honest, I did this show when I was in high school so to see it come together again and with adults and children is so fun. To see how different a picture can look when seen through the eyes of someone else. To understand context now as an adult. It is a whole new story.
LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?
LT: Hooverville is really starting to turn into a great scene. It is all so fun though.
LA: What is your favorite musical to watch?
LT: On stage, Wicked, I think. Movie, Moulin Rouge or Sweeney Todd.
LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?
LT: So many things!! I love the winter holidays! I love Christmas so much I had my wedding a week before Christmas so that I could have it be Christmas decorated. I am also a December baby, in fact we are performing on my birthday, so I love December!!!
LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?
LT: I don’t know that I could decide between the two. The roles of the 1980s movie are so iconic and stuck in my head. Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Tim Curry! All Classics!! But on stage there are songs that weren’t included in the movie that are so much fun and help to tell the story of the time Annie was living in. Can’t choose.
LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?
LT: The question isn’t how I will find the energy to do 24 shows…the question should be where will I find the energy to work after 24 shows?
LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?
LT: That is always a tough question because I have honestly loved ever role I have played. If I had to narrow it down the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz and Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Why? Because it is a lot of fun to be the mean one!
LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?
LT: Tracey Turnblad in Hairspray or either lead role in Wicked.
LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
LT: Gee what else is left. Just kidding. I work in Maple Grove for my family business Conveyor Belting Supply. I have been married to an awesome guy named Mike for what will be 8 years after the show finishes. I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, having movie marathons and being auntie LaLa to my niece Aurelia.