Quotidian’s PR assistant, Lauren Katz, chats with the artists of the production. Chelsea Mayo plays Anna Sergeyevna, the lady with the little dog.
What was your first theatrical experience? The first play I performed in was Stone Soup in 2nd grade. I played a soldier named Charlie. I remember being happy to have lines but disappointed I had to play a boy. My first experiences as an audience member were at Nashville Children’s Theatre, seeing stage adaptations of books I loved – The Little House in the Big Woods, Anne of Green Gables, and The Hobbit.
How did you begin performing in DC? My first job when I moved here was playing Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. After that show, I did a lot of Shakespeare and other classics. The Lady with the Little Dog is the first time I’ve been involved in creating and premiering a new adaptation of a classic story.
How did you get involved with The Lady with the Little Dog? I was in QTC’s production of Conor McPherson’s The Veil with director Stephanie Mumford two years ago. Early last year, she told me about her idea to adapt this story for the stage and asked if I’d be interested in playing Anna.
What’s different about this project for you? Aside from the above, this project relies much more on movement to tell the story than the language-heavy plays I’ve mostly worked on in the past.
How is this role different for you? I’m still figuring that one out. Anna can be naive at times and very wise at others. Her story is about balancing what we want or dream of for ourselves with what other people expect of us, and what to do when nothing turns out how we expect it will.
Why should audiences come to see this play? I think Lady is going to be true to what audiences love about QTC’s productions, but it also tries something new. QTC strives to give audiences the impression that they’re looking over a fence or through a window into the characters’ lives; Lady retains that intimacy, but there are also elements in the design, interplay between the performers, and the writing itself that are very theatrical and surprising. I hope audiences will find it refreshing.