Meet the Artists of THE LADY WITH THE LITTLE DOG: Christine Kharazian

Quotidian’s PR assistant, Lauren Katz, chats with Christine Kharazian, who plays the Violinist and Gurov’s wife.

Zach Roberts and Christine Kharazian in LADY photo by St. Johnn Blondell

What was your first theatrical experience? While I have been involved in many productions as a musician, my first truly theatrical experience was with Quotidian’s A Little Trick a couple of years back. However, while I was on stage and in a costume, there was little acting involved and the only sound I produced came from my violin.

What’s different about this role/project for you? How does this rehearsal process differ from others? Music and Theatre are both performing arts, so you might expect that the creative process is similar for the two art forms. However, I found the theatrical experience to be very different. At the first rehearsals, everything felt really disconnected, like big pieces of a puzzle that were so far from each other it was hard to imagine they would ever come together. As the time progressed, the pieces came closer and closer and it was fascinating to see how everything finally fell into place and started to flow. Keeping that flow is probably one of the biggest challenges. For a musician, the best performance state is internal – when you go inside yourself and disconnect from reality, your music will be better. I sometimes imagine that I don’t really play it, but that I just hear someone else playing and my physical body isn’t even there. With theatre, however, you need to be very aware of yourself, your fellow actors, furniture, props, everything around you. Everyone depends on everyone else.

What is most exciting about this play? What is most challenging? As I mentioned, this is the first time I’ve actually done any acting, so that has been quite exciting. The most challenging part is the mental switch between acting and playing music. Also I think it’s a challenge to convey musical beauty if you only get to play a very short excerpt. You don’t have much time, just few notes and that’s it. I try my best to be disconnected enough to play well and connected enough to know it’s time to play.

Why should audiences come to see this play? I think this play has many visually charming scenes. Our director, Stephanie Mumford has made many interesting decisions that make this play different and appealing to open-minded audiences. The tastefully presented cultural references turn it into, as one reviewer said  “an intimate one-hour visit to late 19th-century Russia.” I think it is a really nice piece of dramatic art. Come see for yourself.

The Lady with the Little Dog runs July 8 – August 7, 2016 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, where QTC is the Resident Theatre Company. Tickets are on sale now

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