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ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.


Rondi Reed (#259) - March, 2010

The "resident character woman" of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rondi Reed, talks about her current stint as Madame Morrible in the Broadway juggernaut "Wicked", a role she originated in the musical's Chicago company, including why we're suddenly seeing her in a big Broadway musical for the first time, after 30 years in Chicago's best-known theatre ensemble. She also discusses her college years at Illinois State University, where she first met the team who would become the founders of Steppenwolf; why after graduation she decamped for Minnesota; when the invitation to join Steppenwolf actually came; why she didn't journey to New York for the famed production of "Balm in Gilead"; her directing debut with John Guare's "Lydie Breeze"; her extended tenure in the original production of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and the brief Broadway run of "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice"; whether she has the opportunity at Steppenwolf to ask for plays to be done specifically based on her interest; why the company seems to have so many meetings and how they've sustained that over the years; her reasons for initially declining the role of Mattie Faye, written by Tracy Letts with her in mind, in "August: Osage County", as she sets the record straight about whether or not the company resisted bringing the show to New York; the remarkable experience of returning to "August" for its final performance at the last minute, playing the role she created for a single performance with a company of actors she didn't know, including Phylicia Rashad, why she's only in recent years begun appearing in roles outside of Steppenwolf; and how long we can expect her to stay in the magical world of "Wicked". Original air date - March 10, 2010.

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