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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.


Linda Lavin (#269) - May, 2010

"Collected Stories" star Linda Lavin discusses why she's playing the role of Ruth Steiner in Donald Margulies' play for a fourth time, likens the two-character play to a duet that changes with each new co-star, and explains why she turned the role down the first time she had the opportunity to play it. She also talks about her musical heritage growing up in Maine; how she got her Equity card after her freshman year studying drama at the College of William and Mary; how a chorus role in her first Broadway show, "A Family Affair", grew to afford her four character roles by opening night; the unexpected success of "The Mad Show", which was originally planned for a two-week holiday run; the experience of creating roles in two Neil Simon plays, "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" and "Broadway Bound", including the story of how swiftly Simon wrote her impressive act two monologue for the latter; whether it was tough for her to be considered for stage roles after nine seasons on TV's "Alice"; how she saw the character of Mama Rose when she took over for Tyne Daly in "Gypsy"; what she thinks prompted Charles Busch to create the title role in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" with her in mind; and why when she's not busy with professional acting roles she spends her "spare time" running the Red Barn Theatre, a community theatre in Wilmington NC. Original air date - May 19, 2010.

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