Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Long Day's Journey Into Night: Christina Wellford Scott

Hello all, Threepenny is back in the month of February, presenting Eugene O'Neill's great American tragedy Long Day's Journey Into Night, opening THIS FRIDAY at TheatreWorks and running through February 22nd (no show on Valentine's Day). As always, the show is set-your-own-admission with a suggested ticket price of $15.

This week, we meet the parents: Mary and James Tyrone, and we are fortunate enough to feature two of the finest actors in Memphis, performing with us in this show. This is their first time working with Threepenny and we are very excited to have them. Today we interview our leading lady. She's been a part of the Memphis theatre scene for over 30 years, having performed on almost every stage in town, picking up numerous Ostrander awards and nominations along the way. Her name is Christina Wellford Scott.

Christina Wellford Scott - Mary

Hello, what's your name and who are you playing?

My name is Christina Wellford Scott, and I'm playing Mary Tyrone.

How long have you been involved with theatre in the city of Memphis?

Oh, a long time, thirty-plus years I would say.

What was your first show?

Well, my first show, I was in the chorus of Carousel for Front Street Music Theatre. They performed at Lausanne, directed by George Touliatos, who was my first acting teacher. That was in 1972. Though before that I did play Teddy Wewon in the fourth grade play *laughs*.

Long Day's Journey Into Night, what are your thoughts on the play?

It's a beautiful, magnificent play and it demands a lot of everybody involved. It's a privilege to be in it.

What are some of the challenges you've faced working on the show and portraying the character of Mary?

I think the biggest challenge has been finding the time to let it all settle in. It's such a mammoth work, and I feel the pressure of trying to find all the things Mary could be, and hoping to get to what I envision for the character.

Now, I have it from a very reliable source that you do, in fact, have children. How does that affect your portrayal of Mary?

I think it helps me, emotionally, to understand a lot of her fears and anxieties. I don't know how I would look at the character if I weren't a mother of four. I couldn't even imagine what that's like because I've been a mother for so long.

What's it like working with your fellow cast-mates?

Wonderful. They're all wonderful, and we have a great director. I couldn't be happier with the cast and crew and director. It's just wonderful.

Long Day's Journey Into Night is a very dark play, darker than a lot of shows Memphis audiences are used to. What do you think are the merits of putting on a show like this?

I think it's such a profound play, and I don't think every part of it is dark, but I believe it speaks to a very important place in the human experience, in the same way that Lear does, or Hamlet, or any play that has a dark subject. This is a great play. This is a GREAT play. It's not a melodrama. It's a profound piece that ennobles people who watch it and share in the experience, I think. That's what I hope for.

Any last words?

God help me and the Blessed Virgin *laughs*

Thanks, Christina. Our final interview is coming soon. Long Day's Journey Into Night opens THIS FRIDAY, February 6th, and runs until the 22nd. There is no show on Valentine's Day (Saturday the 14th), but there is a show on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16th! We hope to see you all there.

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