Ann Bronson is our second summer participant in our blog series 10 Questions. She can currently be seen on the Coaster Theatre Stage as Jocelyn Polegate (one of the potential murderers….) in the wonderfully fun British caper It Could Be Any One Of Us. Ann is no stranger to the Coaster Theatre stage, she started her “Coaster career” with The Music Man in 2010 and has been entertaining Coaster Theatre audiences with her classically trained soprano voice ever since (although you will have to wait to see her as Lady Larkin in our 2015 holiday musical Once Upon A Mattress to hear that wonderful voice since she doesn’t sing in this summer’s show). She has taken us Into The Woods (as the Witch), kept everyone in line as Martha “The Megaphone” Watson in the 2013 production of Irving Berlins White Christmas and many more memorable performances. So far this year, Ann has been seen as the suicidal Jessie in the 2015 winter play ‘night Mother and as one of the artistic failures suspected of murder in this summer’s play It Could Be Any One Of Us.
1. What is your present state of mind?
Currently, I’m feeling a lot of uncertainty. I’ve got a number of new things to figure out how they fit into my life, and I’m second guessing myself a fair bit.While that isn’t anything new (hey, I’m a Libra… balancing things out, then wondering if I made the right choice is second nature to me!), it is causing me to worry. I know it will work itself out, but there is also the nagging wondering of what I said no to. That whole “Two roads diverged in the woods…. and that has made all the difference.” thing. (Thank you, Mr. Frost!) I’m hopeful, but worried… hopefully worried? Worriedly hopeful?
2. Who are your favorite playwrights?
Christopher Durang,by far and away. He’s smart, insightful, funny, and oh-so-not afraid to go there. He doesn’t have a concept of sacred cows. Others include Caryl Churchill, Jonathan Marc Sherman, and Tony Kushner. I saw both parts of his Angels in America about 17 years ago in one grueling day, done by a national touring company. Amazing! It was, and remains, the most powerful theater I’ve ever seen… and not because of the full nudity either! And then there’s Landford Wilson… gentle but powerful writing. I’ve never fallen so deeply in love with a character as I did with the way he wrote Matt in Talley’s Folly.
3. Your favorite musician?
This is tricky because it is constant flux. In my high school years it was Pavarotti. My mom used to swear I would sink to my knees in reverence when he sang “Nessun Dorma”… I admit to nothing! More currently, I love so many of the theater greats… Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patikin to name just a couple. And I’ve got to admire a belter like Bette Midler. I also love Teresa Stratas for not only being a fantastic singer, but an amazing actress as well. Oh!… and Renee Fleming… gorgeous!
4. Who are your favorite characters?
Matt Friedman and Sally from Talley’s Folly. They are both beautiful characters that make you root for them to find happiness with one and other. Ethyl Rosenberg, Harper, and Prior from Angels in America. Dot from Sunday in the Park With George. And I might be a bit biased here, but the Witch from Into the Woods. All of these characters move me deeply, even if I cannot tell you exactly why.
5. Who are your heroes in real life?
The 14th Dalai Lama… I had the pleasure of seeing him once, along with a crowd of 20,000+. But even in that huge crowd, you could still feel the love coming off of him. Here’s a man who lost his homeland, has been living in exile for over 50 years, and yet, he loved everyone in that crowd. It’s rare to see him without a smile on his face. Eldad Hagar of Hope for Paws, and Jane Goodall and their amazing work and hearts for animals. Neil Degrasse Tyson, for his ability to be one of the smartest ones in the room, and still be able to connect with those of us who aren’t astrophysicists. Jon Stewart, for making me laugh, even through the Bush years. My friends Marie Hutchins, for being one of the most amazing people I know, and Richard Bowman, for being there for me and encouraging me to be more than I would be left to my own devices.
6. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I wish I had more athletic ability, particularly in gymnastics. That…and a fast metabolism wouldn’t be bad.
7. What is your most marked characteristic?
My big singing voice, especially when contrasted to my introverted nature. Takes them by surprise!
8. What do you most value in your friends?
The love and support they show me, sometimes at the drop of a hat, and how it continues even when I don’t necessarily deserve it. I value how my more outgoing friends pull me out of myself, and make sure I don’t get left in the dust when I’ve gone into wallflower mode. And I value how my more introverted friends understand my quieter side.
9. If you could be anyone throughout history, who would you have been?
Perhaps an explorer… discovering and mapping new lands. I wouldn’t have liked the hardship, but I would have loved the seeing. If there are such things as past lives, I feel I might have been a navigator on a ship. I have always been drawn to edges of maps, even as a child, wondering what was just beyond…
10. What is your motto?
Some mornings, it just not worth chewing through the leather straps.
It Could Be Any One of Us and Into The Woods photos by George Vetter/Cannon-Beach.net
Our series “10 Questions with…” is based on the original “Proust Questionnaire” with a theatrical spin. (For more information and to see the full questionnaire click here)