Diane returns to the Coaster Theatre as Margaret Haddrell in our 2016 Season opener, Dead Guilty. In 2009 after a 25 year ministerial career and hiatus from the theatre, Diane retired and moved from Big Bear Lake, California to Warrenton-Astoria. Two weeks after her move, she auditioned for and was cast as Glorie in Grace and Glorie (2009). Next she appeared as the Mother in Come Blow Your Horn (2009) and finally as Dinah in Dixie Swim Club (2011). She also enjoyed performing in the Astor Street Opry Company’s first production of original one acts and monologues, where she met and worked with the director of Dead Guilty, Edward James.
In her “former life”, from age 12 to 32, Diane was an actress, having performed leads in 50+ stage productions. Some of her favorite stage roles were Elisa Doolittle in My Fair Lady; Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire; and Fran in Promises, Promises. Professional credits include television roles in Little House on the Prairie, Days of Our Lives and Quincy and a few seasons of summer stock in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
After the death of her spouse, Diane moved back to California and stayed three years to heal in the sunshine. While there, she appeared as three different characters in Almost, Maine and as Catherine in Chasing Manet at the Redland Footlighter’s Theatre.
Last February, she bought a home in Portland and says, “I missed The Coaster so, I’m baaaack!”
1. What is your present state of mind?
My mind is full of lines…More lines / speeches than I think I’ve ever had to memorize in my theatrical career. During the rehearsal process for Dead Guilty, I thought my head was going to explode!
2. Who are your favorite playwrights?
Tennessee Williams is my all-time favorite playwright. All his women’s roles, in all his plays, culminated into the best female character ever created, Blanche I was privileged to play Blanche in two different productions, and consider those shows my very best work. Arthur Miller, Thorton Wilder and Eugene O’Neill are also my favorite play masters.
3. Who’s your favorite musician?
I’m a child of the 60s and 70s and still love the music of that era, Paul McCartney and John Lennon among the best! In terms of theatrical musicals, Sondheim rules!
4. Who are your favorite characters?
Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire as mentioned above. Potemkin in the musical Celebration and the Stage Manager in Our Town. The latter two characters are traditionally played by males, but if I have to produce those shows myself, I will play both of those roles before I lose my memorizing capacity.
5. Who are your heroes in real life?
I don’t think I’ve ever considered anyone in particular as my hero. There are plenty of people alive and dead whom I greatly admire and attempt to emulate their high qualities and/or hold deep gratitude for the part they have played in my life. Teachers of theatre, life, love and spiritual studies abound in my experience and for all of them I am grateful.
6. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Patience and a non-judgmental innocence. I’ve had to learn compassion and tolerance toward those who choose hatred, war, greed and violence over love, peace and generosity. I’m creating a bumper sticker for my car that simply says, “OH, EVOLVE!”
7. What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m a talker. Yap yap yap yap yap yap! I love a good discussion, especially around metaphysics, spirituality and creativity.
8. What do you most value in your friends?
Intelligence, generosity of spirit and artistic capabilities.
9. If you could’ve been anyone throughout history who would you have been?
A cross between Katherine Hepburn & Buddha.
10. What is your motto?
We were born to live, not merely exist. Learn, travel, grow.