Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interview with Jeanine Serralles from the DCTC's production of "The Liar"

New York-based actress Jeanine Serralles has made Denver a second home.
As a guest performer in several Denver Center Theatre Company productions in the past several years, Serralles has carved a creative niche for herself outside the confines of the New York theater community. She's bringing her skills back to the Denver Center as Lucrece in the DCTC's current production of David Ives "The Liar," a reimagining of the 17th century comedy by Pierre Corneille. The Sentinel caught up with Serralles to talk about the current show, her fondness for the Mile High City and her upcoming projects.

Aurora Sentinel: Can you tell me a bit about the character you play in the upcoming production of “The Liar”?
Jeanine Serralles: My character’s name is Lucrece. She is a resident of Paris; she’s a wealthy young woman who is slightly neurotic. She can’t seem to find a beau because she’s very quiet and shy.
When Durant comes into town, she falls in love with him. Through mistaken identity, she thinks he’s courting her, but he’s talking about her cousin. She goes even more neurotic.

AS: How does your character add to the humor of the rest of the play?
JS: It’s a hysterical play, it’s really funny. What’s really great about it is it’s about a bunch of young people who are just trying to make their way.
For any of us have tried to pursue someone romantically and tried to tell a white lie, this guy is a master at it.
It’s really fast, it’s fun for everybody, I think. There are sword fights and romance.
There are chases and beautiful costumes. I think it’s a fun summer piece, a fun introduction to the fall.

AS: The comedy is a reimagining of the work of the 17th century playwright Pierre Corneille. What was it like stepping into a comedy that has its roots in the 1600s?
JS: The playwright who adapted Corneille, David Ives, has a play coming to Broadway this fall. He’s a very popular playwright right now. The verse is actually timely; it’s very modernized.

AS: You’re a resident of New York City, yet you’ve starred in several Denver Center productions. What keeps you coming out west?
JS: This is my fourth show here. I love the Denver Center. I love the company’s actors; they’re as good as anywhere I’ve worked.
I love working on new plays. “The Liar” has only been produced once in Washington, D.C., and Kent Thompson is one of my favorite directors.
It’s a pretty easy choice for me to come here and do this show. I love getting out of New York. (This year), I missed the whole hurricane and evacuation on the east coast.
I feel really lucky.

AS: What are your plans for after “The Liar”?
I have a show in New York right after this. It’s a show at Playwrights Horizons called “Maple and Vine.”
I love being the person who creates the character with the playwright. Most of the time the playwright is in the room with us. I love tackling contemporary themes.
I like creating new people that you might not have seen in the other plays.

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