Photo by Reese Moore Photography
We are honored to present the artistic work of Kayla Green in the role of Tania Del Valle in our upcoming production of NATIVE GARDENS, opening next week! Read more about her preparation for this role and love for theatre below:
Share with us more about your acting experience! What do you love about theatre?
High school is where I really got into theatre. I had many chances to be a part of amazing ensembles until I landed my first speaking role as Yvette in Clue. I was so proud of myself when I saw my name on the cast listing. I swear I felt like I won a million dollars! Spending days after school with people who have the same love and appreciation for theatre was a different type of energy that I loved to be around. When high school ended, I was so determined to be an actress that I ventured into film acting while pursuing local theatre opportunities as well. In 2020, I was honored to be cast in Footlight Players’ production of Matilda, but the Covid lockdown happened and they had to put it on hold. Unfortunately, it was not picked back up for the next season, but instead we got to perform a show called All Together Now!, in which we sang different songs from musicals. Between then and now, I have done some background work on TV shows and movies, which was fun and very interesting. I can’t wait to be on stage again for Native Gardens.
How have you been preparing for the role of Tania Del Valle in Native Gardens?
I’ve been really looking to the Latina women in my life I look up to, such as my mom, my sister, and Representative AOC. I see aspects of Tania in them by how passionate they speak and how they are always trying to build a better life for themselves and the people around them. I have also been writing certain memories for Tania, like happy times she spent at her grandparents’ farm and how she met Pablo in college.
Which aspects of rehearsing come more easily to you? Which are more difficult?
For me, I find it easy to relate to my character and see into her world. One of the reasons is because I’m an Afro-Latina, and I do face micro-aggressions for this every so often. Also, I like to think that I have a big imagination, even as an adult, so creating a background for Tania within the context of the play helps me produce the emotions needed throughout the show. What I find more difficult is really trying not to second-guess myself when it comes to remembering my lines. Rehearsing has been consistently helpful, but I always feel the need to look at my script to make sure that I’m right.
What do you hope audiences will receive and ponder after seeing this show?
I hope our audiences will consider how they treat the people around them. As a huge Harry Styles fan, I really believe in his statement that you should treat people with kindness. People should lead with empathy in their lives because this world is already filled with darkness and negativity, so we, the people, have to be the positive light. Also, I really want our audiences to realize that, in some way, shape or form, we all have privileges. How we use them can tell a lot about who we are as people. We cannot be willingly ignorant to this.
Plays or musicals? What is your favorite show of all time?
Easy answer…musicals. My favorite show would have to be Once On This Island, which Charleston Stage is performing this April! It really caught my eye when they performed it at the 2018 Tony Awards! The Haitian-inspired dancing, colorful, castaway-type costumes, and the way they were incorporating water, sand, AND goats was breathtaking. I personally have never seen a musical do that before. After listening to the cast recording, I became absolutely enchanted.
Kayla began acting in high school and has been pursuing her passion ever since. She would like to dedicate her performance to her high school drama teachers who made a huge difference in her life. Whenever she is not performing, Kayla loves to go to markets in the area to support local artists and small businesses. She is a ecstatic to join Charleston Stage and looks forward to continuing her acting journey with them. If you’d love to keep up with her follow her on instagram: @kayla.elise_