The lovely Melonea Marek, our Acting Ensemble Member in the role of Virginia Butley in NATIVE GARDENS, spoke with us recently about her process as a theatre artist preparing for this show! Read on below:
Please share with us some highlights of your acting experience. What do you love about theatre as an art form?
I have been acting since 1979 when I got involved with the Flowertown Players. Since then, I have worked with The Footlight Players, Charleston Stage, Stage One and Workshop Summer Theater. I love that acting gives me the opportunity to step outside of myself and become another person for a while.
How have you been preparing for the role of Virginia Butley in “Native Gardens?”
I’ve been studying the script of course and also doing research on the playwright, Karen Zacarías. I am very different from Virginia, but we do have one thing in common: We both listen to NPR!
Tell us more about your character. What do you want us to know about her?
Virginia Butley is a highly educated, wealthy woman married to Frank. She had to fight her way to the position she now holds as a Defense Contractor at Lockheed Martin, a large contracting firm. She is proud of her accomplishments in a company, not to mention an entire career field, that has few women. I don’t think Virginia means to be offensive with some of her comments, but she is very opinionated!
What do you hope audiences will receive and ponder after seeing this show?
This show is so well written in how it truly explores all sides of political, cultural, and social opinions. I hope our audiences will come to the conclusion that we all have something to contribute to the conversation, and listening to experiences and opinions of those who are different from us can, in fact, be a life altering experience.
What is your favorite show of all time?
I have many: Steel Magnolias, Last Night of Ballyhoo (my first show with Charleston Stage!), and Laundry and Bourbon. But my favorite show of all time is Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will?
Melonea was last seen as Helen Hubbard in the Charleston Stage production of Murder on the Orient Express. Other Charleston Stage performances include Our Town, Shear Madness, Steel Magnolias, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Brighton Beach Memoirs, All My Sons, Omnium Gatherum and To Kill a Mockingbird. Melonea is happily retired from the Berkeley County Guardian ad Litem program. She’d like to thank her husband, Mike, for all his love and support.