OHA founder Judith Jerome may have retired as Artistic Director last year, but she’s not done with the Opera House yet! Her role as OHA Artistic Consultant will be keeping her busy this summer, which means you may not be able to slow her down long enough to get the answers to all those burning questions you have. We decided to catch up with her before the mythical snow melt. Here’s what she had to say:
Judith, keeping the Opera House running smoothly.
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Oklahoma City, and then Dallas, TX, although my family was straight off the farm, new and awkward city dwellers.
2. How would your elementary school classmates remember you?
My Maple Lawn Elementary school classmates would remember me as a nerd, wicked proud of my straight 1’s, and a leader and performer. I loved to cook up neighborhood circuses, and class performances. A favorite was the Heffalump story from Winnie the Pooh, where Pooh gets his head stuck in the honey jar. And at the drop of a hat and for all school assemblies I would sing something from Oklahoma, the musical, but especially my favorites, “Kansas City” and “I’m just a Girl Who Can’t Say No.” The boys and some girls, notably Patty Duncan, would remember me as a fighter, full out.
3. Name four fictional characters with whom you’d be okay being stuck in an elevator. Why them?
Martha Quest, from Doris Lessing’s Children of Violence series, because she was smart and straightforward and on a devoted quest through her times. The Reverend John Ames and his wife, Lila, (from Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead) because it would be both a comfort and instructive to be in the presence of such patience with the world. Also because they would teach me to see through peoples’ defenses. That’s three. Grandpa Edwin Hoover, from Little Miss Sunshine, because he doesn’t believe in normal and he would make me laugh.
4. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be?
Remy, the rat from Ratatouille, with that good a nose and taste for cooking
5. You’re the Artistic Consultant on The Seagull, which had auditions this past weekend. What’s your favorite part of the audition process?
My favorite part of the audition process is learning what the play you are casting really is about. You go into it thinking you know, but then here comes the brilliance of actors, who begin to *embody* the play, and it opens out in a whole new, shining way.
6. What are you most excited about with this summer’s production of The Seagull?
Overturning the dour Chekhov myth and making people laugh. That and being outside!
Tickets are on sale for this summer’s production of The Seagull, to be directed by Board Member Peter Richards and performed outdoors at Ames Farm. The infamous work explores the lives of those on a rural, late nineteenth century Russian estate in a darkly comedic manner. In Chekhov’s world, the only thing you can count on is life not turning out the way it’s supposed to.
Want to know more about the inner workings for the Opera Hose? Read our other Behind the Scenes interviews!
CAB member Tinker Crouch making the walls of the Opera House a little bit sunnier in 2006.
Looking forward to when the whole island is a little bit sunnier? Escape the cold at the movies! First, we’re heading down to balmy Alabama with Selma and then things will really be heating up next weekend with Fifty Shades of Grey.
Don’t forget that we “spring ahead” this Sunday! We’re losing an hour of sleep but gaining a step toward warmer weather.