AAPEX Interview: Liliane Klein — AAPEX Interview , Liliane Klein — AAPEX

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AAPEX Interview: Liliane Klein

Liliane Klein

Since it's founding on January 1, 2007, AAPEX has mounted a string of readings of our members' plays. Most of these readings have taken place in NYC and a significant number of those NYC readings have been held at the historic Players' Club on Gramercy Park - thanks to our great friend and supporter, actress Liliane Klein. AAPEX owes a tremendous debt to Lili for her support. She recently received outstanding reviews for her work in the lead role of a San Francisco production of FAT PIG. I have no doubt we will hear much from Lili in years to come. Below she shares with us her background and future plans.
Jaz Dorsey

What role did theatre and the arts play in your childhood and upbringing?
My parents always made arts culture very much a part of my upbringing. In utero, they were taking me to museums, concerts, and theatre around the world. I have tons of stories of growing up going to Tanglewood classical concerts in the summers for my dad's and my birthdays (our birthday's are three days apart). We would go with my grandparents and sit on the lawn and bring a picnic. And then my sister and I would run off and climb all over the terrific climbing trees. The first time my mother took me to an indoor concert, I was confused and worried because I didn't see where she had put the picnic basket! Between subscriptions to the Roundabout Theatre Family Series, The Pearl Theatre, Broadway Shows, and any Shakespeare or Moliere that came through New York, as well as trips to London and Stratford, La Comedie Francaise in Paris, and The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, I don't even remember a time when I didn't go to the theatre, it was just always a part of my life since before I can even remember.

Tell us about your own evolution as an artist.
I always acted and wanted to be a story-teller, (even though I'm a TERRIBLE story-teller, unscripted!) for as long as I can remember. I didn't do it because I wanted to be an actress. I just did it because I enjoyed it. I think I always enjoyed rehearsal and, oddly enough, learning lines. It feels like a sort of accomplishment after the daunting first read and then all of a sudden you realize that they're a part of you and that the brain has so much capacity to retain information. It wasn't until my Sophomore year in high school, when I was kicked out of the ensemble of the musical, A Chorus Line, for being late to rehearsals, (I was also an officer of our environmental club and meetings often coincided with rehearsals), that I realized what an integral part of my life theatre was. Since that moment, I spent every moment dedicating myself to it. I attended the Oxford Tradition, majoring in Theatre, that summer, the National High School Theatre Institute at Northwestern the summer after, and Yale summer drama school the summer before starting my 4 year BFA training at Boston University. When I graduated, my parents asked me if I wanted to apply right away to grad school... I thought it might be a good time to give academia a rest for a little while. Since then, I enjoyed an outstanding summer abroad at the month-long BADA summer Shakespeare intensive in 2009, and some New York City acting classes at Wynn Handman Studio and Dance Classes with Broadway Dance Center and Haila Strauss. Additionally, I'm a full-time student enrolled in the university of life-experience, which is in many ways, the most important school. It's where I figure out how best to utilize the tools I've been given and discover new tools at the same time. Nothing beats it!

As an actress, what have been your experiences with the roles you have done for AAPEX? (BILLIE'S BLUES & HANNAH ELIAS)?
I have enjoyed the work and the artists I have met through AAPEX. I find that much of the work is still in developmental stages, which I like. AAPEX has been a terrific forum for me to help shape the theatre of tomorrow.

If you could handpick your next project, what would it be and why?
I have several roles on my bucket list. The one I'm dying to play right NOW is Josie in A Moon for the Misbegotten. There are only a handful of roles where I read the character description and so strongly think - that's ME! Josie is one of those roles. The writing is sheer poetry and her story is so bittersweet. She's a character you can really sink your teeth into. I also really want to play Mary in the Stephen Sondheim musical, Merrily We Roll Along. Sort of for the same reasons as above. I'm attracted to heartbreaking characters.

Liliane Klein

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