at The Kraine Theatre, 85 E 4th St
Performance Schedule: Thursday 2/20 at 10:15pm, Sunday 2/23 at 5:15pm, Tuesday 2/25 at 8:40pm, Saturday 3/1 at 2:05pm, Saturday 3/8 at 8:25pm
Three Questions for cast member Lila Newman
What’s your favorite line in the show (yours or someone else’s) and why?
My favorite line is actually a single word used several times throughout the play: ”natural.”
The concept of “natural” presupposes that there is an intrinsic morality and order that we must follow. If there is a natural order, then murder is “unnatural” — against nature. But if man is capable of killing, is it unnatural? Can murder arise out “of a persons nature?” And if not, what does an “unnatural” act do to a person who is beholden to the “natural” order? Why are we capable of doing “unnatural deeds” — why does nothing external stop us?
In questioning what is “natural,” the world unravels — much like it does for the Macbeths. Once this concept of a God given “natural” order is breached, Lady Macbeth is left with a terrifying, murky void. It’s nearly as if gravity stops its pull; everything is suddenly unglued and whirling about. Social order, a God, Good and Evil — all of it subject to examination if what is “natural” can so easily be flouted by human action. Lady Macbeth has transformed herself into something outside of nature and outside of reason by her “unnatural deeds.” The resulting domino effect of questions she faces is absolutely overwhelming. She is grasping for a logic, for a structure; I think it’s fitting that she hurls herself into the ground, the only solid foundation she can still perceive. I keep circling around the idea of Lady Macbeth creating a sort of personal hell on earth. All that gives order to a life becomes subjective to her: time, her senses and even reality itself. The Second Coming by Yeats has been a springboard in my character research in this play and in my examination of the “natural:”
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
What is the best piece of advice about acting you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of acting advise I’ve ever been given always changes — depending on what I am finding challenging in a given role. But one phrase has stuck with me throughout my journey so far as an actor. A wonderful teacher, Oleg Mirochnikov, once said, “dance your inner.” An actor is a storyteller. Even in moments where we experience deep anguish on stage — there is still that relish and sharing of the inner with the audience.
If you could add any song to the show, what would it be?
Music can be such a useful tool for the exploration of emotion and circumstance. Every character I play has a playlist. I am always on the hunt for songs of any genre that evoke a specific feeling, mood, era or quality. For example, a song I find helpful for the “unsex me here” speech is “Rockets fall on Rocket falls” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Not exactly easy listening … but a would-be murderess is not exactly listening to “Feelin’ Groovy.”
There’s a folksong that fits with the feel of Something Wicked that I keep listening to: “Lay Me Low" There’s a human longing to it —a desire to hide away and find rest.
Some of the lyrics:
Lay me low, lay me low, lay me low
Where no-one can see me
Where no-one can find me
Where no-one can hurt me