Q&A with MJ Brashier, Mary Winn, The Bra & Panty Club

Madeline Joy Brashier is a 22-year-old Acting BFA major at Brenau University. She is a scholarship recipient that has been in such productions with GTA as Godspell, Monstrous Regiment, Crazy for You, Waiting for Godot, Noises Off, and most recently The Ugly Duckling. She thanks Gay Hammond for trusting her with this character, her family for supporting her, and her friends for always cheering her on.

What challenges and advantages come from working with a brand-new script?

Working with a new script is frightening but in all the ways an actor loves! No template for who your character is to be other than the stage directions and the playwright in front of you. It feels important to say for not only an audience but for the person who wrote it. It’s a fruition of a person’s imagination. Physicality, mental state, circumstances, hopes and dreams- they are all yours to decide or discuss. The most fun! Like flinging yourself off a cliff!

What part of the production are you most excited for?

I am excited to perform on this beautifully designed and expertly dressed set. There is something so tactile and immersive about the Ed Cabell stage and I can think of no better place for these characters desires than on an intimate playing field. Being surrounded by hangers and merchandise will only make our stakes more relevant- our character’s quests important.

What is the most challenging part of the production?

The most challenging part so far has been blocking. The treasures of a thrust stage can also be the hardest parts to overcome. We want the audience to feel like they are part of every conversation, every bit- so when the number of people onstage goes up so does the difficulty in body placement. An age-old problem, nonetheless!

What has been your favorite moment of the rehearsal process?

My favorite moments have been when the words come into fruition, not as separate throwaway thoughts, but as fluent and provoked conversation. The melody of a good round of discussion onstage is wonderful to hear when it finally cliques! Gay Hammond is a witty and surprising contemporary playwright. Her written lines getting the intention and love they deserve have been rewarding moments.

What do you most want audiences to take away from the production?

I hope for many things from this audience; that they may believe in the simple romance again, that they will laugh, and that they won’t judge someone prematurely. Mostly I hope that they allow themselves to understand fully that emotion of stagnation that we all often ignore or cover up with trivial matters. The business of finding out who you are- that is important. Maybe audiences will walk away wanting to start something exciting and new rather than be stuck in the middle of something comfortable and safe.

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