The actors of Company discuss their personal connections to the musical and to their characters.

Christine_108x144Christine Mild (Marta):

“My sophomore year at Northwestern I played Marta in Company. At that point, I had been to New York City once in my life—for three days where I never exited Times Square. Needless to say, I’m sure I did my best, but I know I did not have a clue about Marta or NYC. Since that time, I lived in NYC for seven years and have seen and felt the hundreds of people coming in and out of that metropolis each second. I have pounded that pavement and felt the odd pride that comes with being part of it all. New York City has a feeling and an energy and a quiet communication that exists among its people. Sondheim brilliantly captures that with the character of Marta and her song, “Another Hundred People.” Glad to have another crack at it.”

Bernad_108x144Bernard Balbot (Paul):

Company, and specifically Paul’s track, raises questions of commitment and sacrifice: What do we relinquish or gain in order to become a “we,” a unified couple that rises and grows together? As artists we are often confronted with decisions that affect the kinds of jobs we take, time spent with loved ones and the financial independence we long to have that are inevitably affected by our chosen vocation and the responsibilities that come with maintaining home and hearth. Having never been married, I can’t say that I know the wedding day jitters from a groom’s perspective firsthand. What I do connect to is the fear of losing love, love that is honest, decisive and earned. Paul certainly gets his dose of it.”

Allison_108x144Allison Hendrix (Amy):

“The first Sondheim song I remember encountering was “With So Little to Be Sure Of” from Anyone Can Whistle, though I have no clue why it was this rather than the ubiquitous Into the Woods. What struck me most was how the character seemed to feel at least twelve emotions at the same time. As a bizarre and complex child, I often thought it was only me who would think and feel a multitude of thinks and feels, so quickly, all at once. To hear that experience voiced so clearly gave me hope that other people like me existed in the world. What I love most about Amy is how she keeps fighting the good, if slightly nihilistic, fight. Vulnerability is her monster, and it’s the push and pull of that vulnerability and armoring up against it that resonates most personally with me. That and she is also obviously a coffee addict, just like me.”

PatrickM_108x144Patrick Martin (David):

“While I’m as yet an unmarried person, I’m still incredibly moved by the way “Sorry-Grateful” describes the emotional entanglements that come with romantic partnership. The song uses such simple, plain language to communicate an incredibly complex idea, which to me is one of Sondheim’s greatest gifts. What I’ve always found most rewarding about working on Sondheim’s material is spending time with his ineffable wit, and Company is so rich with it. What’s more, I know it’s a piece that will hit me differently as an artist and as an audience member in ten years, and even more differently in twenty years, and I would say the same thing about Merrily We Roll Along or Into the Woods. Like a real work of art, you observe a Sondheim musical differently depending on what stage of life you’re in.”

Chelsea_108x144Chelsea Morgan (Kathy):

“To me, the most resonant aspect of Kathy is her intentional detachment from Bobby to seek out a more concrete future. Kathy wants to be married. She wants a partner, a home, a family, a more committed life. To do so, she ends her on-again off-again ambiguity with Bobby. It’s incredibly tricky to finalize a relationship with someone who doesn’t fit the life you want, especially when you love them. Knowing someone isn’t good for you, for the future you envision, and having the courage to say no to that person is something I also struggle with (and often fail). My favorite part about Company is how frankly it explores love. Sondheim reminds us that to love someone deeply ultimately outweighs the inconveniences of relationships: freedom even in commitment. I think we all hope for love like that. I certainly do.”

Blair_108x144Blair Robertson (Jenny):

“‘Everything’s different / Nothing’s changed / Only maybe slightly rearranged’
I think any time we are standing on the precipice of a major life change we question not only how our life will be impacted, but how will it change us? This past year my husband and I became first-time parents. When people would ask how we were doing I would quote this song lyric because I found it perfectly encapsulated this remarkable new stage of our lives. One moment we would be sitting on the couch, having a conversation (and probably a drink!) as though everything was as it had always been, and then our son would let out a cry and I would be reminded that our entire world had shifted. I love how Sondheim has honestly and thoughtfully captured both the awesome and the mundane aspects of relationships at all stages, and the inevitable questions that arise before you are about to take the next step.”

Tiffany_108x144Tiffany Scott (Susan):

“I had the good fortune to be a part of Bill Brown’s gorgeous production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at Writers in 2012. In it, my character Charlotte finds herself in an unhappy marriage with a serially unfaithful husband. She sings about the dirty business of love:“Every day a little death / In the parlour, in the bed, / In the curtains, in the silver, / In the buttons, in the bread.”Everywhere she looks, she’s reminded of the pain that her love has caused her, yet she is still drawn to and very much loves her husband. Company shows us a more hopeful view of love and committed relationships. In “Being Alive,” Bobby begins by carrying with him the echoes of dysfunction he sees in the lives of his crazy married friends. Then something shifts and Bobby invites the mess into his life. He begins to realize that life becomes meaningful in the challenging and sometimes painful bits. It’s scary, but it can be a little less lonely if we allow ourselves to really commit to one another and accept both the good and bad that come along with that communion.”

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