Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meet a Robber! Margo Chervony on playing the villainous brother Francis in "The Robbers"

We'll be sharing perspectives from our actors and crew of "The Robbers" periodically throughout the run. First up, Margo Chervony on her character, Francis.

What were your initial impressions when you first read The Robbers?
The Robbers is the first Sturm und Drang play I've ever read, so, upon my first reading, I was pretty uncomfortable with the extreme metaphors, the extreme character choices, and the extreme length. Schiller really seemed to be indulging himself, which was quite honestly a pain, as I was trying to get through it as quickly and efficiently as possible. As I've worked on it though, I've learned that "quick and efficient" is just not The Robbers' way, and that this brand of extreme can be fun and a great challenge.

What's your biggest challenge been working on The Robbers? How have you dealt with it?
This role's been fraught with challenges, but I think the most difficult one was Francis's isolation. He spends a great deal of his time on stage by himself, there aren't many people that he actually interacts with, and he doesn't know how to reach out to any of them. It's self-perpetuated, even if it's the last thing that he wants.  My answer's already longer than it should be, but I dealt with it by doing a ton of homework to begin with, and once we opened I got the lovely gift of an audience to play with, so Francis isn't really alone anymore (my scene partners have been great, too). I'm still figuring out what that dynamic is, but it's a rich journey.

What's your favorite classical play?
That's a kind of unfair question (at least for me).  I used to say Measure for Measure and King Lear, but I find new reasons to appreciate Shakespeare's plays and characters and words all the time, so picking one just doesn't seem right...

If you could play any male role in theatre, what would it be and why?
I used to have all kinds of dreams about male roles that I wanted to play (this was back in high school, so they're pretty embarrassing), but I realized I was setting myself for disappointment and decided to stop thinking about it. I was clearly wrong about the disappointment, as I get cast in male roles pretty frequently, but my wish list is still retired. I'm actually pretty happy with Francis.

What do you think motivates Francis?
In the first act, it's his longing for Amelia. His dad's bad parenting sets the framework, but it's really all Amelia. And in the second act, it's all fear (or, more accurately, "terror").

Other than robbing (or ruling, etc), what kind of job do you think Francis would be good at?
He'd make a great "Hell is Real" poster...

What do you think your character does to relax when not directly involved in the events of the story?
Apparently, he plays the harpsichord sometimes. I don't think Francis knows how to relax.

Tickets and other details for The Robbers at the link below:

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