Monalisa Amidar plays The Woman in L.I.P. Service’s current production of Christopher Durang’s two-person, absurdist odyssey that explores quirks of human nature, Laughing Wild. She relishes the opportunity: “It’s a role of a lifetime. She’s an absurd and sad character in many ways but very meaty, comprehensive, perceptive and funny, too. A daunting challenge! There are thirteen pages of The Woman talking non-stop, all stream-of-consciousness. What a ride! It challenges me to pull out every tool and skill I have in my toolbox to bring her to life…”
Monalisa found THEATER while attending a summer camp in Manila back in grade school. Her family moved to Mesquite TX when she was 12, and by then she was bit hard by the theatre bug. College took her to Pepperdine University, where she hoped to expand her budding stage career. Unfortunately, they weren’t doing much colorblind casting in the drama department, so she got involved in social activism through human rights and environmental campaigns. When she returned to Dallas, she earned and MA in Humanities (Aesthetic Studies) at UT/Dallas, studying with professional theatre artist Fred Curchack. Today, she finds she is drawn to plays that deal with social issues and human condition challenges, like Laughing Wild.
Last year Monalisa saw Director Dennis Canright’s audition notice posted for L.I.P. Service associated Theatre of North Texas’ production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The distinguished history of the work, appeal of the film and its social issues themes inspired her to audition. She was thrilled to be cast. “After getting to know Jason Leyva and the artists at L.I.P. Service performing in the show, I decided I really wanted to get involved when I could. They demonstrated so much respect for theatre as an art and the actors but didn’t take themselves too seriously. I felt really welcome.”
When she saw the notice for Laughing Wild, she worked hard to prepare for the audition. “ It was Christopher Durang, one of my favorite playwrights! It was exciting and challenging to look at the strange life the Woman leads. I was apprehensive at first about the role’s magnitude, how much work it would take. Researched it, watched interviews. I wasn’t going to let it scare me away. When I made it to callbacks, I was delighted. Everyone was so warm, and Director Ariceli Bowling really took the time to let me show my ideas about the character.”
“Getting this role has been a rare gift, an opportunity. My character’s need to connect drew me to her. To memorize I re-typed the script and recorded my lines to play over and over. I knew she would challenge me hard. I needed to trust myself to dive deep into the character’s world, guided by Ariceli. Durang gives his characters so much spirit and I hope I convey that to the audience. What a terrific experience. March 18th is my birthday; performing this fabulous play will be a great way to celebrate. If this is the only production I do this year, I will feel so satisfied.”
L.I.P. Service’s production of Christopher Durang’s Laughing Wild continues next Thursday March 17 through Saturday March 19 at 8pm at The Firehouse Theatre at 2535 Valley View Lane in Farmers Branch. It runs through March 26. Tickets are $15.
It’s All About The ART!
TICKETS: www.lipserviceproductions.info 817-689-6461