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Press Conference with the Ladies of ‘The Best Man’ CONTINUED!

Press Conference with the Ladies of ‘The Best Man’ CONTINUED!

Ann Brandman, Cecilia Fordham, Amy K. Sullivan, Courtney Coston, Gail Kishida
PRESS CONFERENCE in the Green Room CONTINUED . . .  
with Ann Brandman, Cecilia Fordham, Amy K. Sullivan, Courtney Coston, Gail Kishida
  Amy: It would be marvelous if the issues raised in the play, including gender, were a thing of the past, but as a society and culture we are not there yet. The topic of gender may appear to be treated with cavalier disregard. With regard to the role of women in the construction of the play, the male roles are clearly the focus. The ladies do have a bit of fun!  
Cecilia: There are 11 men and 5 women in the cast. That tells you something.  
Amy: A favorite scene for me to play is one in which Mabel Cantwell, Alice Russell and Sue-Ellen Gamadge, finish up a press conference - focused on "the men" - and find ourselves with a few minutes together. The dynamic among us three builds, despite Mabel's protestation, "it's a shame they couldn't have us girls doing everything together..." Without giving away too much, it becomes clear that solidarity amongst the women is not possible. We could explore the "whys" of the issue from each character's perspective - self-protection, lack of trust amongst "our own," or fierce loyalty to those (men) who made it possible for us women to be at the convention in the first place?
  Ann: I would love to see the play staged with a woman as one of the candidates for the presidency - could it work with a gender reversal?
SM Reporter: That's a big question. Then this play is not just a blast to the past or a political satire of another time?  
  Courtney: I think it's about desire, passion, competitive nature...  
  SM Reporter: Those are pretty universal human characteristics. How does that apply to the character you play?  
  Courtney: One of the parts I play is the young, sweet campaign "go-fer," Catherine, who wants to gain love. She may not know from whom, yet she badly wants someone to love her, I think she thinks it's Mr. Russell.  
As for competitive: As a female reporter, I want to be the best in the profession. I want to be recognized as the same caliber as the men around me. I call that "me" a harsh name to remind myself to be fierce and competitive.
  SM Reporter: Does it start with a B? (laughter) Amy, for Mabel Cantwell what does it mean to win?
  Amy: As I said earlier, Mabel Cantwell wants desperately to belong, to be accepted. Oh, if she could only make it to the White House! She would finally be somebody, and be happy. At least that's what she believes.  
  Ann: Winning for Alice is relational. Though she ponders her own ambition, she is more concerned with doing what's right... for her country, her friends, and for her family. Though not a complete fool for love, Alice does stand by her man when he chooses decency over power.  
  Cecilia: For Mrs. Gamadge it's all about power and being the center of attention. Power to shape the winning nominee, wife and family as necessary. That's the political goal. She knows that she has a formidable power in shaping the women's vote. She's a master (or mistress) of backroom bargaining, honey-dripping talk, and acting on her word. She knows she has power over the men if she has the women on her side.  
She would run for president if it were 2016. Beyond the façade, she has experienced life, lost her husband, has strength of character, a code of "morality" and believes in herself.
  SM Reporter: Why should the audience come to see The Best Man?  
  Gail: Come find out how you can Win by Losing. Also, discover the 1960's. We have the music, the atmosphere....Such a fun time to live!  
  Ann: Find out that the personal is political and vice versa. And, although women have gained ground in the last 40 years, we are still fighting some of the same battles.  
  Amy: (looking at Ann) She is so intellectual. (Laughter) Come see these actors. It's been a privilege to work with them and our director, Kevin Keaveney. His vision and a spirit of collaboration has pushed us all.  
  Cecilia: I agree with all of you. Yeah, I know, Sue Ellen Gamadge-talk. Come see newcomers and veterans in this production, watch us women "work it." And be prepared to laugh with us and at us.  
  SM Reporter: Loved this conversation, Ladies. Maybe we should invite the men to join us now?  
  Ladies: Of course, we'll be by their sides!  
  Cecilia: Or in front of them  
The Best Man runs through September 25th at TAG!
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TAG-The Actors' Group
The Brad Powell Theatre
The Shops at Dole Cannery
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 101
Honolulu, HI 96817
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TAG is honored to be a member of Hawaii State Theatre Council. The mission of HSTC is to promote live theatre in Hawaii and encourage excellence in its management, performance and production.
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