Medea Speaks Through Lisa Hodsoll

Madea 2015 PRINT (11 of 119)About Lisa Hodsoll

Lisa Hodsoll first performed Medea’s Got Some Issues as part of the 2014 DC Fringe Festival and is thrilled to perform it again in Emilio’s hometown. She recently performed the role of Marca Andronicus in Titus Andronicus with Chesapeake Shakespeare. Recent area credits include Maeve in Theater J’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures; Jane/Dot in Theater Alliance’s The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Helen Hayes nominated for best supporting actress); and Miller at Studio Theatre’s Edgar and Annabel. She is also currently acting in the independent film, Pipe Dream. Other movie credits: BuffurduckenKosmopolites, and A Million Dollars and No Sense. Comedy/Improv (Chicago): Brouhaha, ComedySportz. Education: BA, University of Virginia.

During the hour long madcap comedy, Medea’s Got Some Issues, Lisa morphs into eight different characters including the title role of the sorceress Medea.  Maura Junius begins her interview of Lisa focussing on that challenge.

MJ: You shift into several different characters during this play. What techniques do you use to make them distinct?
LH: For each character, I start with creating a specific image physically and psychologically in my mind. This leads to choices of distinct vocal quality, physical posture, center of gravity, specific gestures, and rhythm of speech.

MJ: Medea’s abandonment by Jason precipitates the drama at the core of the play. How did you believe Medea felt about Jason before this happened?
LH: She loved him beyond reason. After all, she betrayed her family and killed her brother for him before they even hit the shores of Corinth.

MJ: In preparing to play a most infamous villainess, what common ground do you explore in your preparation?
LH: First I never think of her as an infamous villainess but rather a person. I get to know her story – her background and the choices she has made and then I try to understand why such a person would do such a thing. I’m a detective ferreting through all the different accounts of her – what she says and what others say about her. Once I know her and understand her, then I can start trying to create her on stage.

MJ: What’s your favorite part of this play?
LH: I love it ALL!

MJ: You played Medea in this play in the DC Fringe Festival with a different director. How has having the playwright as the director change your experience and understanding of the play?
LH: Well there’s no struggle trying to figure out what the playwright meant as he is in the room with me and can tell me himself. So that’s a bonus! And there have been several things that Emilio was able to correct me on that I had thought was something completely different. It’s a great joy to work on a text with different directors regardless of whether the director is the playwright too. It becomes a new experience and a different piece and it’s exciting to experience that malleability and transformation – to have what you thought was one thing suddenly become completely different like going down a familiar road and suddenly realizing that there were things there you had never noticed before – never seen.

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