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At the bar with Mary Neufeld

Mary Neufeld in rehearsal for DRUNKEN WITH WHAT. Photo by Gaia Squarci.

Mary Neufeld in rehearsal for DRUNKEN WITH WHAT. Photo by Gaia Squarci.

Mary Neufeld (Performer). A highlighted list of Mary’s Target Margin appearances include: in Uncle Vanya (Serebryakov), Dinner Party (Diotima), Mother Courage and Her Children (Mother Courage), Little Eyolf (Rita). In The Tempest (Caliban), Hamlet (Polonius), Cymboline (Belarius), Titus Andronicus (Tamara) and Measure for Measure (Lucio). Mary also acted with the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Bernice Braintwain) and Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (Gutruna and Hunding).

TMT: You are an old friend of Target Margin. In the past you have been in Uncle Vanya and Mother Courage and Her Children, to name a few. Tell us about your experience and what keeps you coming back to us?

MN: The collaboration with David has been and is my acting career. I do not pay the bills with acting but rather satisfy an essential yearning to be making art through acting. The bills I pay another way. I care little for fame but rather crave the process that David uses and find emotional gratification in the rehearsal that is free and funny and improvisational and complicated. He’s the brains behind my work. I bring intuition, a big voice, a modicum of training (Grotowski) and my mid western work ethic.

TMT: David is incredibly precise in movements choices and stage directions and so is Eugene O’Neill in his vision in Mourning Becomes Electra. How do you feel that David and O’Neill’s work intersect aesthetically?

MN: The intersection between David and O’Neill is the complex literature. David has the chops to deal with the repetition and wordiness. David likes to pick the weird, nearly unstageable plays to stage.

TMT: You are playing Seth, the Mannons’s gardener, who has leaned most of the family’s secrets and colluded in keeping them. In addition to Seth, throughout your career you have played characters across all genders. What if anything you have found challenging about this type of casting?

MN: I don’t give drag much thought. I just play the character by concentrating on the text as written. David is helping me identify Seth’s knowledge of the family history and also keeping it varied and specific. (He gives women the opportunity to do Shakespeare. He is not only color blind, he’s sex blind.)

TMT: Target Margin is well known for using spike tapes on costumes and scenery. Do you have any favorite spike tape color?

MN: I prefer either bright white or bright yellow tape. And David must place it on my body. Many’s the time, in final tech, he’s turned me around to place the tape and there’s always a very sweet pat on the back that comes with.

TMT: What’s next?

MN: Next is the full production of Mourning. And continuing to do my graphic design job to pay the bills.

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