Dogeaters Cast Interviews: Meet Beverly Sotelo

Sonia Fernandez
Cast & Crew Bios
Jan 22, 2018


We are not even halfway through our cast interviews.  Beverly, who is playing Imelda Marcos and Leonor Ledesma, shares her thoughts.

If you could play another character in Dogeaters who would you choose? Why?

Truthfully, I would LOVE to play Trini Gamboa. I love her need. She in that perfect storm of a moment: she NEEDS to love and be loved and saved by love, and time is running out. I love that dilemma. How do you get what you most desperately need in order to survive in your world and at the same time, fight the ever looming thought it might never come true? And yet, with Romeo, it really could be true! All the dreams all the wishes all your validation, so close! GOD. I’d love to play Trini.

What has the rehearsal process been like for you?

This process has been so JUICY! Half the joy of playing someone like Imelda Marcos is doing the homework and the research to understand how she ticks and what her point of view is. The more I dig deep, the more I have to convey, and the more I become hungry to embody her! I’m absolutely in love with figuring her out.

And the rehearsal room is filled with vibration. It’s like we’re invoking our family histories every time we try on one of these characters. It’s more than a play; it’s communing with the pain and desire of a mass of people and if we do it right, we’re channeling it.

Had you read the novel? How does it inform your understanding of the play and your character?

I read Jessica’s novel way back in the 90’s when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. That novel still remains as a poetic whisper of what I imagine the Philippines to be. When I went to the Philippines in the 2000’s to visit family, that novel came back to me like a slow rolling fog. I feel that Jessica has painted a window into the Philippines; it has a distinctive ESSENCE. The novel is like a series of snapshots with a lot of stuff happening and it’s all true. Like a truly great painting, you can always come back to it and discover something you overlooked before. I feel that way about this play. There are a lot of stories interwoven into this magnificent portrait and the audience can choose to look at this part of the picture or this or stand back and look at the whole.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I am actually wracked with stage fight. I’m a true introvert and being on stage is extremely exposing. So I spend a lot of time mediating on trying to calm down and finding my character and asking him/her to carry me thru the production so I don’t crack under the lights. And I pee. A LOT. One of my actor fears is that I will need to pee and I am supposed to be on stage. I try to be absolutely dehydrated by the time I hit stage. ;)

What was your first experience at/with Magic?

The Magic actually played a very sweet part in my life during a very trying time. I was set to do my first real reading at the Magic for the Virgin Play series (Madame Ho by Eugenie Chan) and a tragedy happened that forced me to have to pull out of the reading rather suddenly. But I remember sitting at my kitchen table when a beautiful potted flower arrived from the Magic. Attached was a card with all these positive messages of love from all the cast members and Dori Jacobs (the Director of New Play Development at the time), and I remember feeling so supported and so grateful for the family atmosphere that the Magic tries really hard to create for everyone. I felt and continue to feel blessed.

Sonia Fernandez

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