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Meet our The Eva Trilogy team: Lisa Anne Porter

Ciera Eis
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Cast & Crew Bios
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Nov 9, 2017

Lisa Anne Porter shares her thoughts on her character Teresa, working with an old friend (Rod Gnapp), and the challenges of performing Bright Half Life (Magic 2015).

Barbara Hammond's The Eva Trilogy (Magic, 2017). dir Loretta Greco. Rod Gnapp (Eamon) and Lisa Anne Porter (Teresa). Photo: Jennifer Reiley

Can you tell us a little about your character? What are her best and worst qualities?

Teresa is Eva’s sister. She is kind of the middle child, who helped raise Eva. She was a young girl with a mother who was not in touch with her body. A mother who had a really bad temper, and wasn’t a very happy woman. Teresa gets pregnant at an early age and doesn’t know she is pregnant until she has a stomach-ache, and has a baby.  She raises that child with her family. Then she meets Eamon who teaches her what love is. I think she is a very loving, and loyal person, with a pretty strong streak of backbone and rebellion.

I think her best quality is her ability to laugh and find pleasure in things. Her worst is not being able to speak up early on. She probably felt similar to Eva growing up, but didn’t have the wherewithal to make a different choice. I don’t know if that is a fault. She had a baby out of wedlock and ended up staying in Ireland, and staying in the house.  What choice do you have if you are a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl with a baby?

What is your favorite line in The Eva Trilogy?

Oh, that is easy. I love Eamon’s line when he is describing the whore who came to Jesus and wet his feet with her tears and he said, “ Her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much ”

Barbara Hammond's The Eva Trilogy (Magic, 2017). dir Loretta Greco. Lisa Anne Porter (Teresa) and Rod Gnapp (Eamon). Photo: Jennifer Reiley

Is there one of the plays in the trilogy that resonates with you more than the others? If so, why?

Well I think the first piece, as a woman, make so much sense to me. The way Eva's thought moves, the way she is trying to make a decision, the way she expresses in images and sounds, and the way her mind jumps to historical references and back to the personal.

 

What do you anticipate being the most challenging part of your performance, and which parts do you look forward to?

I love being on stage with my cast. Rod, who plays Eamon, we have known each other for almost 25 years, and it is the first time we have gotten to act together, so I love playing his wife. The challenging thing for me is that I have lost a parent to a really awful illness, so every night I remember that. That is something that is really lovely about the play, but kind of hard, because I walk out and walk into what it is like to lose a loved one to an awful disease.

Tanya Barfield's Bright Half Life (Magic, 2015). dir. Jessica Holt. Sarah Nina Hayon (Vicky)  and Lisa Anne Porter (Erica). Photo: Jennifer Reiley.

Have you been to any of the places the trilogy traverses and do you have any insights into those places? How has the trilogy changed how you view these places?

I have been to Dublin, never been to Corsica. I loved Dublin, though I remember that it was in summer and the sun didn’t go down. Oh, and I have been to Paris, and Pigalle, and all the places she talks about. So I have been to more of the places that Eva has been in Paris than any other. I really love that area that she lives in, because I know exactly where she is talking about.

What’s the performance you’re proudest of in your career so far, and what roles would you like to perform in the future?

The last show I did here, Bright Half Life, was I think the best work I have ever done. It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I think it was the most vulnerable, honest, and widest range.

In established work, I would love to play Elizabeth in Richard III, Lady Macbeth, a woman in a Martin McDonough play, Arkadina in The Seagull, the Mother in Curse of the Starving Class.

I would love to work on some new works that really engage and get into deep waters on the conversation of race in America.  

  

Do you have any funny or exciting stories from previous productions? Goofs, triumphs, unexpected connections?

Bright Half Life, when we had to do the preview, and we had completely reblocked the show the day before. There was no way we were going to get through it remembering everything, and it was just one of the greatest moments I have ever had on stage. We were both sitting there and we both blanked. We looked at one another, and we stood there, and I went back and sat on the bench and she sat next to me, and we looked at each other, and kept looking, and finally Sarah called to the stage manager, and said we needed a line. Unfortunately, the stage manger gave us one of the repeated lines in the play, that begins about four different scenes, so I looked down at the floor, and down at the lights (because with Bright Half Life there was only a bench) and I said that looks like an elevator life, and I got up and said the first line of one of the scenes that began in an elevator, and I don’t know how much of the play we skipped that night, but we skipped a chunk.  

Ciera Eis

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