5 Questions with Emily McGowan and Theo Kokkinidis

Emily McGowan

Emily McGowan

Theo Kokkinidis: What has been your most favorite on stage moment?
Emily McGowan: This would probably be from when I was studying at university. In the final year of my degree, each student got the chance to put on a 20 minute short play of our choosing. It could pretty much be anything under the sun. Now, I have an air about me that says young innocent girl, and I often get cast in roles in that category. I decided to put on an original work all about sex, and how the over sexualisation of society is ruining our ability to have proper functioning relationships, which was a little different from what people were used to seeing me do. Lot’s of strange physical stuff happened during the performance, and I even bit off my co-star’s ear. Which was awesome! I had fake blood oozing down my face for about 5 minutes during the show. I think my favorite on stage moment would be the silence from the audience (who were mostly close friends and family, my grandma too) where people didn’t know how to react.

Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ movie, tv show or song that most of your friends wouldn’t know you liked?
Ooh, this is a hard one. And not because I don’t have any guilty pleasure shows, but because I probably have too many to choose just one. I think that in an age where there are so many reality TV shows it’s hard to escape watching them. I used to be so vigilant in not watching them, as I feel it takes jobs away from hard working actors and isn’t exactly promoting engaging or thought provoking, new and exciting material. Instead it just replays the same format of material week after week. However, having said that, there is one reality TV show I have come to love in the past year and I don’t exactly know why. It’s… get ready for it… Dance Moms. There it is, massive cringe moment and you all now know my guilty pleasure.

What has been the best thing about working on The Cherry Orchard production so far?
There have been so many things. But the best part would be working with a group of people who work so hard and do it all for the love of the art. Rehearsing at The Depot Theatre and watching the theatre get built around us is so exciting. I feel like every time we arrive at rehearsal, David (who’s building it all) has made so much progress. It’s come together so quickly. These people love what they do, and do it because they love it. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

What do you feel is the most difficult part about working on the text of a Chekhov Play?
Chekhov writes in a very interesting way, where characters seem to repeat themselves quite a lot. Whether it be phrases, thoughts or even words, words are repeated, repeated again and again (see what I did there?). The challenges have ranged from simply learning the lines and remembering what order they come in, to finding the thought behind the line and why my character chooses to repeat some specific phrases.

How do you relax after a long day?
Getting into my pyjamas, making a delicious dinner, and sitting on the couch with my boyfriend.

Theo Kokkinidis

Theo Kokkinidis

Emily McGowan: What is your favorite post late night rehearsal snack?
Theo Kokkinidis: If I have any crackers in the pantry after getting home late, I am eating them without question. If not, then it’s a glass of red wine and a Woody Allen movie to make up for the snack.

What was it that first drew you to The Cherry Orchard and made you want to be involved in this project?
Chekhov’s plays have just attracted me ever since I first read them. There can be very little happening in the scene, but there’s so much going on within the characters and it’s fun to discover and work with that. Also, the fact that this is going to be a new venue is bloody exciting.

What is the thing that’s most similar between yourself and your character Peter Trofimov?
Oh boy, too much. He’s a man with a lot of passion and he sometimes doesn’t know what to do with it. Probably the most similar thing though is that he sometimes talks a lot longer than he should and as a lot of my friends know, that’s something I do often.

Being a Russian play, what do you find to be the hardest Russian word/name to pronounce? Please write it as it’s written and it’s spoken.
To be honest it’s my own name in the play, Peter Trofimov. I had an idea of what it sounded like when I read it before rehearsals started, but my emphasis was wrong. Peter is pronounced Pyeh-tyah and Trofimov is Troh-FEE-moff

What is the most embarrassing moment that you have ever had on stage?
My most embarrassing moment is actually also my most favorite moment on stage. I was a poor man about to give my huge speech to the villain which inevitably leads to his prosecution. It was about a page or two of dialogue, it started well of the first sentence or so, but then I just blanked. I improvised for a few seconds giving the general gist of what I was saying, until I just decided to yell out to my stage partner “What do you think of that!”. He caught on right away and continued on with his lines. The reason it’s also my favorite is because no one in the audience knew I screwed up and my partner was completely connected to me and knew what was going on.

Emily McGowan and Theo Kokkinidis will be appearing in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov.
Dates: 15 Jul – 1 Aug, 2015
Venue: The Depot Theatre