Meet the Artist: Lizzie Wilkerson

Who are you?  What year are you?  What are your interests?
My name is Lizzie Wilkerson and I’m a senior this year (which totally blows my mind)! In addition to participating in all things theatre, I was also a foreign exchange student to Italy my sophomore year. When I’m not in the 700 wing I love to take my dogs for walks in nature and play the cello.  

What exactly do you do for She Kills Monsters?
I play Tilly Evans in She Kills Monsters. This role is so much fun because I get to participate in a LOT of stage combat with some good one liners, sarcastic moments, and dramatic interactions with other characters. 

What brought you to join the cast, crew, pit for She Kills Monsters??
Ever since my start with the MTSD rec-department, I have been passionate about acting. I always audition for every Fall and Spring play at Homestead. When the Coronavirus Pandemic hit the US last March, I was heartbroken that we had to cancel our original production of She Kills Monsters that we had worked so hard on. Now we are putting it on for real this time, and though I do miss many of the members of the original cast who could not come back this fall, I am so excited to perform with many amazing new actors.

Do you have any stories from rehearsals, practices or crew sessions?
I vividly remember the conversations we had about the themes of the story and the sensitive topics (and how to handle them) within last spring. I’m so glad that we have continued those conversations into this fall. Even the fights, specifically the final battle with Tiamat, are choreographed with purpose and inputs from the actors. That’s one of the really cool things about theatre at Homestead; we take the time to analyze the script and decide the motivations for actions that extend beyond our character’s.

She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes discovering who she is by discovering who her sister was.  It’s about love and life, friendship, LGBTQ stories, and grief.  How have you connected to this story?  How will the audience connect to this story?  
My sister, a former Homestead actor, and I have not lived together for nearly four years. The final scene of the play shares a very intimate moment between Agnes and Tilly, and both girls acknowledge their sisterly love for each other, in spite of all their differences. It’s a tearjerker for sure. The very first time we did a complete read through last spring, I actually cried at the end because I missed my real life sister who was living in Australia at the time. I think that most people who have siblings will strongly relate to the relationship between Agnes and Tilly. Even when they annoy the heck out of one another, siblings still have an unbreakable bond.

What is it like putting on a show in the time of COVID? How is it different?  How is it the same?  Other thoughts?
Putting on a show during COVID means wearing a mask and social distancing. While some may assume that this would hinder a performance, it actually forces actors to perfect their craft. We can no longer rely on our mouths moving for the audience to know who’s talking, so we’ve all had to become much bigger in our actions. 13 of the actors, including myself, have also learned how to put on our own microphones! It’s a daunting and educational task for sure.

What’s one thing that is different in this play or rehearsal process than anything else we’ve done in the Homestead Theatre Department?
It’s certainly been different performing safely in the midst of a pandemic. We’ve never live streamed a show before or had outdoor rehearsals. I’m excited to see how the live streamed performances go. We also need to sanitize everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Luckily, we have an amazing crew that is so helpful and keeps everyone safe.

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