Katie Haeuser, currently obtaining her M.F.A in Acting, plays the lead in the School of Theatre + Dance upcoming show, Luna Gale, a story of a social worker, who happens upon a case that is far from typical. Haeuser is extremely thrilled to be a part of this production and interested to see what the audience takes away from the show.
Who is you character and how do you relate to her?
I play a woman named Caroline Cox. She is a fifty-year-old social worker, who has been working cases for twenty-five years. She is tenacious, intelligent and compassionate and wants to do the best she can for the children that she works with, despite being overworked and overwhelmed. She is constantly let down by a system that often fails her and the kids in her cases. I relate to her in that we are both very hardworking, and we want to do our best. I relate to her intelligence and her desire to help. She is very committed to her work, and I find a lot of myself in her dedication and resilience.
What did you do to prepare for this role?
I did a lot of research on social work and found out that it is very uncommon to find a social worker that stays in that kind of work for longer than ten years. Most people get burned out dealing with the cases. This fact really informed the creation of my character because I began to think about what kind of person would she have to be in order to last that long in such a hard job.
I also did a lot of text analysis to look for clues in the text that the playwright gave me. These are called given circumstances, and they are really helpful in terms of piecing together the story and the role your character plays in that story.
What was it like working with the rest of the cast and the director?
Every now and then a cast and crew come together in a really incredible way. I feel this cast really has no weak links. Everyone shows up with their work done and are ready to dive into the material. I feel like I have been really lucky and have been overjoyed to work with such an incredible group of people. I trust all of them. The director, Dr. Charlie Mitchell, has been really great to work with in that he has allowed me to create this character while guiding me to realize his vision. I feel that he trusts me with the work, and I in turn trust him to shape my performance to fit the story.
Why is this show important?
This play delves into the difficult choices that people working within the system are forced to make every day. The subject matter deals with substance abuse, rape, addiction, bureaucracy, religion and family dynamics; all of which are not easy subjects to navigate. The playwright, Rebecca Gilman, crafts an interesting story that explores these topics in a way that reveals the complex humanity of each decision these characters make. The show is important because plays of this nature reveal something truthful about life and the world in which we live. This play specifically asks the audience to look at the difficult and thankless jobs done by the people who work in the field of social work and also makes the audience consider those affected by a failing system and the subtleties of trauma and addiction.
Why should audiences come and see this show?
Luna Gale will make audiences think about difficult issues in a way that might change the way they see the world. Theatre can help shift perspectives, and when a play allows the audience to experience hard choices along the characters, empathy can occur. Luna Gale is such a play, and audiences will see deeply into the characters’ lives in an interesting and engaging way. In addition to that, the play is well acted and well staged. Overall, the play is a very good piece of theatre that audiences should experience.
Luna Gale opens Thursday, March 22 and runs through March 30.
Showtimes are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
For more information, click here.