Thursday afternoon I interviewed Maureen Thomas. The interview can be heard during intermission of the Symphony’s Saturday night concert broadcast live on St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU. As the Symphony’s Shakespeare Festival continues, she is the featured actress for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performing Shakespeare’s words while the orchestra plays Mendelssohn’s music. She’s been doing this show with guest conductor Hans Graf for many years, beginning back when he was conducting the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Maureen plays about a dozen different characters, portraying the all-to-human young lovers, the Rude Mechanicals and assorted members of the spirit kingdom without the aid of costume, masks or props, conveying Shakespeare’s comedic menagerie with voice and gesture alone. She admits that the music helps a lot, with actress and orchestra combining to portray the many moods, emotions and funny business.
We were well met, as the Calgary native knows the land of my youth, northern Idaho and Montana, and the curious interactions of those who live not too far from the border from each other.