Meg is fun, brave and passionate. She moved far away from home to pursue her dream of being an artist. She says what is on her mind, even when she shouldn't. She's got a tough shell, but really needs the chance to cry sometimes. She's afraid of being weak, of being obsolete. She loves her family, bourbon and chocolate. She's had a mental breakdown. She is very young and somehow old.
Men are a sore subject with Meg. She broke one man's heart in a big way, like ran away to California the night his leg was crushed when a roof caved in during a hurricane BIG way. Since that time, she fears caring for anyone. Because if you care, you can get hurt. If you care and you destroy everything, it breaks your heart. It breaks your heart almost as much as being trapped in the wrong relationship, the wrong town, the wrong lifetime does. I am like Meg in this way; I care too.
As Meg, I get one more beautiful night with the man I left. One night to heal the seeping ache of five years spent wondering why. One night to move forward with clear, understanding eyes. One night to forgive myself, the hardest forgiveness of all. Even though Doc doesn't ask Meg to run away with him, she comes in singing the next day triumphant and joyous at the realization that, she "could care about someone... could want someone!" This understanding look in his eyes breaks open her heart.
As Maura, I haven't met "the one"*** and I still am my own wife, as it were. But after nearly a year "back out there," I'm happy to say that recently my heart has returned. Fear's ally, numbness, has subsided and I am left a full, feeling woman ready and open to the world, and love, if it comes my way.
Of course, I am not like Meg in a few ways. I don't chain smoke and the practice smoking I did really effedup my voice for about a week. Thank you, Anna Pahomova. I don't think my father is a bastard. He's actually really nice. I don't have a thick Southern accent.**** I don't fight like mad with my sisters, an ever growing group***** Except for Alison, but she started it!
So no matter how many Tony's I'm not winning for this production, how many cabinet doors fall off the set, how many times the technical elements surprise us, how many Illinois suburban folk love it, how much money I've spent on gas, how many sweet friends travel across the country to see it, or how many pairs of pantyhose I tear through, I have learned wonderful things about Maura Clement by playing Meg Magrath. And that may not be as good as money in the bank, but it sure beats smoking two packs a day.
|The cast of Crimes of the Heart, April 2012|
*Okay, it's in St. Charles, so sue me!
** Okay, I moved there when I was 12, my dad was a JAG for the Navy. Just like Harmon Rabb Jr. Okay, not like Harm at all, so sue me!
***Okay, I don't believe in "the one." I just mean someone I'm effin wild about who feels the same way about me.
****Okay, I sorta do, but only when bourbon is involved.
*****Okay, I'm not sayin' nothin.