Call Answered: Jayne Atkinson Interview: STILL, a new play by Lia Romeo, at DR2

actress broadway director film movies off-broadway play producer regional theatre television theatre tony award nominee tv Apr 10, 2024
Call Me Adam Title Page. Call Me Adam logo is on the left side. Jayne Atkinson's headshot is on the right side. In the top center of the page is an orange circle with jagged edges that says Featured Interview. Between our photos it says STILL, a new play. Below the title and in between our names there is an auburn circle that says

I have been fortunate to see Jayne Atkinson in two Broadway shows, Enchanted April (which also starred Molly Ringwald & Elizabeth Ashley, et al) & Blithe Spirit (with the legendary Angela Lansbury).

I am so excited to interview Jayne as she gets ready to reprise her role in Lia Romeo's play STILL, alongside Tim Daly, which enjoyed a successful run at Dorset Theatre Festival in 2023.

In this interview, Jayne answered my call to reveal:
  • What is one road she did not take
  • Why audiences she come see STILL
  • What she likes about working with Tim Daly
  • Why she finds the month of April so Enchanting
  • So much more

Connect with Jayne: Facebook, Instagram

About STILL: Thirty years ago, Helen and Mark broke up, but they never completely forgot about each other. When they meet for dinner to catch up, the flame is rekindled... but Mark is running for Congress, and Helen has a secret that could derail his bid. Lost love is revisited and an avocado goes flying in Lia Romeo's whirlwind New York premiere comedy about getting older, political divisions, and roads not taken.

STILL plays at DR2 Theatre in NYC from April 13-May 18, 2024. Click here for tickets!

Update: Due to popular demand, STILL has been extended through May 23, 2024!

1. After a successful 2023 run of Lia Romeo's STILL at the Dorset Theatre Festival, you are once again returning to the role of Helen for the show's NYC premiere. What initially made you want to be part of this show? I read a lot of scripts for TV, film and theatre. This play was a page turner and I never really saw what was coming so I was constantly surprised and when it ended I jumped out of my chair and said “What!?!?! What happens!!!???!!!!?” Then proceeded to talk about it for almost 2 hours with my husband, Michael Gill, who is also an actor. After he read it and said - I have to do this play. I feel like I’ve waited my whole career for this beautiful offering!

2. What do you relate to most about Helen? So many things. Primarily the landscape of a 65 year old woman’s heart - that’s what I bring to the story through Helen.

3. Out of all the shows currently playing in NYC, why do you feel audiences should come see STILL? Well, I am honestly blown away by the amazing talent and the plays that are available - I would love them all to have sold out houses. What I can say about our play STILL is that the journey these two people take appeals to 23 year olds to 83 year olds alike. That was my experience when we performed it at the wonderful Dorset Theater under Adrienne Campbel Holt’s direction. The themes of finding love, can we change, what is the actual power of listening and finding a way to love by listening to each other’s hearts…what can be compromised and what can’t. Roads not taken…it is really a breathtaking play!

4. According to press notes, some of the topics covered in STILL are lost love, getting older, political divisions, and roads not taken. What is one road you did not take that you sometimes wonder what your life would have been like if you did take that road? I wanted to study herbology as well as midwifery. — I wanted to open a healing center for actors and nearly accomplished that when I shot Free Willy in Friday Harbor and actually purchased a property! I love my life as it is now and those interests are never far from my heart. As a result of being interested in both those modalities, I had a water birth with our son Jeremy, and I am very connected to herbal and essential oil remedies for all kinds of things.

5. What is it like working with Tim Daly and have you ever worked together before STILL? We worked on Madam Secretary and thus a friendship began between him and Tea and me and my husband, actor Michel Gill. I love working with Tim...he and I are both veterans of the theatre. There is an ease and a respect and quiet knowledge about how to dive in and trust each other. I trust him implicitly and I believe he trusts me. And…he’s an amazing actor - so that helps! 😀

Tim Daly and Jayne Atkinson in rehearsal for STILL
Photo courtesy of Colt Coeur

6. In addition to acting, you are also a director and producer. How do you feel being an actress has helped you direct and produce better than if you weren't an actress? I feel I understand the actor’s process as well as the language of acting - the landscape we traverse. I also feel I am good at knowing how a story needs to be told - having said that my hat goes off to directors because there are so many other pieces of the puzzle that is called a production that I only have feelings about — and putting it all together feels like a monumental task!

7. I got to see you in the Broadway production of Enchanted April. Since STILL is playing during the month of April, do you feel April is the most enchanting month or do you have a different month you are most enchanted by? That is a funny question! I love April for many reasons — my husband’s birthday is that month as well as our son Jeremy — I love the smell of rain and the radiance that I see around the trees and the blooming flowers and of course the birdsong. And…people are happier! SO - I guess I love April!

8. Why is Colt Coeur a special theater company? I know Adrienne Campbell-Holt is directing. They are committed to growing new playwrights, telling important stories that represent every community as well as supporting budding actors. Adrienne is a very poetic, thoughtful and caring person and you see that in the mission statement of Colt Coeur and in her approach to directing.

9. What is something that we didn't get to talk about in this interview that you'd like my audience to know about you? I love the water — I love to swim! I love storytelling and I do feel that acting is a very sacred profession. 

I read BOYS IN THE BOAT recently as well as saw the movie. The hero of the book says very movingly when asked if his story can be told, “It’s not just about me, it's about the boat.” That’s how I feel about being in a play — it takes all of us, all the parts that come together to tell the story — the story is the boat…

Jayne Atkinson
Photo courtesy of Colt Coeur

More on Jayne Atkinson:

Jayne Atkinson has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actress, director, and producer. A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Drama School, she has appeared in regional theatre, off-Broadway, and Broadway.

Jayne made her Broadway debut in the first revival production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Other Broadway credits include The Rainmaker (Tony nomination), Our Town with Paul Newman, Enchanted April (Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination; Outer Critics Circle Award) and Blithe Spirit with the wonderful Angela Lansbury.

She has also appeared off-Broadway in a number of productions, including The Art of Success (Drama Desk nomination) and the American Premier of The Skriker at the Public Theater, (Drama Desk nomination).

Jayne’s feature film credits include Free Willy 1&2, The Village, Syriana and most recently Baby Ruby with Kit Harington and Naomi Merlant, written and directed by Bess Wohl.

On television she has recurred on the mega hit series 24, Criminal Minds, and House of Cards. In 2019 Jayne was a Series Regular on the NBC series Bluff City Law and recurred on the CBS drama Clarice. She can currently be seen co-starring on the Hulu Series Death and Other Details opposite Mandy Patinkin.

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