Kathleen McNenny was most recently seen on Broadway in Mike Nichols' production of "Death of a Salesman." She has also lit up the Broadway stage in "Coram Boy," "The Constant Wife," "After the Fall," and "A Few Good Men." Off-Broadway, Kathleen has delighted audiences in "Gates of Gold," "Mind Game," "Three Travelers," "Comedy of Errors," "Twelfth Night," and "The Winter's Tale." Regional audiences have seen Kathleen's talent in "Equus," (Guild Hall), "Moon for the Misbegotten" (McCarter), "Richard III" (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival), "Beyond Therapy" and "Good German" (Westport playhouse, CT critics nom best Actress), "Twelfth Night" and "As You Like It" (Long Wharf), "Candida" (Yale Rep), "The Skin of Our Teeth," (Cal Shakespeare), "Sylvia," "Sight Unseen," and "Human Events" (George Street), "Othello" (Philadelphia Drama Guild), "The Importance of Being Earnest" (Huntington Theater), "My Children of Africa" (Baltimore Center Stage). In addition to theatre, Kathleen has been seen on such television shows as "New Amsterdam," "Law & Order" original, CI and SVU, "Third Watch," NBC Movie of the Week "Pennsylvania Miners Story." Her film credits consist of "Morning Glory," "Music and Lyrics," "School of Rock," "Life with Mikey," and "It Could Happen to You."
Currently, Kathleen is entertaining audiences in Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Henry Ibsen's recently extended "An Enemy of the People," starring four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas. "An Enemy of the People" tells the story of Dr. Thomas Stockmann (BOYD GAINES) who discovers a toxic secret that threatens the health of his entire community. The doctor expects to be hailed as a hero, but his brother, Mayor Peter Stockmann (RICHARD THOMAS), believes the information will destroy the town, forcing the men into a passionate confrontation of political will and personal ethics.
For more on Kathleen be sure to visit http://kathleenmcnenny.com.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I am from Montana and not a theatrical family. I don’t think I even saw a play until I was in high school. But when I was in fourth grade I joined the 4-H (which is sort of the farm equivalent of the girl scouts), and our troupe performed a play. I felt an instant affinity with it all. Every aspect of putting on a play was interesting and exciting and I wanted more of it. Now without my mom it would have ended there, but she saw that a spark had been ignited and she helped me keep it lit. She helped me find other opportunities to perform. She sewed me wonderful costumes. She drove me to play practice. She helped find the props. She baked cookies for intermission. She was there supporting my passion, while all the while doing the same thing for my four siblings who all had different interests. I think back on it and it blows my mind that she managed to juggle so many balls. Eventually my father realized that this acting thing might not just be a hobby. He had no reference for what it meant to be in the theater and as he said "He just didn’t get it." So he auditioned with me for a local community theater production and had a blast, he "got it." So when you ask what or who inspired me the answer is my parents who supported me unconditionally even though I know they were terrified I would never be able to support myself. Now I am terrified I will never be able to support myself.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Oh that list is so so long!! The truth is that I mostly long to work with people I have already worked with. I have worked with some incredible actors but once you work with someone you also know something about who they are as a human being and if you connect on that plane as well you hope to have that wonderful synergy of talent and spirit again in your life. AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE has introduced me to an entire cast, on stage and off, of folk I hope to work with again. It is one of those rare experiences where everyone is just so talented and really decent human beings (many of whom are excellent cooks so there is potential for free food) that I would relish the opportunity to work with any of them again. I ardently hope for that to happen.
3. What attracted you to "An Enemy of the People"? Working with my husband Boyd Gaines of course. That was at the very top of the list and truly everything else was secondary. The fact that all that other "stuff" was bliss is the happy bonus.
4. What do you identify most with about your character "Catherine Stockmann"? I identify with her love for her husband and children and the struggle for her family’s survival. She is a woman in an era where she is confined by the morals and opportunities times, yet she has found ways to make her voice heard.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope they will go home and talk about the ideas in this play. It is wonderful fodder for the kitchen table. What starts out as a seemingly simple case of right and wrong quickly becomes much more complicated. The consequences for making the "right" decision are severe and it should leave an audience wondering what they would do. It is also frighteningly relevant for a play written over 130 years ago, I hope audiences will ask themselves why nothing has changed. I also hope they will be entertained, Ibsen intended this to be a comedy as well as a play of ideas, so I hope audiences will laugh as much as they are intrigued by the ideas.
6. In real-life you are married to four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines and you play his wife in "An Enemy of the People" as well. What is it like to work with Boyd in this capacity? What do you enjoy most about getting to work with him? We are on the same schedule so we actually see each other! We love doing this play together and we are both just hoping it isn’t another 20 years before someone asks us to do it again! Plus I get to smack him every night, there are some bonuses to that :)
7. You starred in one of my favorite movies "Life with Mikey" starring Michael J. Fox. Looking back, what was the best part about working on this film? James Lapine was the best part. I had done a play with James in NY at The Public right when I graduated from Juilliard. I was lucky enough that that connection led to an audition for "LIFE WITH MIKEY." It was my first feature film and I was working with Michael J. Fox at the height of his fame and James made it all seem very low key and relaxed. Oh and per diem!
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Times Square after a show is the loathsome!
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Take care of your teeth - you’ll live longer!
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? At this point in my life, I prefer to dream in the day and sleep at night, deep and dreamless. Now that is a dreamy thought.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Winning the lottery, it hasn’t happened yet but I am sure it will be my favorite way to spend the day.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Cookies, milk, and the remote, not saying it works, but would definitely be my favorite way to stay in shape.
13. Favorite skin care product? Don’t do skin care, much to the horror of any makeup artist who has every touched my skin.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Teleport me home Scotty! Wait is that a super power or just a real cool science machine. Don’t care just teleport me!