Bras can be sexy and they can be cute, painful, or the wrong size. Bras. They're usually pretty uncomfortable, but western women wear them almost everyday of their lives. Each bra speaks to a stage in our lives. The tiniest were usually first, the largest when we're pregnant. They're more than just fabric propping up our tatas, they're markers of our past.
In the play Cups
, a woman looks at her life though her brassieres. Gwynyth Walsh (of Star Trek: The Next Generation
, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,
and DaVinci's Inquest
fame) stars in this one-woman show taking place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the Aventura Arts and Culture Center
. We spoke with the former Klingon about what to expect with Cups
and whether or not she speaks everyone's favorite Star Trek
New Times: What did you think when you first read Cups?
Gwynyth Walsh: I thought it was a great hook. I think it was a really smart, smart concept, using the bras as a linking device. It's funny because the play reads well, but it plays so much better than it reads. I was frankly surprised by how ebullient the response is to the play. But it does seem to be able to touch women. Men enjoy it, but it obviously speaks more to women. Somehow Joanie has managed to hook into something that is really universal.
Would you say the play is a comedy?
I'd say it's more of a comedy than a drama. I suppose the correct term would be dramedy, maybe? There's a lot of laughs in it. Joanie was also detailing how we women feel about our breasts and how that impacts our feelings about ourself in life. Being objectified and how that affects our journey in life. Again, in a very humorous way.
Is this the first time you've worked with issues of being a women on stage or screen?
I think some of the things she's touching on, I've not had a chance to express those ideas in my work before. My mother just passed away, the character of Nora's mother is quite strong in the play and kind of bookends the story and I feel a very personal connection to my personal relationship with my mother, who I loved very dearly, and what she gave me in life. And that's part of the journey as well as just looking at how women's lives have changed from the first half of the 20th century till the end.
Do you have any female roles that you've always admired in the history of acting?
I've always really identified with Joan of Arc. That's not to say that I plan to go rushing off into battle somewhere. That's a story that really spoke to me when I was younger. I have a large background in classical theater. One of my favorite roles was Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
When you were on Star Trek, did you have to learn to speak Klingon?
I had to learn a few phrases, but not a lot. I know there's a dictionary, I know there's courses in Klingon, I know they translated Hamlet. I sometimes go to conventions and there are many fans that are fluent in Klingon, and I am not one of those people.
Was it intense to wear that much make-up?
It takes a long time. It takes about three and a half, four hours to get it all on. And the first time you wear that and you look at yourself in the mirror, it's a bit of a shock. I don't know what word to use. It's not that you're grotesque, but you certainly look very, very strange.
Check out the history of bras on October 12 through 22. Performances at the Aventura Art and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) take place on weeknights at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $36 and can be purchased at 954-462-0222 or aventuracenter.org.
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