Yvonne Perry, will be appearing as Dr. Lorna James in our final 2015 Fresh Takes Play Reading of Lucy Prebble’s The Effect, directed by Kristen van Ginhoven, on Sunday, September 13.
A proud member AEA and SAG-AFTRA, Yvonne is a sought-after actress, teacher, and voice artist with a successful career in theatre, film, and television. A resident of the New York State Capital District, Yvonne has taught and directed shows at area colleges for more than 14 years. She has worked locally with Capital Rep, Saratoga Shakespeare, The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, and Oldcastle Theatre Company.
On stage, Yvonne originated the role of Lisa in productions of The God Game at Gulfshore Playhouse, Capital Rep & Hudson Stage – and Sheila in Halfway, Nebraska with NYC Fringe. She recently finished the short films Breakfast of Champions and Key Transitions. On television she appeared as Rosanna Cabot on the CBS soap As The World Turns, (1993 Soap Opera Award); as well as in Law & Order,CI; Silk Stalkings, Candid Camera, Guiding Light, All My Children and the sit-com pilot Dads for ABC.
WAM THEATRE: How did you first become aware of WAM?
YVONNE PERRY: I’ve known both WAM Co-founders Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck since before they started the company. I remember Kristen and her husband sought me out when they first moved to this area. They were living in Schenectady and I was appearing in a New Play Festival at Proctor’s. She came up to me and said: “Everyone tells me I have to meet Yvonne!” So that’s how we met.
WAM: Have you performed with WAM before?
YVONNE: I haven’t played a role in a full production yet, although I would love to. The timing has just never worked out. I designed the costumes for WAM’s first big production Melancholy Play. I’m not a costume designer by profession but that is something I studied in graduate school at UAlbany, so it was fun to be involved that way. Then I participated in the 24-Hour Theatre Projects at the Arts Center of the Capital Region and at Shakespeare & Company, and those were wonderful fun.
WAM: We’re so glad things worked out for you to take a role in The Effect.
YVONNE: I was interested in doing a Fresh Takes reading, so I went through the proper channels and sent in my photo and resume. While it is always nice to know people and be hired because they want to work with you, it’s also important to do things the right way in the theatre. I was thrilled to be selected for this role.
WAM: What appeals to you about this play and this role?
YVONNE: As Kristen says, this play ticks a lot of boxes. It is a love story and also a social commentary. I play a doctor. She’s very moral and ethical. I love playing smart women, but I love that she’s also fallible and that she has her own backstory – you think you know what she’s all about and then you find out more. I find it very interesting when a playwright allows you to make discoveries about the characters in a play as it progresses.
So I love the play and am excited to work with Kristen as a director, but the rest of the cast are wonderful too. Tim Dugan is an old friend, and Kristyn Youngblood was one of my favorite students when I was teaching at UAlbany. She has been working fairly consistently around the region, and I hope she takes the next step and tests the waters in New York City because I really think she has the whole package.
WAM: What else are you up to these days?
YVONNE: Well, I am the parent of two teenage girls, so that keeps me busy. I teach Acting for the Camera at Skidmore, and I will be directing John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar for Theater Voices in October. I also do a lot of voice-over work and what is called long-form industrial narration. An example of that would be a recent DVD set I did to train medical assistants in the basics, like how to put sterile gloves on and how to do urinalysis. I also did a PSA for the New York State Association for the Blind. The material is often dry and technical so the work isn’t glamorous, but I love it. And it’s not that easy to do – in fact it’s easy to do it badly – and I take pride in doing it well. Keeping busy with a variety of short term projects keeps me flexible to audition for television work in New York city.