In the final installment of our “Meet the BIG WORK Cast” blog series, we introduce you to Emily Duggan, the amazing writer and performer who plays Jill, James, Safiya, and Tim in the show.
VISITORS: What drew you to BIG WORK?
EMILY: I had only recently been introduced to the concept of documentary theatre when I stumbled on the Perpetual Visitors' online casting call. In my personal writing and performance, I have long been interested in how the art of storytelling shapes the future of the past narratives it recounts, how the act of storytelling influences the way we will experience and have experienced those stories. The spontaneous decisions of the unrehearsed personal storyteller have also been something I come back to again and again in my writing -- how ideas occur to someone in the moment, and how they then choose to express or omit those ideas; where they pause, where they speed up; their various choices in diction, etc. In short, documentary theatre was something I should have found out about a long time ago.
VISITORS: What's your philosophy about the role work should play in your life?
EMILY: I'm still trying to figure this out. If I could make someone's life a little lighter for a little while, and do that for a living -- that work would be the most meaningful for me.
VISITORS: What attracts you about working in theatre?
EMILY: I've been performing since I was a child, and I've always loved getting to tell someone else's story for a little while.
VISITORS: You're hosting a dinner party. Which 3 people do you invite, alive or dead? What do you serve for dinner?
EMILY: I agonized over this question for quite some time. At this point, I think I'd invite three of my four late grandparents (they'd have to decide amongst themselves who has to wait for leftovers), all of whom passed away before I graduated high school -- so I could meet them in an adult capacity, and learn their stories firsthand. My paternal grandmother would bake us a a pie.
VISITORS: If you were going on the one way mission to Mars, what 3 things would you bring with you?
EMILY: 1) A sketchbook. 2) A notebook. 3) Glitter pens! (No erasers. On Mars, there are no mistakes.)
ICYMI: Check out the previous cast Q&As with the play's writers Melissa Bergstrom and Kate Marple who play themselves; Teddy Crecelius who plays Marvin, Jack, and Tricia; Sumit Sharma who plays Dana, Sam, Omari, and Adewale; and Christa Brown who plays Rachelle, Kevin, and Megan.