Amanda Sox – A Dress So Severe:

She’s been all over, but Amanda Sox has come back home to Greenville and is leaving her fingerprints all over The Warehouse Theatre this season…both onstage and as a teaching artist.  We were fortunate enough to catch her idle for just a few seconds, long enough to goad her into answering a few questions about her work on A Streetcar Named Desire and her work at The Warehouse.  That interview is below:

WHT:   Your hometown is Greenville, right?
Amanda:   Yes.  Greenville.  I was born in Georgetown, SC, but we moved here when I was seven.

WHT:  And you are living here again, yes?
Amanda:  I moved back a little over a year ago from Seattle.  Before that I was in Louisville, KY, Los Angeles, and Norfolk, VA.

WHT:  Favorite thing about Greenville?
Amanda:  I hate / love how much it has changed since I left.  I don’t know all of the new things that exist, but I’m so excited about the arts and food.  Especially the food.

WHT:  You were a theatre major, correct?  Where did you receive your degree?
Amanda:  I have a BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in acting from Elon University.

WHT:  Did the iconic film version of Streetcar affect your research / performance / choices, etc. for this role?  If so, how?
Amanda:  I love the film, but the only way it affected my process was when I was cast – I was surprised because I didn’t see myself as similar to the nurse in the film.  It ended up being a gift, however, because I had to start from scratch.

WHT:  How much does the scenic, lighting or costume design influence your performance / interpretation as an actor?
Amanda:  The costume design greatly influenced me in this show.  The Matron’s dress is so severe, it does most of the work for me.  (Amanda adds a smile here.)

WHT:  Which person are you most excited to see this show?
Amanda:  Anyone who isn’t familiar with this play – it’s so important!

WHT:  What’s it like to present a non-Christmas show at Christmastime?
Amanda:  I think it enhanced the season of Advent, which is all about the world in darkness in anticipation of light.  Light is only bright when there is darkness.  Doing this play felt important in terms of remembering the darkness which always exists in the world at a time when we typically ignore it.  Personally, it made the time I spent with my family brighter.

WHT:  What is your favorite role ever?
Amanda:  Hangar Theatre, 2005.  A play called School for Devils by Mac Wellman.  I fell in love with this playwright when I played one of the Pleiades playing a devil playing a puppet of George W. Bush.  The dialogue is sparse in words but full of playable punctuation and descriptive pauses.  And there was singing.

WHT:  What is your favorite theatre experience ever (as actor, director, audience member)?
Amanda:  Audience member onstage for Spring Awakening.  I was totally immersed in the story and the music and it was magical. On a side note, it was also election night 2008 in LA and at intermission the audience all cheered when someone shouted out that Obama won.  I was still onstage, so I was facing the huge theatre full of happy cheering people.

WHT:  Favorite theatre experience you’ve ever had at The Warehouse?
Amanda:  I don’t remember the year (2002 or 2003, I think) – Goblin Market.  Mimi Wyche and Monica Bell gave such rich performances of a beautifully heartbreaking and visceral piece that has stuck with me.

WHT:  How many shows have you done at The Warehouse now?
Amanda:  I was in maybe four in high school.  Best Christmas Pageant Ever three times and in A Comedy of Errors.  I did USF once and running crew for several productions.  This is the first show I’ve done at WHT in over ten years.

WHT:  What person or persons have influenced your work as an actor / artist?
Amanda:  My daughter has greatly influenced my work as an artist.  Since having her, she has blown open my personal experiences of love and ability to listen.  I’m a lot more relaxed and I’ve shed many fears, so I approach acting from a more confident and open place.  On a more technical note, she destroys paper so I have to be very deliberate with my actor homework time so as not to have my scripts stolen and eaten.

WHT:  After Streetcar closes, what’s your next gig?
Amanda:  Lady Anne in Richard III right here at WHT.

WHT:  Any advice that you’d give an audience member coming to Streetcar?
Amanda:  Bring tissues.

Catch Amanda Sox as The Nurse in A Streetcar Named Desire playing until January 10th!