Seven Questions About Relationships, Weddings, & Theatre With Engagements Star Ana Nogueira
August 16th, 2016
by Josh Ferri
There's not much time left to see Second Stage Theatre's fantastic production of Lucy Teitler's comedy Engagements, and you should make your way uptown if only to see the standout starring performance of Ana Nogueira as Lauren, an unlucky in love PhD student and maid of honor who seems to be making every wrong decision but somehow you still love her (and root for her). Below, BroadwayBox hears from the actress and playwright about her favorite fictional romance, the theatre that inspires her, and the whirlwind that is Lauren.
1. If Lauren were my best friend, the thing I’d love most about her:
Her sense of humor! Lauren is hilarious and biting and incredibly smart. She observes the world in a unique way and isn't afraid to call people out to their faces. It's so refreshing, especially because she is existing in a world where everyone is trying to keep up appearances and say the right thing all the time. If someone can make me laugh, I am theirs forever, so I would adore being friends with Lauren.
2. The thing that would drive me absolutely crazy about her:
It would drive me crazy that Lauren refuses to date men that are right for her. She's a PhD candidate and she dates janitors and men that work at convenience stores. She does it on purpose so that she never has to get too involved or risk being with someone who can actually call her out on her stuff. Her cynicism gets in the way of her allowing herself to be vulnerable with someone who is her equal.
3. Piece of advice I’d love to give Lauren:
Stop trying to fit in with everyone else. You are singular. Embrace it, babe.
4. The line from Engagements I think about most outside the theatre:
"He's just confused. He wouldn't like me if he knew what my thoughts and emotions were like."–Doesn't everyone feel this way? That if people really knew what we were thinking they would absolutely hate us? Or is that just me and Lauren?
5. IMHO, the perfect movie romance is:
When Harry Met Sally Period. End of sentence.
6. My signature dance move at weddings:
I do a mean step-touch. But like, with flare.
7. Piece of theatre that inspired me most as a writer:
Oh I gotta give two! Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is definitely number 1. The first time I saw it I couldn't believe that Albee had actually written that dialogue. It felt so alive, so crackling, and new, and on the verge of falling apart at any moment, that I was certain that I was just watching real people on stage. I've seen a few productions and I'm never disappointed. It's actually a huge inspiration for my play Empathitrax which is getting its world premiere at Colt Coeur in the fall. I think Virginia Woolf is a flawless diagram of a relationship that yes, seems toxic, but to me also seems so full of love and hope in this dark and twisted way. The other one would have to be Circle Mirror Transformation. Annie Baker has the ability to make something completely grounded and real and small but totally theatrical at the same time. And then that ending—oh boy—I know I'm not the only person who felt like they had an out of body experience watching Tracee Chimo age before our eyes. It was the only way that play could end but it was also completely unexpected. I care a lot about endings of plays and that one is one of the best.
Hurry to off-Broadway’s McGinn/Cazale Theatre before August 30 to see Ana Nogueira in ‘Engagements’.