Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Folk Wandering Star Morgan Siobhan Green
Morgan Siobhan Green stars as Hannah in Pipeline Theatre Company's new musical Folk Wandering. The musical examines the making and breaking of the American dream through three women's stories: a Lower East Side teen working in a shirtwaist factory in 1911; a desperate mother and daughter crossing the Dust Bowl in 1933; and Hannah, a woman in a small highway town in Indiana and in an interracial relationship who learns how to finally stand up for herself. BroadwayBox gets to know Morgan a bit better as we talk about preparing to play Hannah, black girl magic, and why she strives to be a more selfless performer.
1. What do you tell your friends and family about Folk Wandering before they come see the show:
I definitely tell them to get their ears ready for some ridiculously good music! I also told my mom I’m practically Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World (I wear heels the whole time).
2. What research did you do that informed your performance of Hannah and what her life would be like:
Hmmm. That’s a tricky one. As a black woman in a relationship that would most likely be frowned upon during the time period, I found that all I had to do in the scenes was listen. There are a lot of things that are projected onto Hannah that are simultaneously projected on to myself on a daily basis. It’s an interesting thing when the art really does reflect the present in ways that lead us to question: have things really changed?
Hannah is a really strong woman and yet she puts up with things that most strong women would deem weak. I worked really hard to make her the type of person that says, “that could never be me.” Her strength isn’t magical. Her strength comes from being broken and THEN getting back up. A lot of times people miss that step, especially concerning women of color.
3. What do you love about Folk Wandering:
I love the sound. The way that each story warrants its own meter and feeling. I think that’s rare in some musicals and this show begs for the sound that it’s giving which I think is pretty great. There are so many composers on the show, and yet it works! I think that’s awesome how so many people collaborated, and every song and musical choice is top quality. Also, the young group of artists that makeup Pipeline. It’s refreshing to see some youngins making stuff and letting other youngins be in it!
4. What’s a moment you had to stand up for yourself:
Oh jeez. As a little black lady, I feel standing up for myself is a daily occurrence. I’m slowly getting better and being unapologetic for calling people out on their garbage. A more recent lighter moment of protest was fighting for a spot in line at a Trader Joe’s today. I’m really short and people think I’m a pushover. Boy, are they wrong. #Thatmanwillnevercutinlineagain.
5. Tell us a memorable audition story:
I was in an audition where I was told to, “run and just run until you can’t anymore.” No gym was attended that day.
6. What’s a movie that was really important to you growing up:
The Preachers Wife! It was the first time I ever saw Jenifer Lewis in anything and Whitney Houston was STUNNING in the film. Of course, Denzel Washington, Gregory Hines, and Courtney B Vance. Loretta Devine. That film was filled with legends. Thanks Grandma Sarah for talking mommy into taking me with her when I was a kiddo. (My new faves, are of course, The Princess and The Frog and Black Panther). #wakandaforever
7. What job has taught you the most about yourself:
I feel all jobs, good or bad, teach you something about the industry or yourself. Be it patience or time management. I’ve felt really blessed as of late to be in situations that have forced me to grow and really love the art of giving rather than receiving. I feel that good actors are concise and selfless. I hope to perfect that in myself daily. More specifically, I’ve learned to trust the process and my process. I don’t have to figure it out during the first week. I went to school to learn a set of skills, so that when I get stuck, I can hopefully get unstuck.
8. You’ve been part of a lot of new works around NY, but what’s your dream revival role:
If I could bring a role back that I’ve done in the city, it would have to be Missed Connections. I still have no clue how any of us got through the show without laughing. If we are talking a more serious role, hands down, Othello.
9. What was the moment that set you on the path to performing:
I had a really bad year in college, chock full of loss. I found safety in my family, of course, but in a wonderful little show The Tempest. After having lost my grandfather the day before, I returned to school and performed my role of Ariel during our opening night. I buried him the following week and play Ariel at another school in the state for a festival. I truly learned the art of being present and importance of passion. Everything in me wanted to lie down but being the granddaughter of a man who never rested, my DNA didn’t call for that. So, I got up and performed. In that resilience, I learned how much I really needed the stage. The rest is herstory:)
10. If you could interview any one person, who would you choose and why:
Oh man! Definitely Cicely Tyson. Talk about black girl magic, longevity, and grace. I want all of that and would love to just sit and soak up all of her wisdom (and skincare rituals. She’s flawless!).
Don't miss 'Folk Wandering' at the Pipleline Theatre Company through March 25.