Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Hungry Star Lynn Hawley
March 14th, 2016
by Lynn Hawley
Tony-winning playwright Richard Nelson is back at The Public with a new trilogy of powerful political theatre focused on the current election cycle. Hungry is the first play of The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, and joining Nelson vets Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders is Lynn Hawley as Hannah, a local caterer married to Sanders' character, George.
Hawley previously appeared in several off-Broadway plays, including The Illusion, Owners, Richard III, and Aristocrats, and teaches at Bard College. Below, she talks to BroadwayBox about memorable political theatre, joining the Nelson troupe, and the joy of Snoopy.
1. Line from Hungry I find myself thinking about most outside of the theatre:
“The discovery of a new dish does more for mankind than the discovery of a new star.”
During the play, I find this written in the margins of a cookbook by my late brother-in–law; I think it may be true.
2. Before friends and family come to the show, I tell them:
Unwrap your candies before the show starts; the audience gets very quiet during this play.
3. The best part of working with this ensemble cast has been:
Learning how different people are in their experiences and approaches to the world, and yet, how very much the same we are all.
4. Political piece of theatre that rocked me the first time I saw it:
Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. It would be a timely piece to do now.
5. Off-Broadway credit I’d love to revisit now:
I would love to revisit the part of Lisa in Caryl Churchill’s Owners. An East Ender hairdresser, Lisa flails against the powerful and greedy real estate developers. She also had great hair.
6. Piece of wisdom I hope to impart on all my students:
You are enough. We all spend a lot of time trying to be some image of what we think others want. You are unique; be you.
7. Performance that made me want to become an actor:
I grew up as a faculty kid in a boarding school and, when I was about 10, the students put on You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. The teenager that played Snoopy had so much fun. I still sing “Suppertime” to my dog when I get her dinner.
8. One thing I wish I could go back and tell MFA student Lynn about her career:
It can all happen, it just won’t all happen at once.
9. My go-to TV show or movie set in the world of D.C. politics:
Homeland. Claire Danes is also in a play at The Public now!
10. Quality I admire most about my character, Hannah:
Hannah has a pretty clear view of the world but also an ability to laugh in the face of darkness. And she is kind.
See Lynn Hawley in 'Hungry', part one of 'The Gabriels' plays, at The Public Theater through April 3.