Meet the Cast: Jennifer Schleinz
Last seen in: Mad Cap 24 Hour Play Festival, Laramie Project (Studio Players), Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Li’l Abner, Odd Couple (STC)
Who is your character in Extremities, and what’s challenging about bringing him/her to life?
I play Terry. The challenge and reason I auditioned to play her is how different she is from myself. I view her both as the weakest yet most practical of the women. I believe the other women see her as a push over but she has moments of clarity and strength that I admire.
What aspects of your character are part of you?
I think that Terry seems to control how much of herself she lets people see or connect with. Her relationships need to be on her terms. She is fun but not terribly responsible.
Extremities was written and performed in the early 1980s. Is the subject matter still relevant today? How has the conversation about rape & assault changed in the last 20 years?
The subject matter, sadly, has not changed much in the last 20 years. I think the way we see victims has not changed enough. I think everything is easier to talk about now than 20 years ago but many of the opinions have not changed. I think there is an openness to discuss rape and other important issues but a lot of stereotypes to overcome. I believe that people still blame the victim as a way of feeling safe…of distancing themselves from the possibility that they could be victims…to be able to tell themselves “It happened to her but won’t happen to me because I don’t ____”
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue from the play?
“You want ME to pay for his medicine?”
How is this show different from other shows you’ve done?
Most of the shows I have done have been musicals or comedies. I love the chance to bring to life a show that is relevant and uncomfortable in an important way. I am sure that each of us has a friend or relative who has experienced some form of assault.
What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?
I hope there is thought or discussion on the aftermath of the act. It does not end once it is done. The victim has to live with the decisions she or he made as well as deal with the act itself. The main thing for everyone to remember is there is no right or wrong way to react or feel or survive.
Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.