Lydia Hundley plays Medea in latest main stage production
By LINDSEY BROWN
Lydia Hundley, a senior theatre major, has been involved in theatre since grade school. Her mom is a theatre teacher, so Hundley was bound to get into theatre at some point. Once she started listening to show tunes, Hundley says it made her want to audition for her middle school musical. She took on her first role when she was in the eighth grade. Hundley has portrayed a variety of different roles during her time in theatre including Jane in “Tarzan,” Rosie in “Bye Bye Birdie” and Drood in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”
Hundley’s favorite show was “The Addams Family Musical,” where she was in the ensemble.
“It really was a big family.” said Hundley, “The show really included everyone. Even though I was in the ensemble, I really felt like a pretty big part. It was just such an inclusive show. There was so much singing and dancing, and it was really just fun.”
Hundley prepares for an audition by researching the entire play or musical. She learns as much as she can about the characters that would be good roles for her. She even learns about characters that she would not be able to play, in order to understand the characters that she could potentially play.
“You really have to have a knowledge of what is happening in the play in order to have a good audition,” said Hundley.
When asked how she immerses herself into a character, Hundley explained the struggles with the character Medea. Medea is a mother and is also very manipulative. Hundley has nothing in common with Medea’s character, so she found becoming this character to be difficult.
“Medea switches into these different things. She comes across as bipolar a little bit. It’s very strange,” said Hundley.
One trait that Medea has is strength, which Hundley says is the only thing she feels she has in common with the character. “Her strength throughout this entire show is unbelievable. There are a lot of strong women in my life. They have this resistance to the struggles they have faced. Medea has this wall up where she doesn’t let people who hurt her affect her, because she is going to get revenge.”
Hundley feels the character that got her out of her comfort zone was Drood. “Drood pushed me to be a person who wants to be the center of attention. I am a very self conscious person. My first entrance I had to walk out on stage with my arms in the air and smile so people would applaud for me. That pushed me a lot as an actor because I was not used to that at all. I feel like its what helped me lead up to getting the part Medea.”
Hundley feels like the character Medea has helped her grow as an actor. “I have a lot of trouble being big. Now through the rehearsal process, the director [Helen Housley] has helped me so much. She has made comments on how I have grown. This show has pushed me to be big, and push myself. I used to not be able to make any variation with how I said things. She has pushed me to take risks as an actor. And I think I have become a better actor from this.”
Housley shared her thoughts about Hundley’s role. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Lydia on “Medea,” said Housley. “Medea is a very complicated character with many facets to her personality. Lydia has given much thought and energy to her portrayal of this woman, building a character that runs the gamut from endearing charm to brutal cruelty and everything in between. It has been gratifying seeing Lydia grow in her interpretation and characterization of Medea and I’m sure the audience will appreciate the complex woman Lydia has created for this production.”
“Medea” will run from Apr. 12 to Apr. 22 in Klein Theater.