Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Spotlight on Laura Gardner

The Road Theatre on Magnolia is proud to present The Spanish Prayer Book by Angela J. Davis and directed by Lee Sankowich. The fascinating historical play about the power of art to forge human connections had its official opening on Friday September 20 and plays until November 10. Each week we will spotlight a cast member. This week the light shines on Laura Gardner.

What character do you play in Spanish Prayer Book? How does she contribute to the play?
I play Joan Adler, wife of Jacob, whose father ‘saved’ the books from the Nazis. I am trying to get my husband to sell some of the books to help support our daughter and granddaughter. After Jacob’s death, I try to persuade my daughter to sell the books for the same reason! Yes, they belong to the Jews and yes, my family needs help too.
Joan brings humor, passion, reason and honesty to the people around her. I love her British straight forwardness and yes, there is a bit of my mother and me in Joan.

What to you is the message of the play?
I come from a Jewish background and although I wasn’t Bat Mitzvahed,  I feel such a deep connection to my roots and to the struggles of the Jews through time. Always running, hiding. This play brings so many things into consideration: who owns cultural treasures, where do we draw the line, and the importance of the truth in a family. 

Tell us about your director and fellow cast mates.
I have known Lee Sankowich for many years and have worked with him and his daughter, Sarah, on Moses Supposes at The Zephyr Theatre so it is fun to work with him again. And I have been with this play since the Summer Playwrights Festival three years ago so am delighted to be working with Angela (J. Davis) for all this time! The cast is terrific with Roadies I have wanted to play with for many years!

What for you is the audience takeaway?
I hope the audience takes away the importance of family, cultural treasures and the connection of our ancestors. There is a moment when I have been at Passover Seder, that I have been overtaken with a deep sorrow and connection to ‘My People’. This play does this to me. 

The Road on Magnolia is located in the NoHo Senior Arts Colony at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. There is plenty of street parking but allow yourself plenty of time. Tickets may be purchased at 818- 761-8838.

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