Stage and screen star Linda Gehringer returns to the Owen Theatre, where she was last seen in Rebecca Gilman’s The Crowd You’re in With (a performance for which she earned a Joseph Jefferson Award nod). This time, she commands the stage as Helene, the central and sole character in Dael Orlandersmith’s new play.
“This is new territory for me,” admits the Detroit-raised, Los Angeles-based Gehringer, a mainstay at such award-winning theaters as South Coast Repertory and La Jolla Playhouse. “I appeared in the premiere of Julia Cho’s The Piano Teacher, which I’d say is seventy-five percent direct address to the audience, but there’s a point where two fabulous characters enter. I’ve never done a solo piece.”
In Lady in Denmark, Gehringer’s character is a 70-something Danish American woman living in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood whose lifetime of memories includes meeting Billie Holiday. She appeared in the role for the 2015 New Stages Festival staged reading, which was warmly received by audiences. “Linda brings extraordinary depth and grace to each and every role she undertakes,” notes Director Chay Yew. “It was immediately clear to those fortunate to experience the reading of this play that they were in the presence of a special artist.”
Gehringer, who counts the FX series Justified, Gilmore Girls and The West Wing among her TV credits, says of Lady in Denmark; “It’s the journey of one person’s life. And so you see family, you see love…and at this point, loss. I was fascinated and moved by it the first time I read it, which means there’s something there that’s really speaking to me.”
This piece was written by Thomas Connors for Playbill.