Crumbling into role on stage

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 15:23 29/05/2014
Crumble

FALLING DOWN: Martha Robichaud as Janice in Stagecraft's latest production, Crumble.

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The Wellingtonian

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The star of Stagecraft's next production has flown halfway around the world for the role.

Martha Robichaud, from Baltimore, Maryland, is in Wellington attending Massey University on an exchange.

She had been in the city for two weeks when she heard about auditions for a Sheila Callaghan stage play, Crumble.

"A friend told me about it," the University of Maryland student said.

"I said to her, 'Oh my God! Can I have the information. I want to audition."

Crumble is set a year after the death of 11-year-old Janice's father.

Janice is struggling to cope and talking to her dolls, her mother is having panic attacks and their apartment is falling apart.

Robichaud said she was having a lot of fun with the role of Janice.

"At 21 I'm probably not going to play many more 11-year-olds," she said.

"Janice has lots of fun energy and she's also really crazy and dark. It's not just a kid and a fun role; it's really juicy, too.

"Also, in a broader sense, Sheila Callaghan is one of the best new playwrights out there."

Robichaud is studying acting in Baltimore and said she had had the privilege of meeting New York-based Callaghan.

"One of my professors knows her because he commissioned her to do a short play for a festival that has strong roles for women," she said.

"It was so great that a year later the school commissioned her to make it into a full-length play.

"She came to the university to see us do the the first reading and I was lucky enough to be involved with that." Crumble, Gryphon Theatre, June 4 till 14, 7.30pm.

- Shows on June 10 and 11 at 6.30pm. No shows Mondays. Tickets from $25 for adults, concessions available, stagecraft.co.nz/bookings.

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