Meet the Actors: Cassandra

June 19th, 2015

Come behind the scenes of this must-see play, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, to meet the actors of this dynamic, hilarious, and moving ensemble show.

Denise in the dressing room for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Denise in the dressing room for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

In addition to the siblings named after Chekhov characters, our play includes a cheeky nod to Greek tragedy.  Described in the script as the “cleaning lady and soothsayer, any age, any race,” Cassandra frequently bursts into scenes uttering wild and dire prophecies — which sometimes come true.

Meet DENISE ARRIBAS, actor around town who has happily come back to Horizon as our Cassandra…

What was one major inspiration for how you approached this role initially? Cassandra is a tricky character since she is Cassandra/whichever spirit is communicating through her.  So, for vocal/accent I was inspired by Rita Moreno in the Ritz and Eartha Kitt. As for physicality, I watched lots of youtube videos about mediums, Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, and the dinner scene in Beetlejuice (there, now you know my acting technique).

What trait or feeling do you share most with your character?  I always want to help people around me.  I get frustrated when I can see a mile away a friend is making a horrible decision (we’ve all had that friend that dates the worst guys over and over), and I want to help them but they NEVER LISTEN TO ME.  It’s human nature to want to experience things first hand but nonetheless frustrating.

Without spoilers, is there a moment in the play that you struggled with initially?  Why?  My incantations were the most difficult part mainly because there is not much background story to this character and they come out of nowhere.  Making my own background story and making those incantations make sense, look natural and organic, and at the same time understandable and not repetitive was very challenging…completely worth it… but challenging.

Favorite line of the week?  Funnily enough my favorite thing I read this week, “’No’ is a complete sentence” correlates to my favorite line I say in the show: “I don’t want to.”  How liberating it would be if we didn’t feel obligated to say “Yes” to everything just to be polite. A lot of times it’s ok to say “No” and when you do, you are probably just saying “Yes” to yourself.

For Tickets, click HERE!