“Calendar Girls” by Tim Firth opens Friday, March 15 at Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main Street, Laurel, MD. It is produced by Maureen Rogers and directed by Michael Hartsfield. Ms. Rogers is also an actor in this production. “Calendar Girls” is based on a true story in England where older and not very glamorous women posed in various stages of undress for a calendar to benefit charity.
Tickets may be purchased online.
Maureen Rogers has been involved with Community Theater for the last 22 years starting with Laurel Community Theater. After being bitten by the theater bug, she ventured out, performing with Greenbelt Art Center, Rockville Little Theater, Chesapeake Center, OnStage, Timonium Dinner Theater and Page to Stage at the Kennedy Center. She was a recipient of the best actress award at the Maryland One Act Festival. She has taught acting classes at the Laurel Beltsville Senior Activity Center and has even directed some plays! Past President of the Laurel Mill Playhouse, Maureen currently serves as the Artistic Director, Public Liaison and primary Producer. Retired from Verizon after 37 years, she currently is the Administrator Coordinator of the Laurel Board of Trade.
In her spare time, she loves to camp, cruise, travel and spend time with her husband Marvin (LMP President), three daughters, and two grandchildren.
As the producer, what drew you to “Calendar Girls,” e.g., based on reality, great vehicle for female actors, seemed like it would be fun to do or something else?
I have been aware of the movie and the play, and it is very moving but it has humorous moments. However, we have done a few plays in the last year that have used a lot of male actors but very few women actors. I thought Calendar Girls would be a great vehicle for women of all ages to act and bond with each other. We also are truly blessed to have some fine male actors that joined us for supporting roles.
Also as producer, you chose Michael Hartsfield to direct this production. What did you think he was able to bring to this production to make it successful?
Michael Hartsfield is a very brilliant Director successfully directing many plays and musicals. And with those, he has directed plays with sensitive issues such as In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, V****a Monologues and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Everybody loves working with Michael, and he has a tactful ability to handle controversial subject matter on the stage comfortably.
How as producer and actor did you decide to handle the “nude” scenes in the show? Did this prove to be a costume challenge for your Costume Designer?
That scene is done with orchestrated illusion, we all worked together with Marge McGugan, our Costumer, and with each other so that everyone was comfortable. The play deals with the subject of nudity, but it is not the object of the play. It is about pushing oneself beyond their comfort level in order to achieve a worthwhile goal.
Which role are you playing and tell us a little bit about what made you want to play that character?
I play Jessie who is my age, and I love her zingers and the way she looks at life! She has a devil may care role with the punches attitude. Two of my favorite lines from the play are “I have never had a problem with age, my dear. It has only ever had a problem with me”.
What other characters are your favorites? Are there any you would have loved to play if you were younger?
All of these characters bring their own uniqueness to the play, and I would be honored to be cast as anyone of them. I love roles that combine humor with a little sarcasm.