|Julia Spina-Kilar rehearsing as Cassie Cooper with Ross Grossman as Glenn|
At first blush, Julia Spina-Kilar is funny, quirky, and a little offbeat. In that respect, you could say that she’s similar to another hyphenated Julia (Louis-Dreyfus) that has a facility for making people laugh. Our Julia plays Cassie Cooper in the Farmington Players upcoming production of Rumors, a zany Neil Simon comedy. In the play, the Deputy Mayor of New York suffers a self-inflicted gunshot wound on his 20th wedding anniversary, and five couples conspire to keep the truth from one another – and the police – as the cover-up spirals out of control in hilarious fashion.
Julia describes Cassie as the “angry, insecure arm-piece for her State Senate candidate husband Glenn. She enters pushing Glennʼs buttons and threatening divorce. This continues throughout the play, along with her display of deep breathing and crystal ‘worship,’ much to Glennʼs worry. He does not want to tarnish his political image or reputation. Cassie does not care!” Julia loves being the “bad girl” in the play, as Cassie goes to extreme lengths to provoke and embarrass her husband. But as she says, “the challenge is to not have the audience think she is just a constantly nagging witch. Creating a little empathy would be nice. But Iʼm not sure I can, because she truly behaves badly!”
Julia saw Rumors as a great opportunity for middle-aged actors: “Plum roles for females over 40 are rare and Rumors provides them. Director Cynthia Tupper and I have wanted to work together, so having her direct is a double treat for me. I also enjoy working with this glorious cast! Our different characteristics meld together well. We each ‘ﬁt’ our partners and play off each other with ease.“ The natural chemistry between the couples is important to keep things real, which is essential for farce. As Julia says, “People enjoy comedy, especially farce, because it is a ‘tick-tock’ away from reality. At the same time, Rumors is a situation people might be able to relate to or at least enjoy watching at a safe distance! People panicking, behaving badly and showing their true colors is most likely somewhere in everyoneʼs experience.” (When asked to reveal her own “bad girl” experiences, Julia demurred coyly, saying, “I’ll never tell!”)
Despite her own personal losses, Julia finds fulfillment in bringing joy to people onstage and off: “Sadly, Iʼm a widow and it is odd to be on stage without my husband Ted beaming in the audience. But, it is a joy to perform once again, and Iʼm most honored to have the opportunity to be involved in theatre both on and off the stage at The Barn. Itʼs 'community' theatre, after all! Shows donʼt come together by waving a magic wand. The magic is in the friendly, talented membership and the many opportunities for involvement.” Julia also gives back in other ways. She’s a 33-year organ transplant recipient and counsels kidney donors and recipients as a Beaumont Nephrology Peer Mentor. In addition to her many Barn credits, she has also performed with the Power Center, Utah Shakespeare Rep., Birmingham Village Players, and SRO.
The Farmington Players' production of Rumors runs from April 25 through May 17 and is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Advisors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.