How far would you go for your child? In the fiercely competitive world of girls’ soccer, how far would you go for your child? Play Like A Winner is a satire of the soccer mom world based upon the award-winning play All About the Kids by Caytha Jentis. At curtain, Coach Nick lies dead on center stage, impaled by a corner flag, while a chorus of soccer players sings in his honor. Kathy, a soccer mom, steps forward to tell us the story of how all this began…
T2C: What had you done prior to NYMF?
Zoe Wilson: Orange is the New Black as White Effie. Helen Keller with the Transport Groups in Three Days To Sea and I did commercials and was on Nickleodeon.
Jessica Tyler Wright: 2015 Lucille Lortel nominee for CSC’s Allegro. On Broadway War Horse, Sweeney Todd and Company with John Doyle and LoveMusik. Candide with NYC Opera directed by Hal Prince. On TV a recurring role in Blue Bloods.
T2C: What drew you to this show?
Zoe Wilson: I really love a satire about soccer moms and over protective mothers. I wanted to be apart of something I would enjoy seeing.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I am a newish mother, I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter. I can connect to the material and get on a level I couldn’t to until I was a mother. How far are you willing to go to achieve success? How far before you take a step back and let the child make the mistake or step forwarded? How do you raise a daughter to be confident and self-assured without her being a bully? This show has deep themes that are expressed, but with humor.
T2C: What are your characters like?
Zoe Wilson: Jenna is the daughter of Kathy. She is a nerdy high school girl with not a lot of friends. As the show progress, we see her come out of her shell and become a bully. She starst out as the victim and becomes the bully.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I play Cathy Jenna’s mom. We are new to this surbean community and both of us are trying to fit in. My husband is not present, so she is trying to make up for that and over parents. Nobody doesn’t ever want to fit in. I get her into the soccer suddenly there are friends and a click for both Jenna and Kathy. They however are all tiger moms.
T2C: Had you done a NYMF show before?
Zoe Wilson: I auditioned for many, but this is my first.
Jessica Tyler Wright: This is my first as well.
T2C: What advice would you give to young actors?
Zoe Wilson: To be true to yourself. A lot of times I found myself losing myself inside certain roles, that you need to fit into as a young actor. I try to create art instead of copying.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I second that be true to yourself. Keep that force continuing to burn. There are highs and lows and the lows springboard you up. We are in a business that tries to pigeon hole you into a type. Life imitates art so have true moments in theatre. Be there in the moment
T2C: What roles would you like to take on?
Zoe Wilson: There are so many, I mostly find myself drawn to new projects. I want to create my own roles and characters, but I dream of doing Anne Frank.
Jessica Tyler Wright: My blanket answer is Annie, which I did when I was eleven. I would like to go back and play her with the experience that I have now. I also would love to play the Mother in Ragtime. Anything in Phantom of the Opera, anything…but especially Carlotta.
T2C: What is musical theatre lacking?
Zoe Wilson: Diversity in people and the writing. Musicals are very light hearted and that is not the world today. I would like to see more musicals that discover the deeper topics.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Musial theatre lacks new and orginal work. Revivals are fantastic and musicals based on movies are fun. It is so difficult to get a new musical produced that is why NYMF is so wonderful. It is an encouraging. Musical theatre is getting lost in spectacle. Original stories are rare.
T2C: What is your favorite show?
Zoe Wilson: Wicked and Perfect Crime.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Phantom of the Opera and War Horse.
T2C: What is the one thing that has surprised you since being in this business?
Zoe Wilson: I thought it would be a lot harder being a child with my own ideas and thoughts. In regular life you are not listened to because of your age, but in theatre, I am heard and listened to.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I can’t say I am really surprised. I didn’t have a lot of theatreical experience so I had no expectations. Everything was new and a learning process and it still is. Maybe that is what surprising.
T2C: What do you hope audiences take away from your show?
Zoe Wilson: I hope that audiences see the lessons that Jessica talked about raising a girl. The show is very funny and the lessons are hidden. I hope that audiences, take the time to listen and hear. Look past the humor and listen to the words.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Those are exactly my hopes too. There is a serious message and I hope we get that clear. There is a message to take away and maybe the audience will take away these situations. Theatre should entertain yes, but also make you think.
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