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Creating Claudine

Hi! Cynthia Hines here! I play Claudine in Dandelion Theatre’s world premiere of Everything in Between.

Like Martha, I also first got involved with Dandelion Theatre through The Make Ready! The first time I went was back in 2015. Katherine (Kim and Dandelion’s Artistic Director) and I had met the year before when we’d be in a show together. Since my first Make Ready, I’ve auditioned with Dandelion Theatre for other productions, so it really meant a lot when Katherine asked me to be part of Dandelion’s first devised piece.

When we first began improvising I had a fear of trying characters out, but working with Nicole (Janie) in a very silly scene was awesome. That scene gave me the freedom to explore another character without fear, which was a great experience for me and something that continued throughout the process. The first time I improvised the character of ‘Claudine’ was about a month in. Joe (Carey) and I got up to improvise a scene set in a church where Joe’s character was in need of help and my character had to figure out how to help him. Initially, I had no idea that the character I just played would be the character I would eventually develop, but I did find her interesting the more I thought about her.

l-r: Cynthia Hines (Claudine) and Joe Vargo (Carey) Photo credit: Shirley Nannini

When we began to focus on developing Claudine further, Kristina (Director) asked me to improvise solo, which was very scary but helped me abandon a lot of my fears regarding performing alone on stage. What surprised me most was how comfortable I felt speaking with all of my fellow actors during the rehearsal process. Another thing that surprised me was how, after taking a Meisner acting class, I was able to take some lessons learned in the class (living truthfully under imaginary circumstances, not holding anything back, etc.) and apply those lessons in best understanding Claudine.

In our final version of Everything In Between, I love that Claudine is seeking connection and doesn’t give up. She knows that her heart should be shared with other people despite her past. Claudine fits well into the show’s narrative of the modern search for connection and meaning.




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