Posts Tagged ‘christine willes’

An interview with Christine Willes

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

We sat down with Christine Willes, who plays Clara Epp in our upcoming production of Herr Beckmann’s People. Christine is just finishing up in Dangerous Corner at the Playhouse, and is also the Artistic Director of the William Davis Centre for Actors at Van Arts. You might recognize Christine as Delores Herbig from Dead Like Me, or everyone’s favorite demon from Reaper.  Needless to say, she’s a busy lady….

Tell us a bit about your character in Herr Beckmann’s People.

Clara Epp was a concert pianist in Germany in the 1930′s. She met and married a German Mennonite at the same time, and had 2 children. In the 1935, her husband urged her to emigrate to Kenya with him, because he believed war was coming. She refused because it would kill her career as a pianist. Instead, through her mother’s connections, her husband became an SS interpreter. Clara , now in her 60′s in the play, has seen the effects of her commitment to “her music” for almost 40 years – estranged daughter, husband dead, son dead of alcoholism complications. She is very strong, and heartbroken. Music is her main solace – Debussy and Chopin.
What’s it like to work on a brand-new script?

It is exciting, stimulating, challenging and terrifying. I think Sally has written a fantastic script, and I want to do it justice. I want the world to see this play.


Tell us a little about your process.

First I get the story of the play straight in my mind, then I fill in the back story and build images for everything and everyone I talk about in the play. At the same time I hunt for what drives the character – what does she want, and what does she do to get what she wants. I consider myself a story-teller. And the power of the story is in knowing the story thoroughly – in my bones.

Outside of being an actor, you are….

A Mom of 2 great kids. An educator. A fiery champion of women in the arts.

What’s it like to be part of two TV shows that have such a cult following? Do you get recognized on the street?

It’s lovely! Both shows have strong fan bases, and they love the shows so much. I do get recognized on the street, but I also get puzzled looks of semi-recognition. Someone remembers me from somewhere…..but where? I love that! I’m a character actor, a chameleon. I almost prefer not being recognized.

What’s next for Christine Willes?

A film – very exciting and hush-hush.

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla or cinnamon!!!!

Herr Beckmann’s People runs from June 10-19 at Playwright’s Theatre Centre.