Interview: Robert Sean Leonard on “Pygmalion” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]
Story by Larry Murray
The second main stage offering of the 2013 Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) July 17- 27 is the classic story of Pygmalion. It is the work that won George Bernard Shaw the Pulitzer Prize in literature in 1925, and his timeless characters – which most people remember from My Fair Lady – have been the subject of debate ever since. The big question most people wonder about is whether the professor and the flower girl he tutored were in love or not. Over the decades since its first presentation, producers, players and directors have tried to tilt the play one way or the other on this question.
Robert Sean Leonard’s analytical mind takes a whole different approach, and he describes how he tried to find a new way into the character of Henry Higgins, using the very words that Shaw wrote as his key. Yesterday we talked about this and the upcoming Williamstown Theatre Production which is being directed by former WTF artistic director Nicholas Martin. A splendid cast welcomes back former WTF apprentice Heather Lind in the major role of Eliza Doolittle. She has been knocking ‘em dead lately both on stage and on screen. She’s playing a bit of catch up since the work had an earlier January production at the Old Globe in San Diego with a different Eliza. Much of that cast and creative team is back for this WTF show, and in Part Two we talk with Heather Lind about how she prepared.