Becca Blackwell is making audiences laugh as "Diane" in Two River Theater's latest production Hurricane Diane. In this wild comedy, the Greek god Dionysus takes form as "Diane", a lesbian permaculture gardener from Vermont. She's on a mission to gather followers and restore the Earth to its natural state. Where better to begin than a Monmouth County cul-de-sac and the women who live there?
Blackwell is enjoying working with Two River's playwright-in-residence, Madeleine George:
"I think Madeline did a great job of really embracing the community here, and from what I can tell from the audiences. They really enjoy the specificity for them, and you can tell in their response and reactions. It's quite delicious!, for something to be catered for them, and then really responding and enjoying that. I love it!"
Blackwell talks about George's creation of the character "Diane":
"What would the way for a God to be incognito, and it would be to be a masculine lesbian, because they are kind of invisible in the world. And do this particular Dionysus decided to slip into a lesbian landscape artist in Vermont."
Blackwell says she's never felt more loved in the theater and the audience is returning that feeling:
"I've had people come up to me after this show and say "Oh my god, I never would have thought of a trans person for a god, but it makes sense!" And they had never met a trans person, so this was exciting for them."
The cast also includes Mia Barron, Nikiya Mathis, Danielle Skraastad and Kate Wetherhead. Hurricane Diane is directed by two-time Obie Award-Winner and Tony Nominee Leigh Silverman.
The play runs through February 12th in the Marion Huber Theater. Click above to hear the entire interview with Becca Blackwell.