Friday, June 10, 2011

Planet Connections Interview - Anne Berlin of "Howling Hilda"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Anne Berlin
Relationship to production: Playwright/Book & Lyrics/Producer

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My parents took me to see Lucy Arnaz and Robert Klein in They're Playing Our Song. I was a kid and they couldn't find a babysitter so they took my sister and I who didn't understand where Quogue was (a song in the show), but I liked saying it. Afterwards I went backstage and met Lucy Arnaz and wrote my mother a note I wanted to do what she did in the show. Her character was a lyricist!

Who are your biggest influences?

Dorothy Fields.

What is your show about?

Set on the eve of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ last season in New York, HOWLING HILDA, a solo musical, tells the story of Hilda Chester, the team’s greatest and most colorful fan. Thwarted in her dream to play baseball, she spent a lifetime cheering. Hilda became an institution at Ebbets Field, notorious for her clanging cowbells, frying pan and iron ladle.

What inspired you to write it?

I fell in love with Hilda's story, happened upon it by chance and couldn't pull myself away from knowing more about her. And who doesn't love the Brooklyn Dodgers. There is an innate nostalgia and romance associated with them.

Why was it important to you to be part of an eco-friendly theatre festival?

It's a good way to bring the theatre community together for a great cause and to try to find challenges in productions.

Planet Connections donates a portion of the box office for each show to a charity. What charity has your production chosen and why?

We've chosen The All-American Girl's Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) because the subject matter of HOWLING HILDA involves a baseball fan who had dreams of playing in the women's league.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

Further development of HOWLING HILDA and a reading in the fall of a new play.

And finally, if your play was food, what kind of food would it be?

A ballpark frank with mustard, relish and sauerkraut.

Howling Hilda
Thursday, June 16 at 2:00PM

The Robert Moss Theatre
440 Lafayette Street

No comments: