Getting into Character
Director, adapter and Lookingglass Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman discusses with Lookingglass marketing intern
Jessica Wright why she became interested in The Brothers Karamazov, the productionâ€™s unique design choices,
and which Karamazov brother she is most like.
Jessica Wright- As you edited the script, were there things that, throughout the entire two-year process, youâ€™re like, â€śThis absolutely has to be in there,â€ť and some parts you eventually had to cut?
Heidi Stillman- Yeah, totally. Like, one of the characters, Madame Kolkokov, has this daughter in the book, who is one of my favorite characters in literature. Sheâ€™s just this crazy girl, and I love herâ€”when I had to pick a character in literature to do in my acting class in college, thatâ€™s who I picked. And I had to kill her out of the adaptation. I had to kill her off. So there were things like that.
I knew The Grand Inquisitor stuff, and all the stuff that Ivan and Alyosha talk about, like, I felt strongly that that had to be in there, and I felt strongly that the kids needed to be in there. I mean obviously the main plot had to be there, but those were the extra things that to me, didnâ€™t feel extra. They felt like reallyâ€”like the thematic meat.
J.W.- What kind of questions or talking points would you want people to come away with?
H.S.- I really donâ€™t know. The book is so awesome and it was soâ€¦ itâ€™s always interesting to talk about the different brothersâ€™ points of view, as theyâ€™re so starkly different people, and theyâ€™re so starkly different types of people, and their driving force in life is so different. I mean, one is like, the body, one is the soul, and one is the mindâ€”if you want to be really basic about it.
Itâ€™s also really interesting to find out who people relate to. When I was younger, I thought I was like Dmitri, but Iâ€™m really probably more like Alyoshaâ€”although Iâ€™m not nearly as good or as wise as Alyosha. I just learned so much from the bookâ€”as a young person, but also working on the adaptation, too.
Check out the other selections from the interview with director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman on the Lookingglass blog.