Celeste Walker is a writer/performer - an actor with a BFA from Kutztown University & MFA in Acting from The Actor’s Studio Drama School at the New School University in New York. She is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and a member of Actors Equity. Her theatre Roles include: Melissa in LOVE LETTERS, Maria Callas in MASTERCLASS and Frankie in FRANKIE & JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE. She's an Adjunct Professor of Integrated Studies at Arcadia University and Montgomery County Community College.
Her show Colette: Reloaded is appearing this weekend at White Pines. Colette Reloaded tells the story of a 60-year-old woman’s examination of her life filled with loves, losses, goals, and obstacles and questionable choices. Why is she still trying to battle 40-year-old demons? Is Colette (her twin) really evil? Is she the embodiment of wrong turns or is she the strength that allows the woman to face her fears, take risks and learn from all that she has experienced?
We asked Celeste about here show . . .
Where did you get the idea that gave rise to your show?
I was encouraged, by a friend, a fellow actor, to re-visit a Fringe Show that I wrote, produced, directed and performed in 2003. At that time I was terrified to write, direct AND act solo, so I changed the piece from a solo to a two-person one-act. My friend, Bob Weick, read the script and told me it should be a solo show and that I should play three characters. I took on the challenge with the help of my long-time friend and director Marshall Mays. Following an initial re-write of the script, we spent the summer of 2016 fine-tuning, editing and rehearsing the play. I mounted the production the A-Space, a tiny co-op gallery space in West Philly for the Fringe in September. The response was positive and encouraging. The original idea, came from the struggle that I have had in my past trying to reconcile the two sides of my personality that have lead me to make questionable choices in my past and how those choices lead to my personal and artistic growth.
What is it about White Pines that made you submit your show to the series Cold Hard Love?
I read the description of the series, knew that my piece needed an outlet and thought the the subject matter would fit in with the premise. I also know that Benjamin Lloyd has an excellent reputation in the Philadelphia Theatre Community.
Do you have a funny love story to share?
All of my love stories are funny . . . Okay, here's one. On my first date with a guy I met on Match.com, I got up to use the restroom and wrestled with the idea to sneak out of the restaurant. The date wasn't going as planned. My Catholic guilt got the better of me and I returned to the table. Luckily for my date, upon my return, I asked the magic question. I asked about his children. His one-word answers turned into proud daddy stories and the deer-in-the headlights look on his face softened. We were married two years later.
Give our audience a teaser for your show . . .
Listen for a reference to The West Wing!
Share a rehearsal tidbit: has something funny/surprising occurred as you have been preparing for Cold Hard Love?
With all theatre, whatever can go wrong, does go wrong. But we love the work anyway.