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Neptune Theatre in Halifax kicks-off its 2014-2015 season this week with Into The Woods, the multi-award winning take on Disney’s classic characters. Recently we spoke with actor Ann Doyle about her role in the production.

What are your own roots?
I am from Gander, Newfoundland.

When and why did you first become interested in theatre?
I started performing in school plays in Junior High. My friends encouraged me to get involved and I had a huge passion for it right off the bat. I couldn't wait to finish my school day so I could rehearse and memorize my lines. I loved being a part of the whole process from beginning to end, as well as developing relationships with the people I was working with.

Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today?
I feel the same way today. I'm never as happy and motivated as when I'm working in the theatre world, whether it be through acting or writing a new play. It's an intense process and you develop quick bonds with your fellow actors and creative team. It's hard to put these projects to bed and go your separate ways after the show closes.

How did you get involved with this production? 
I've worked at Neptune on the production of Sweeney Todd in 2012. Prior to the General Auditions I sent a letter to the Artistic Director expressing my interest  in auditioning for Into the Woods and specified which roles I wanted to be considered for.

What are the challenges of the role?
My character Florinda is very unkind and abusive to Cinderella, so it's a bit uncomfortable tapping into that. Playing villainous character can definitely be fun but it's important to respect them and to find their inner humanity.

What are the rewards?
It's quite liberating playing this type of character, as it's so different from who I am as a person. You can go to a dark and uncensored place without repercussions.

What can audiences expect to experience during the run?
Audiences can expect  beautiful voices and orchestration, as well as a spectacular set with brilliant lighting. There's sure to be lots of laughs and questions regarding if "Happily ever after" is all it's cracked up to be.

What are your thoughts on the current state of theatre in Atlantic Canada?
The Maritime provinces are filled with amazingly talented performers, writers and technicians. There seems to be more talent then there are job opportunities and funding for new projects. It's can be challenging to work consistently in this field in Nova Scotia, but I encourage others to write and produce the stories they want to tell, and not wait for a job to fall out of thin air.

What can we be doing better?
I think it would help if people saw more theatre, helped promote other artists upcoming works and if Arts education had more priority in the public school system.

What's next on your creative agenda?
I plan to continue auditioning for plays, develop my film experience and write another one act play and workshop and produce it within the next two years.

Into The Woods
September 9 – October 5, 2014
Neptune Theatre, Halifax

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