2014 Best Student Actress Nominee Interview: Paige Berkovitz as Mary Flynn in The Boston Conservatory's "Merrily We Roll Along"

Photo by Dennis Apergis Los Angeles Photography

Photo by Dennis Apergis Los Angeles Photography

Before we announce the winners of the 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Awards, we are proud to present our Nominee Interviews.

NOTE: If you or your production was nominated for a 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in a Nominee Interview, please email us here.

Paige Berkovitz showed the joy and humanity behind the cynical, biting Mary Flynn in The Boston Conservatory's Merrily We Roll Along, convincing us of the many layers behind these Sondheim characters. Moreover, Paige reinforced the strong character work and scene study present at The Boston Conservatory, never settling and always curious for more.  In her Interview, Paige discusses her love for Sondheim, her dreams, and her love for chocolate!

Hi, Paige!  Thank you for agreeing to participate in an Interview.  Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?  What is your performing background? 

I started performing when I was eight years old. My mom signed me up for a community theater production of Annie and I fell in love with performing. 

What is the story of Merrily We Roll Along

Tricky question. I think the story of Merrily boils down to friendship. Do not let fame or fortune get to your head. 

How did you choose to play Mary Flynn?  What was the biggest challenge?  What was your favorite moment? 

Well, you have to be careful with Miss Mary. She is easily portrayed as the snarky, cynical, witty best friend. You have to try to make her as likable as possible instead of falling in the trap of the “love sick woe is me girl.”

My favorite moment had to be the end when we all meet each other on the roof for the first time. That scene shows such a promising future for the three of them and leaves you with such hope. 

Had you performed a Sondheim musical before?  Do you have any other Sondheim roles that you would like to play?  How is a Sondheim show different or similar to other musical theatre?                                                                          

I was in Into The Woods in high school and I played Cinderella. I honestly think I would like to play every female role in a Sondheim show. I would want to be Baker’s Wife and the Witch, Petra, Dot, Beggar Woman, Martha. Name the role and I will probably say yes. 

Sondheim is in his own category. He writes in such a special way that any actor is lucky to work on his material. Each beat and breath mark in his music is written out for a specific dramatic purpose. It is gift to work on his material. 

To students looking for a strong musical theatre program, what advice would you give?  What should students ask themselves?  What questions should they ask to their potential schools or programs? 

Go with your gut and visit as may schools as possible. Shadow classes and ask everyone you see all the questions you can think of down to “How is the food in the cafeteria?” Also, research the program and really ask yourself is “This what I want to commit to for the next four years?”

What are some of your go-to audition songs?  Monologues? 

I think your song choice and material depends on the show you are going out for.

What is your favorite kind of candy?

CHOCOLATE.

If you could do anything else but act, what would it be?  Why? 

Art Curator. I have discovered some really great museums in New York and I have found a new passion for art. 

Merrily We Roll Along is partly about dreams.  What are some of your dreams? 

Oh, that could be a whole other section. One of my dreams for the theater world would be to originate a role on Broadway. A non-theater dream would be to move to a different country without knowing anyone and learn the language and customs and discover a new world. 

Do you have any upcoming projects or productions? 

Not in the immediate future but I will keep you posted!

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers? 

Thanks for the nomination!