Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Linda Park will be appearing in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which opens in Glendale, California on March 23.
Park will take on the role of Maggie the Cat, opposite her real-life husband Daniel Bess.
“I have been dreaming of playing Maggie since I was fifteen years old,” said Park. “I watched a movie called Double Happiness, with Sandra Oh. She plays this Asian-American actress whose parents tell her that she can’t really be an actress because no one will want to put an Asian in movies. Of course, I can relate. In these theatrical scenes in the movie, she’d be in her bedroom and would say Maggie the Cat’s speeches from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Her bedroom would turn into a theater and stage lights would come on. I didn’t even know the play then; I was just amazed by the movie that had a Korean-American actress. I thought, ‘Oh my God, look there’s an example besides Joan Chen, of an Asian-American actress being in the movies.’ It was an indie, but still. It was a huge deal to me and the speeches she made as Maggie really touched me.
“That made me go out and find the play and read it. The first time I read it, I was fifteen, and I think I just cried for a good hour. It tapped into something so deeply that I felt about the pain of what it is to not be able to communicate with things you love. The way that love, even though best intentioned, can be very hurtful. My experiences up until then were very painful experiences, not romantically, but in other ways they were. I had a lot of experiences of not…unconditional, simple love. I had very complicated paradigms.
“When I read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I recognized what Tennessee Williams was trying to say, and it was a catharsis for me, as a troubled teen. I auditioned for all of my drama school auditions with Maggie the Cat. I got into most of the schools I auditioned for and I think largely because I had such a connection to that piece of work.”
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will run through May 17 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale, California. Tickets can be purchased here. Note that there are two performing groups for the production; Park is part of the Hoppin’ Johns group.