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July 18 2024


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Mulgrew Talks 'Tea At Five'

By Caillan
January 19, 2002 - 9:46 AM

After seven years as Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Kate Mulgrew couldn't be happier about returning to the theatre to play screen legend Katharine Hepburn in the one-woman show 'Tea at Five.'

"This is the first time I've been on the stage in eight years and I can think of no more challenging prospect than portraying the life of this extraordinary creature," Mulgrew said during a chat at

The actress is extremely proud of the play, which was written especially for her by playwright Matthew Lombardo. "This is not a vanity piece," she said. "This is a very bold and subtle exploration of Ms. Hepburn's life in which I span her entire career. I must be out of my mind."

Although Mulgrew is often compared with Hepburn, the actresses have never met. But this may soon change, Mulgrew revealed. "Rumour has it the lady herself will be attending the theatre. Talk about frightening."

The Voyager schedule was always a grueling one, but life treading the boards is no different. "One could say judging from the schedule that it's easier but it doesn't feel that way at all," Mulgrew said. "I work a steady six hours and believe me it is as straining as eighteen hours on the soundstage. Today was revealing because it showed me that I must pace myself in an entirely new way because this work is very deep and by necessity quite exhausting."

Writer Matthew Lombardo recently talked about the joys of working with Mulgrew at the Hartford Stage web site. "Kate continues to be my primary source of inspiration," he said. "From her remarkably detailed and precise exploration of Hepburn, to the natural simplicity of how she smokes a cigarette, I become further immersed into the soul of the character through her. I would never have even attempted this project had it not been for Kate Mulgrew."

'Tea at Five' runs from February 7 to March 10 at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut. Details of a special performance for Trek fans are available here.

To read the full transcript of Mulgrew's chat, in which she also talked about her work on Voyager and the upcoming 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' head over to

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