Role of a lifetime: Actress Mare Winningham speaks with News 12 on playing Broadway character
It's a role of a lifetime, says actress Mare Winningham, of playing her character Elizabeth Laine in Broadway's "Girl From The North Country.”
The part has earned Winningham a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role in A Musical.
"This part means more to me than anything I've ever done,” says Winningham. “It's in the theatre, which is where I always wanted to work, and the TV, film career, which I am so grateful for take a back seat to theatre."
The musical drama is set in a guesthouse in Minnesota during the Great Depression and features the songs of Bob Dylan. The show originally opened on Broadway days before the COVID-19 shutdown began in March 2020 only to reopen then pause again due to the Omicron surge.
Also nominated in the lead actress category is Joaquina Kulakango of "Paradise Square." Set during the Civil War in New York City's Five Points neighborhood, where Black residents, including former slaves, and Irish immigrants live side by side.
Kulankango plays pub owner Nelly O'Brien, struggling to keep her business thriving, as a community conflict explodes over the war. Kulakango believes the show carries important messages about learning from the past.
“We don't often learn a lot from history and tales to learn from, so many lessons to learn,” says Kulankango. “If we want to progress, if we want to grow more together, we have to starting learning from history, quite honestly, and learning how to be better."
This is Kulakango's second Tony nomination in as many years. Last year, she was nominated for her performance in "Slave Play."