Under the Hood, Volume 3

Ligeia R. Lester (Cinderella) during Into the Woods rehearsal, by Kathryn Lynn Morgen

An interview with Ligeia R. Lester by Katie Woodzick

You're a new face on the WICA stage! Where did you come from? I grew up in Missoula Montana and did about a dozen shows with Missoula Children's Theater. My dad and I would do a show together every year, and it's one of my fondest memories of growing up in MT. I didn't care for the mountains or the weather or the horses, but I loved the theater! This is my first show on Whidbey Island, though over been here for almost ten years.

We hear that theatre runs in the family! Will we be seeing your kiddos on the WICA stage anytime soon? Yes! Both of my children will be in "A Christmas Story" directed by Deana Duncan. And who knows? Maybe we'll wind up doing a show a year and start a new family tradition!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this production? Meeting so many talented and amazing actors!  I've seen several shows here on Whidbey Island and I'm just thrilled to finally be a part of one of them.

The Slipper as Pure as Gold by cos1163 on deviantart

Cinderella is such an iconic role. What has been your process of getting into character? Well, Cinderella is just NICE. She's the kind of girl I would like to be.  I'm not really that nice, but I think if I draw on the sweetest parts of myself and repress the rest, I can get pretty close to how nice Cinderella is.

I've also spent a lot of time thinking about why she is so nice.  What kind of parents must she have had to raise such a sweet, forgiving little lamb?  What kind of upbringing fosters such genuine goodness?

I'm looking into that part of the character to see if I can get it for my own life. But I also have to remember that this is a fairy tale.  No one in real life is actually that good or sweet, and no parent in real life is perfect. So as much as I want to be the perfect mother, perfect daughter, perfect wife, I have to settle for just playing perfect on stage.

What do you want audience members to know about the show? The music is ridiculously difficult. Sondheim is a genius and a bastard. (Can I say that out loud?!)

And, in the spirit of Bernard Pivot and James Lipton (of Inside the Actor's Studio fame):

What is your favorite word? Peanut. And boogle. That's a tough choice.

What is your least favorite word? But-

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? A challenge.

What turns you off? Unreliable people. 

What is your favorite curse word? SONOFA....

What sound or noise do you love? Rain on a tin roof. What sound or noise do you hate? Can I say noisy children? I feel like that's a really mean thing to say, but it's the truth right now. 

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I wanna be a rock star! 

What profession would you not like to do? House keeping. OMG I hate house work. The only thing worse than cleaning my dirty house is cleaning someone else's! 

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I want to hear Him sing "Ligeia! Ligeia, Ligeia, Ligeia!" To the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story.

Katie Woodzick is an actor, director, writer and feminist who lives on Whidbey Island. By day, she can be found working for Hedgebrook as an External Relations Manager. By night, she can be found rehearsing at local theatres, writing for Whidbey Life Magazine and singing karaoke. Learn more at and

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine is directed by Robert W. Prosch. It runs October 10-25. Visit the event page for more information.