When I was growing up in Bexley, Ohio, I always dreamed that I would live in New York City someday and be a working actor. And now here I am in the theatrical mecca of the universe with everything I love at my fingertips. It wasn't easy at first. I had some weird jobs like driving a taxi, playing Santa Claus in Grand Central Station, even reading minds in the African Room in Times Square. I was fortunate enough to be in the original cast of Godspell which I helped to create, along with my classmates from Carnegie Mellon University. What a wonderful first theatrical experience in New York City it was! I still remember handing out wine to the audience at intermission. They had never seen anything like our show.
My first Broadway show was Happy End with Meryl Streep. She is perhaps the most confident person I have ever met. I went on to do over 100 TV commercials including five for Federal Express. My Right Guard Deodorant commercial won a Clio. One of the highpoints of my career was playing a nun in Sister Act I and II with Whoopi Goldberg. The first day of rehearsals, as a joke, she introduced herself as "Oprah Winfrey." I also enjoyed working with Woody Harrelson in Kingpin. Since he eats only organic food, the meals on the set were indescribably delicious.
The thing I am proudest of is writing and performing my one-woman show, Bexley, Oh!, at New York Theatre Workshop. It was challenging, rewarding and I got some very positive reviews. Now I have written it into a book. I also spent two and a half years in the Broadway cast of the Tony Award winning musical, The Light in the Piazza. Performing at the Tonys was a real thrill. Recently I have been touring my solo show, Willa Cather:Her Life and Loves around the country. Now I have written another solo show called Agatha Christie is Missing. It's an interactive murder mystery in which I play Ace Detective Miss Clarissa Marbles and try to solve the strange disappearance of the famous author.I am so incredibly grateful to have lived a life doing what I love that has brought me so much joy.
by Prudence Wright Holmes www.willacathershow.com Directed by Nora Deveau Rosen Sunday, Apr. 19, 2 p.m. $20/$15 MCC district residents Actor/author Prudence Wright Holmes performs her one-woman show based on the life of legendary author Willa Cather. A courageous pioneer of the LGBT community, Cather dared to dress like a man in a small Nebraska town in the 1890s and was almost expelled from The University of Nebraska for it—that and her love affair with her classmate, Louise Pound. “Call Me William” follows Cather’s life through unhappy love...read more