Many Atlanta theater fans may remember Megan Gogerty from her appearance in Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant, which was named as one of the Top Ten Best Shows of 2009 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or her Suzi nominated musical Love Jerry, which premiered at Actor’s Express. During December she will appear in Feet First in the Water with a Baby in My Teeth at Synchronicity Theatre. In this Feature Q & A, Gogerty discusses the play, it’s inspiration and her love of Joss Whedon and Dolly Parton.
Welcome back to Atlanta. What do you enjoy most about performing in Atlanta?
The crowds, of course! The people here are so lovely, and because your theatre scene is so rich, Atlanta audiences are really savvy and great.
What were some of the inspirations for Feet First in the Water with a Baby in My Teeth?
The play is semi-autobiographical, which is a big word for “I make some stuff up but I use my own name.” I’ll say this: Everything in this story is true, and some of it actually happened.
What can audiences expect when they see the show?
To laugh, hopefully. And if you’re not yet a convert to the Church of Dolly Parton, perhaps you would like to pick up some literature?
What is your favorite song of hers?
So, so many! An impossible question to answer. That said, I’m partial to her early stuff from the ’70s – “I Will Always Love You” (the original version from ’74), “Jolene,” “Bargain Store,” “Coat of Many Colors,” etc. etc. She’s also got some fun duets with Porter Wagoner from the ’60s.
What is the most challenging aspect of performing a one woman show?
Rehearsing alone in an empty theatre. It’s like waltzing with no partner.
Do you have a favorite scene or portion of the show?
There are a couple of jokes I tell – I won’t give ’em away here – that I didn’t think anyone would laugh at. So when they get laughs, then I’m always relieved and surprised. There’s also a lot in the show that I think people can relate to, whether or not they’re parents. And it’s the greatest feeling in the world when you can tell the audience is with you.
You have a couple of comedy albums that give tribute to Joss Whedon shows. Are you a fan of his?
I hope I never ever meet Joss Whedon in real life, because I’m confident the encounter would just embarrass us both. I’m such a huge fan. His works are these epic, finely crafted masterpieces. Let us all bow down and pay homage! In all seriousness, he tends to make work with a decidedly pro-feminist bent, which is so refreshing and rare in genre shows. Buff fans will know what I mean.
Have you seen a play or musical recently that moved you?
I just saw a three-woman production of Hamlet that knocked my socks off. It reminded me of my favorite thing about theatre: You don’t need fancy sets or costumes, you just need an audience and some imagination. Everything else takes care of itself.
What are you plans after this run is completed?
I’m doing the show in Baltimore in January, then I go back to teaching in the spring at the University of Iowa.Are you working on something new? I’m always working on something new, and I’m always hatching schemes to get back to Atlanta. I love Atlanta!
See Megan Gogerty in Feet First in the Water with A Baby in My Teeth, produced by Synchronicity Theatre, at the Balzer Theater at Herrens from December 2 to December 19. For tickets and more information, please visit Synchronicity Theatre’s website.