Feature Q & A: Mark and Tess Malis Kincaid on Dividing the Estate

Theatrical Outfit

Scott Warren, Mark Kincaid and Tess Malis Kincaid in Dividing the Estate. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

In Theatrical Outfit’s Dividing the Estate, real-life couple Mark Kincaid and Tess Malis Kincaid play a fictional husband and wife in the raucous drama. In this Feature Q & A, Mark and Tess discuss working together, the play and their characters.

How would you describe Dividing the Estate?   
Tess: Funny, heartbreaking, accurate.

Mark: A very funny comedy pitched in Horton Foote’s authentic and poetic voice.

Who is your character?
Tess: I play Mary Jo, Stella’s daughter and Lewis and Lucille’s sister.  Mary Jo has left her hometown behind for the big city of Houston and is living large, larger than her pocketbook allows.  The life she has created for herself is crumbling around her, and she is at a point of desperation. Despite her sense of entitlement, she does love her family very much – her daughters, her husband, her mother, brother and sister.

Mark: Bob is a dreamer who always has a plan to get everyone wealthy. He cares about his family and genuinely  thinks he’s doing everybody a favor.

What do you find most interesting about your character?
Tess: Mary Jo is very complex.  What you see on the surface is certainly not all there is to this lady.  She’s learned to wear her mask well – but it cracks.

Mark: Bob is an optimist who refuses to let even the darkest times get him down.

What is your favorite moment in the play? 
Tess: Oh there are so many!  One of mine is the end of Act One, Scene One with Stella and Doug just sitting together nearly dozing off – you can imagine that this is how many of their evenings in this old home must be spent.  And Rob and Mary Lynn are pretty much kickin’ it in this show!

Mark: There is a moment in the second act where several voices are trying to be heard and brilliant Bart Hansard can’t keep from crying.

Besides your own character, which character do you find most interesting? 
Tess: They’re all interesting.  That’s what makes this play so great.  Each character is so rich.  Foote has such a gift for finding individual characters’ voices.

Mark: I’m in love with all of them. They’re all so wonderfully human.

How does being a married couple change/enhance the performance in the show? 
Tess: It’s great.  We play a married couple in the show.  So, there’s absolutely a short-hand there.  Of course, Mary Jo and Bob’s relationship is much different, but we are able to easily tap into the subtleties of married couple/parent communication – we know the depth they are speaking from.

Mark: Tess and I love working together. There is a special communication there.

What do you enjoy most about working with your spouse?
Tess: We can run lines on our commute in together.

Mark: Because of that communication, we can lead and follow each other and make discoveries every night.

Would you want to do a play together again? 
Tess: Any time, any where.

Mark: Anytime. We love it.

What should audiences expect when they see the show? 
Tess: They will laugh, they will be moved, they will acknowledge that all of our families are a Jerry Springer episode in the making.

Mark: You will be engaged. You will care about these people. You will laugh.

Dividing the Estate runs through April 20, 2014 at Theatrical Outfit in downtown Atlanta. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website.