Take a journey with a disgruntled aging couple revisiting their roots in Southern Appalachia in the new play, Milestones showing at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre June 9-19, 2022. Each twist and turn in the road leads this couple towards forgiveness and healing. Written by Gale Gooch Alexander, and set in the very mountains Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre calls home. We reached out to Milestones actor Bonnie Allen-Thomas to find out more about her and her experience working on this production.
What is your favorite line in this show and why?
"Dad, I never wanted to hurt you and Mom. I just couldn't figure out who I was. Once I did I had a hard time accepting her so I lashed out at those closest to me."
I think everyone can relate to the journey of self love and acceptance. It's often the hardest form of love and the most powerful. Michelle is a lot like her father in that way. They both have to learn to love themselves in order to fully love others.
What do you love about working with SART?
This is my first production at SART so I'm excited to get to work with another theater company in the area and make more connections. I'd be lying if I didn't say that this cast is completely STACKED with talent so I was beyond excited to just soak up all the opportunities to learn from those around me.
Tell us about your character. What’s your favorite thing about them? What do you love about getting to portray them?
Michelle has been a treasure trove to dissect; every time I return to the text there's always more depth to her! Michelle is an observer and protector by nature. She listens, collects facts, keeps the peace, and above all defends those who can't. I myself am a middle child and had some common ground with this character, as I also like to think I speak up for injustices. But that's about all we have in common. I'm impulsive, loud, and chaotic at times. Some of my friends would say I disrupt the peace LOL. So having the opportunity to tap into a side of myself that is truly outside of my personality has been so much fun to play around with.
How did you get into theatre?
I started acting as a small child in school productions; call it middle child syndrome but I was just trying to make my presence known. Then the acting bug bit me and I never turned back.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the area?
I love to get crafty similar to Roz in the show I like to flip furniture and breath new life into old junk. I'm also not opposed to just sitting around the dining room table for a good old fashion game night. Come to think of it - I might just be Roz in real life ;)
What about this production are you the most excited about?
It's been decades since I've had the opportunity to be apart of a world premier of an original script. Being able to be the first one to interpret a character and leave my mark on it is something special. However, being part of THIS group of actors is truly extraordinary.
What’s your favorite part about performing?
Theater is therapy to me. It always has been. It ignites my soul. The stage has always been the common denominator across the ages. Whether it's the theater in the ruins of Pompeii or Shakespeare's Globe or NYC's Broadway. Humans have always gathered to share in moments of laughter, joy or in tears of sadness as they watch their fellow man bare the most intimate parts of their soul on stage for the world to see. It's truly extraordinary and has withstood the test of time. Every time I walk onto the stage I am reminded of how humbling it is to be where I am and to be who I am. Collaborating with creative people to bring something to life.
Do you have any upcoming projects we should check out?
I am an actor for hire who is always auditioning and looking for creative pursuits. That's my of saying I've spent the past 3 months planning my wedding, getting married, and traveling in Italy and Greece. I only now have free time to actually do other things. So I am optimistic opportunities will present themselves. So...not quite yet. Stay tuned.
Bonnie is thrilled to be making her SART debut after a 4 year long hiatus from the theater. She recently moved back home from Chattanooga TN with her husband and she couldn't imagine a better cast and crew to be dusting off her theater cobwebs with! You might have most recently saw her in Mars Hill University's production of "The Vagina Monologues" this past Valentine's Day. Some of her most memorable roles include: Sonia in "Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike", Maria in "Twelfth Night", May in "Fool for Love", Mrs. Keller in "The Miracle Worker", and Queen Agravaine in "Once Upon A Mattress". In addition to theater; Bonnie has an active TV and film career. Look for her works on Amazon Prime and her commercial work such as NASCAR, Sunoco, and Hoover Vacuum. Bonnie is a Buncombe County native who has spent the majority of her life growing up in the Blue Ridge mountains and will forever call them home no matter where her life might take her. Big thanks go to her best friend Chesley Gaddy who's a constant inspiration to her. We finally get to share the stage sis! And to her husband who has always been her #1 fan and her Champion. I love you, Matt.
Milestones is showing at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre June 9-19, 2022. Grab your tickets here: https://www.sartplays.com/milestones