Leading up to the opening of our fifth show of the season, Other Desert Cities, we’ll be introducing you to the cast. A story about the fictional Wyeth family – lead by a mother and father highly regarded in old Hollywood circles – and daughter Brooke Wyeth’s memoir that may bring to light a dark secret that no one wants revealed. The Guthrie Theater characterized the play as “a searing comedy with banter that dazzles and decimates, making it one of the most satisfying grown-up plays of the decade.” Filled with a unique family of characters, we’d love for you to meet the talented actors behind them.
Next up, let’s meet mother Polly Wyeth, played by Sharon Salo.
Playhouse: In what ways do you relate to your character?
Sharon Salo: I have been close to parents who have suffered when they lost children just on the threshold of adulthood. There is no roadmap for how to handle such loss or how to carry on for the sake of those who remain. It takes great strength and sacrificial love to come through the many stages of grief. I have four sons. Any parent can imagine the devastation that Polly and Lyman have endured.
PH: In what ways are you changed from this story?
Sharon: I think I could lighten up a little on making helpful suggestions to my children?
PH: Your character can come off as a harsh mother. Do you think she is justified or not?
Sharon: Polly is one tough cookie and she sees no reason for others to wilt in difficult circumstances. Her needy sister has resisted any advice she’s ever received from her bossy sister but Silda still claims enough loyalty from Polly to remain as a millstone-heavy necklace of worry and frustration. Son Henry’s tragic absence is a constant grief that generates never-ending bitterness over what might have been. And now daughter Brooke is about to blow the whole story open in public. Youngest son Trip is Polly’s delight but also a bit of a disappointment, career-wise. Polly’s love for her husband gets her up in the morning. They share so much, and yet so little of their heartbreak. It’s best not to go there. And so Polly is unable to contain her justified anger at what life has dished up. She knows who she has to be—but why can’t everyone else just buck up, for God’s sake?
PH: Any special thanks or shout-outs?
Sharon: It’s been a wildly stirring experience to share such a grand play with Director Julie Ahasay and this fine cast and crew. Families can be SO interesting! And thanks to my husband Mike for making dinner and eating late most nights.
Check back weekly to meet the rest of the cast until Other Desert Cities opens on May 29th. You can grab your tickets by calling 218-733-7555 or by purchasing online. See you at the show!