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updated: 7/25/2014 6:10 AM

Mount Prospect native tackles challenges of Beckett in 'Half-Light'

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  • Lauren Guglielmello, left, Kathrynne Wolf and Molly Fisher star in Mary-Arrchie's Theatre Co.'s production of "Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett," directed by Jennifer Markowitz.

      Lauren Guglielmello, left, Kathrynne Wolf and Molly Fisher star in Mary-Arrchie's Theatre Co.'s production of "Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett," directed by Jennifer Markowitz.
    courtesy of Emily Schwartz

 
By Megan Swindell

If you haven't seen Kathrynne Wolf onstage, you may have heard her anyway.

Wolf's voice has earned her recording spots in commercials, pinball games, video games and public service announcements. And her vocal experiences come in handy with her latest show, especially as she takes on one character who is just a head in an urn.

The Mount Prospect native plays three different characters in "Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett" being staged by Mary-Arrchie Theatre.

"It's a challenge in a good way," Wolf said. "It's always a challenge to add another element or lens to a character that people might already be familiar with."

Wolf is accustomed to adding her own twist, having starred as Macbeth for the Babes with Blades Theatre Company.

Her own personal theater story began when she was just a kid.

"I started thinking about acting at 9 or 10 years old because I had a friend in a McDonald's commercial," Wolf said. "I thought, 'Hey, that looks fun. I can do that.'"

Her first play was a school production of "Tom Sawyer" when she was in the seventh grade.

Wolf graduated from Prospect High School and then studied theater at The Theatre School of DePaul University and Columbia College. She graduated with a minor in computers, which has helped add to her repertoire.

"I am editing my own web series," Wolf said. "It's about a secret line of female bodyguards called 'The Scarlet Line.'"

"Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett" is also a series of its own. Director Jennifer Markowitz strung together six short works by Beckett, the Irish-born 20th-century writer best known for "Waiting for Godot."

"Samuel Beckett never said these six stories should go together," Wolf said. "It's all being done with great respect and care not to violate the spirit of the stories."

The six are "Catastrophe," "Come and Go," "Play," "Rough for Theater I," "Rough for Theater II" and "What Where." They cover daily activities from sitting on a bench to working on the job.

"They all have a deeper meaning. Beckett didn't write easy stuff," Wolf said. "They're about struggle with life and death and our place in the world. There's a lot on trying to come to grips with the past."

Wolf's characters include one that is basically a head in an urn.

"Audience members," Wolf said, "can expect it won't be like anything else they've seen."

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