As Broadway begins to reopen its theatres, Playbill is reaching out to artists to see how they are physically and creatively responding to a changed world.
The series continues with Caitlin Houlahan, who created the role of Kate in the new musical Girl From the North Country, which will resume performances October 13 at the Belasco Theatre. The actor was also seen on Broadway as Dawn in Sara Bareilles' Waitress, and her other theatrical credits include Parade and The Bridges of Madison County. Houlahan has been seen on screen in Girls and Peter Pan Live!
What is your typical day like now?
A typical day starts with taking our dog, Moony, for a walk. Then coffee, breakfast. After that, until about five or six you can find me doing one or all of the following: cleaning, organizing, reading, tending to plants, talking to my mom, working out, taking long walks with the pup, taking the pup to the park for frisbee... but mostly just trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. After dinner, it's then the task to find which show my husband and I will devour that night. Rinse, repeat. I've been having quite lovely days!
What book/TV show/podcast/film should everyone take the time to consume during this period?
I wish I had something more profound to recommend—but over this pandemic I have watched all of the Marvel movies in chronological order and have been quite enjoying the new series in the MCU. Also, the podcast Smartless is hilarious, and it's nice to have a laugh while doing housework or taking a walk.
During this time of reflection and re-education regarding BIPOC artists and artistry, particularly in the theatre, what do you want people (those in power, fellow actors, audiences) to be aware of? What do you want them to consider further?
I want there to be acknowledgment and recognition of change in the community. We are not the same as before the pandemic, and that should be reflected in our work, our words, and in our contracts. As well as for it to be known that our work is never done when it comes to equality and re-educating the masses of BIPOC treatment in the theatre community and elsewhere.
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the isolation and/or the current unrest?
Getting up, making your bed, and getting dressed are massive accomplishments. If you can do that, you've already won the day, even if it may not feel that way. Also, taking a stroll and changing one's scenery will always make you feel better than if you don't.
How are you feeling about returning to live performances?
Nervous, but excited. I am anticipating the butterflies that come with live audiences and the thrill of live reactions!
What would you say to audience members who may be feeling uneasy about returning to the theatre?
Trust the science, and come back at your own pace :) We will be there when you are comfortable being there.