BY CARY GINELL
Kimberly Demmary has been working the boards around Ventura County and the West Valley for more than 10 years. She was recently seen (along with “Seatbelts Required” co-star Joanna Bert) in the Conejo Players’ production of “Noises Off” (see our interview with cast members in our 9/17 and 9/19 blogs) and is a five-time winner of the Ventura County Four Star Awards. Director Peter Krause notes that the show first ran at the Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood and then received a staged reading at the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard. “Seatbelts Required” is a riveting, mature drama that will make anyone with siblings rethink their relationships with each other.
VCOS: The cast looks like they are totally drained by the end of the play. Are you able to unwind after the ordeal?
Kimberly: We are exhausted! And so is the audience. But it’s worth it. There is something very freeing about laughing, screaming, crying, and anger, basically going through every emotion possible within a 2 hour span (with a 15 minute breather). I go home feeling like I have gotten out all the stresses of week. Work, life, obligations are all released on stage. Rehearsals were the hardest, because we were asked to create those emotions and relive those stories more then once a night. So I have figured out that I have to have peppy music playing on the drive home, and I do try to watch something funny on TV like The Big Bang Theory just before bed to clear my head of the emotional roller coaster of the night.
VCOS: Your director, Peter Krause, calls this a “chick play.” Do you think this could be done with three men? How would you change it?
Kimberly: Add more beer, a couple of fart jokes, and more bad words! Just kidding. Actually I have been asked several times by male actors to re-write it for an all male cast. I was a bit surprised. But I think it’s because I tried to write each character equally. I wanted actors to love the role of Maggie, and grow into the parts of Agnes and Janet later in their acting careers. So all three characters have a lot of meat to them. I can see the draw, even for men. It can be done. Maybe there will be an all male version of Seatbelts Required just like the female version of The Odd Couple. I didn’t grow up with any brothers, so I would have to do some serious field research. Sounds like a fantastic challenge.
VCOS: Is there a moral lesson to be learned from going through the turbulent confrontation among the three sisters?
Kimberly: Yes! Life is short! Too short to worry and fight over silly nonsense. It is never too late to fix something especially if there is true love to be found. My sisters and I are very close now that we are adults and realize that love is much more beneficial then bickering and pettiness. They traveled out to see the show when it first opened last year. They loved the play (they cried) and we had a wonderful time together going over “old times.” I have also had many people tell me after seeing the show that they are going to go right home to call their siblings and tell them how much they love them. I have had some people tell me that they wish they had had more time with their parents to sort things out, make amends, and leave nothing open-ended before they passed away. There was a lot I didn’t get to say to my mother. I know she can hear my thoughts, she knows how I feel, and I know she is proud of me and the show.
Seatbelts Required concludes its run at the Santa Paula Theater Center this Saturday. For dates and show times, see the VC On Stage Calendar.