Jeany is thrilled to be back on the deck at Rosebud Theatre. Her previous shows include ‘Doubt’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, ‘Lettice and Lovage’, ‘$38,000 for a Friendly Face’, ‘Godspell’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, ‘On Golden Pond’, and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. Before Rosebud, Jeany worked at the Chemainus Theatre Festival, Wisconsin Shakespeare, Western Illinois Musical Theatre, and Eugene Festival of Musical Theatre. She holds an MFA in acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a BA from Trinity Western University. Jeany enjoys teaching and living in Rosebud with her family.
|Jeany Van Meltebeke and Declan O'Reilly in Rosebud Theatre's The Skin of Our Teeth. Photo by Morris Ertman.|
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Eugene, Oregon and moved to Rosebud in 2006.
What’s your must-have morning ritual?
Buttered toast and O.J.
What music have you been listening to lately?
In ‘The Skin of Our Teeth, you’re playing Mrs. Antrobus, one of the iconic female roles of American Theatre. Do you approach it like any other role?
It’s not unlike most roles, I lend her my self and my sympathies and let the playwright do the rest.
I definitely have to take her at face value, and deliver the lines full and true. There are some melodramatic stage directions in the script, and Morris is usually pretty iffy about following those… and yet he keeps asking for ‘the tigress’ whenever I get too reasonable, so the tone of those stage directions are probably being realized in the end.
I can’t plan though. It really has to be moment to moment – play my action and then react to my scene partners. Sometimes Mrs. A cowers, but usually she is straight up and persuasive – for good reason of course.
|First day on set - Jeany Van Meltebeke and Heather Pattengale take a moment with text. Photo by Declan O'Reilly.|
Her strength, and the technical challenge of being on top of my game and remembering all the exact words and business and details. (Can you tell we’re in tech week?)
This may sound surprising, but it’s actually been important for me to separate myself from my character so it doesn’t become too personal. Ironically, this distinction allows for greater freedom and availability and likely even more of myself to emerge.
Overall, my job is to stay healthy and positive, or as Wilder would say, “Keep my wits about me” and tell the story.
Any other iconic roles still on your bucket list?
Lizzie from 110 in the Shade
Josie from Moon for the Misbegotten
Mother in Ragtime
Richard the Third
Miss Hannigan in Annie
Paulina in Winter’s Tale
Your family recently came back from a mammoth tour to Europe and Africa. What’s something that has resonated with you about the journey?
I loved being with my family. I loved watching my boys make new friends with young and old alike. I loved watching my hosts thrive on lavishing hospitality. I loved seeing new places and eating new foods and experiencing similarities and differences in our cultures. I loved the moments of community, of beauty, and serendipity. I liked getting to stop our routine here and just go… and I loved having little agenda other than what was right in front of us.
Now I think of myself more of a citizen of the planet, and not just a particular country… And I’m grieved by all the plastic waste… And I realize how astounding it is that I live in Rosebud.
What’s inspiring you right now?
Tabata workouts, Artisan bread, and University of Oregon basketball. Oh, and Call the Midwife.
What’s a piece of acting advice that’s stuck with you?
Acting is 90% Audacity, so just commit and “Put ‘em at ease.”
And what motherly wisdom do you think Mrs. Antrobus, the “original” mum, would give in our current turbulent times?
Preserve and protect your own little corner of the universe: your home. Let it be the safe spot where one can be known, and it will be an incubator for potential. Investing in family is the most noble and courageous calling, for it ensures the survival of the human race.
‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ opens this Friday, March 31 and runs through June 3rd. Don't miss this opportunity to marvel at Jeany Van Meltebeke residing as the original matriarch, the ferocious Eva Antrobus. For more about the story, click here. For tickets and information, visit rosebudtheatre.com