Call Answered: Judith Barcroft: "Rosemary and Time" & "All My Children"
I'm so excited to have been given the chance to interview Broadway & soap actress Judith Barcroft. In the '60s and '70s Judith starred in seven Broadway shows + created the roles of "Lenore Moore" on Another World and "Ann Tyler" on All My Children.
Now, Judith is doing an equity showcase of Rosemary and Time, a new play by Jennifer Fell Hayes, because she loves the play and loves theatre.
Rosemary and Time, based on a true story, is about two women, working side by side in a school infirmary who discover a startling truth about one another. Set in Yorkshire England in the late 1970’s, with flashbacks to 1941, the two women unearth secrets from the past and come to terms with ghosts, old relationships and time.
Rosemary and Time runs through February 17 at Paradise Factory Theatre, Main Stage (64 East 4th Street). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was three, I was taken to the theatre in Charleston, SC. The audience was laughing and clapping, and it looked like a perfect set up for me!
2. This February you are starring in the equity showcase Rosemary and Time, about two children who were separated in the 1940s and reunited by chance 30 years later in the 1970s. How did this showcase come on your radar? I attend church with the playwright and she asked me to do a reading last May. Then I had to audition for the director in October, and got the part.
3. What are you looking forward to most about presenting this show? My granddaughters from Seattle are coming to the show. I have seen them act, and now they can see their grandmother on stage; our love of theatre continues!
4. In this show, the two lead characters unearth secrets from the past & come to terms with ghosts, old relationships, & time. What is one secret you have been harboring that you are now ready to reveal? A few years ago I thought I was called to the priesthood, and I gave up acting and painting for a time.
5. What have you learned about time and the best way to use it? Time for me is very spiritual; I’m aware of time going backwards and forwards, of being multi-dimensional.
6. This show has an all-female staff, design, & production team. What is the best part about working all women? What is the most challenging part? I don’t like to divide people up into teams of women or men. I respect our cast members as creative individuals; which sex they happen to answer to is unimportant to me.
7. You have starred seven Broadway shows throughout your career. What are some of the changes you notice in today's theatre productions as opposed to the 1960's/1970's? What changes do you like? What changes do you wish didn't happen? I think that the smart phone and technology have really opened up the theatre and made communication clearer. Maybe there was more discipline in the earlier days; we had to learn to project because we weren’t miked.
8. My favorite soap opera was All My Children. What is a fun behind-the-scenes story you can share with us from your time on the show? Thank you for loving All My Children. I remember Ruth Warrick used to flash us, nude under her fur coat. And Larry Keith responded one day by wearing some undershorts on the set that said “Home of the Whopper!"
9. Looking back at your time on Broadway, what is the moment that makes you smile the most? I loved working with the cast of Dinner At Eight. Walter Pidgeon played my father and gave me a book of sonnets. Edna Ferber was there and said she felt the ghost of George Kaufman with us on stage.
10. You met your husband, Wisner Washam on Broadway when the two of you were in Plaza Suite. You were both understudies and he was also the Stage Manager & director Mike Nichols' assistant. How soon after you met, did your romance start? Who asked who out first? What has been the best part about being married to Wisner? Sometimes if Wisner wasn’t running the show, he would come up to my dressing room on the fourth floor and have coffee with me and Bob Balaban, and we would paint with watercolors up there. Wisner lived nearby, so often we would go to his apartment for dinner between shows on matinee days. We were both “playing the field” until Nicol Williamson, seeing our attraction, asked, “When are you two going to get married?” We married a year later! We’ve been married for almost fifty years now. We share our faith and a sense of humor. We have two children, three granddaughters, and two cats. Every day together is a blessing.
More on Judith:
Broadway: Dinner at Eight, Mating Dance, Betrayal, Elephant Man, All God’s Chillun Got Wings, Shimada, and Plaza Suite. Off-Broadway: Cloud Nine, Solitaire, Double Solitaire, Songs of Twilight (La Mama), and Monsieur Amilcar. Regionally she has appeared in over one hundred productions, including the Miami Shakespeare Festival, and the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, working with such notables as Sir Tyrone Guthrie , Harold Pinter, Thornton Wilder, Edna Ferber, Robert Anderson, Neil Simon, Mike Nichols, David Bowie, Richard Kiley, and George C. Scott. She is known to television audiences for her portrayal of "Lenore" on Another World and "Anne Tyler" on All My Children. Recently she played a farm woman in independent film, We Pedal Uphill, and in Food Acts on Theater Row. Member of New Circle Theatre Company.