TALK THROUGH IT ◊ EPISODE SIXTEEN
STUART MELTZER SITS DOWN WITH ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE WOLVES TEAM, CYNTHIA BONACUM!
Stuart: Hi Cyndi!
Cynthia: Hi Stuart!
Stuart: How are you?
Cynthia: I’m great, how are you?
Stuart: I’m doing very well, thank you. So, you play #11 in Sara DeLappe’s The Wolves, what can you tell me about #11?
Cynthia: #11 is the kind of role that feels very true to me and true to who I am, and who I was in high school- in that teenage time of my life. She’s very driven, very brainy, very concerned with kind of finding out about the world and determining right or wrong in her own moral compass. Sometimes she puts her foot in her mouth and she kinda talks and makes these declarations without knowing what she’s talking about. But honestly, I respect and admire her desire to think a bit more broadly than her middle American community.
Stuart: The Wolves deals largely with high school girls who play soccer, did you?
Cynthia: I did not play soccer however I was a competitive figure skater for most of my childhood!
Stuart: When did you start?
Cynthia: I started when I was 5.
Stuart: Where did you grow up?
Cynthia: I grew up partly in Manhattan and partly in Westchester, NY. So skating is really different because it’s an individual sport, they have team skating but I was just an individual skater, and you don’t get to be on a team. You have your coach, and your friends at the rink, but you’re not like going into battle with these other people—it’s kind of just you. And I used to hate competing because it was so scary it was just me out on the ice.
Stuart: How many hours a week did you commit to skating?
Cynthia: It varied as I was growing up, as I got more into theatre I did skated less. At my peak I was probably going to rink for 2-3 hours twice a week.
Stuart: You’re a singer as well, right?
Stuart: When did you start singing?
Cynthia: I started singing around the time I started skating which was like 5-6.
Stuart: Very cool!
Cynthia: Yeah, my mom put me in guitar lessons but I thought the strings hurt my fingers, so I decided to sing!
Stuart: Guitar lessons at that age?
Stuart: Wow! Is that normal?
Cynthia: hmm, I don’t know!
Stuart: That’s fun though! Is your mom a big hippie?
Cynthia: yeah… she is, she kinda is. She’ll love that I said that!
Cynthia: She grew up in the Greenwich village in the 60’s.
Stuart: Okay, so she has a very bohemian quality about her.
Cynthia: She sure does, yeah!
Stuart: Will she have an opportunity to come down and see you in this?
Cynthia: Yes! My parents and my sister, my grandma and my aunt, they’re coming!
Stuart: Oh, that’s very cool!
Stuart: What are some themes you think are relevant in The Wolves for audiences today?
Cynthia: I think an important theme, I think often that the perspective and ideas of teenage girls can be put down. You know how anything that teenage girls like is sort of dismissed as frivolous. So, I think one thing that the show gets across really successfully is that teenage girls are real people in the same way adults are. They’re going through real things, they’re grappling with real issues, and they’re coming into themselves in a really important way. So, I think [The Wolves] dignifies the perspective of the teenage girl which is something that matters a lot to me and makes me really passionate about doing this show.
Cynthia: I don’t know. I guess I feel like as a young woman so often you are assumed to be all of these things: superficial, or fragile, or things like that. Especially in terms of the theatre rolls that are available to you, especially as a musical theatre actress, I mean that’s starting to change, but to be able to do something where women are tough and strong, and there for each other, and,
Stuart: and not sexualized.
Cynthia: Yes! Not sexualized. And defined by a jersey number as opposed to being someone’s daughter, sister, I mean Sarah DeLappe has written a lot about that. Someone’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife… it’s really amazing. And you feel like it’s a rare experience as an actor [to play a role not defined by those relationships] and you feel it’s a great gift.
Stuart: That’s great. Well I just want to say it’s been thrilling watching your journey for the past three weeks, and I know that you’re new to Miami—Do you like it here?
Cynthia: It’s great! I love it here! And the people that I’ve met have been amazing.
Stuart: You don’t have any family that lives down here?
Cynthia: Surprisingly not, But I do have an aunt in Tampa.
Stuart: An aunt in Tampa… of all places!
Cynthia: A great aunt!
Stuart: How Nice! Well thank you so much for chatting with me!
Cynthia: Thank you, Stuart! Thanks so much!