Kiana Washington is a second-year student, majoring in Theatre and Entertainment Media Studies. She’s from Watkinsville, GA. This is her UGA Theatre debut and she portrays Puppy in The Tall Girls.
Who is Puppy to you?
Puppy is a very interesting character, and her change throughout the show is very obvious. While she really wants to be a part of a group of friends and plays basketball because of it, her biggest friend is actually her mom. Puppy is almost a replica of her mom, constantly repeating everything she says like a broken record.
What are your favorite things about Puppy? What are you least favorite things about her?
Puppy is such a sweetheart! I love that she always wants to make everyone happy by not disappointing them. I also like how in the beginning, she is very cautious when telling people how she feels so their feelings won't be hurt. However, my least favorite part of Puppy is that she always holds in her anger and let's it bubble up, which eventually leads to her letting everyone down.
Have you played a sport previously? If so, what did you play? How does it affect you as an actor in rehearsal?
I played volleyball and ran track for 2 and a half years. When I was younger, I played a little bit of basketball. I had never really enjoyed playing basketball until this show. I think it's really interesting when we do some drills while saying our lines because we end up focusing more on the sport than our actual dialogue. It is definitely a challenge doing both. Sometimes we get a little out of breath, but the cast as a whole has gotten significantly better throughout the rehearsal process.
What is it like being in your first UGA Theatre show?
It is so AMAZING!!!! I love every part of this show! It is such a change from my high school plays because I don't have to worry about finding my costumes, locating props, and making a set. Our director, assistant director, and stage manager notify us of everything we need to know. It is nice to be in this sort of environment where everyone cares about the show and final result. I feel challenged as an actress in the role of Puppy, and I am learning how to make new choices in every rehearsal. Also, the cast is extraordinary. I didn't know many people before doing this show, but now I have 5 new friends. I love working with them!
This has been my favorite show I have ever been in and I am so excited to perform again (my last performance was last March). I am so thankful to be a part of this great production.
Why do you think this play is important to today? What makes it relevant?
The women in this play are trying to break through societal norms in order to become something larger and find their place in the world. The characters find comfort in basketball and through their relationships with each other. I think it's a story that a lot of people can relate to in that the characters are trying to figure out what they should be doing and where they belong. It is a coming-of-age play where each character grows up a little and figures out their place in the end.
On working with the director and alumna Anna Pieri for the second time:
Anna is a blessing. I loved watching her rehearse and perform in the The Skin of Our Teeth when I interned at UGA. I presented a project about her acting choices and she was a big role model for me. So I am so thankful that I am able to work with her 2 years later.
The Tall Girls opens September 21st and runs through September 30th in the Cellar Theatre. Tickets are $16, $12 for students.