When Jana Arnold and Scott Creighton were cast as Martha and George in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" the Company of Fools' actors were more than ready to hit the stage. Arnold and Creighton have been building their theater résumé for years in the valley, but being a couple together on stage was a milestone.
"I have always done character roles," Arnold said. "When you are from a small Texas town, you have kids and get married."
Arnold's high school theater teacher told her she was a natural-born actress. In Los Angeles, she worked on countless television shows including "The Golden Girls," "Empty Nest," "Murphy Brown," "Law and Order" and "Providence." She said it was difficult to do both theater and television, and for 15 years in Los Angeles all she did was act for television.
While she was in Los Angeles, Arnold was told about the Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival by K.O. Ogilvie, the director for the Company of Fools' current production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
"I had to look up Idaho on a map," she said with a laugh. "I came out to see K.O., and I landed in Hailey. Something resonated in me that I had to be in Sun Valley."
Creighton came to the valley via Seattle where he had been an English teacher and an avid repertory theater participant involved with the Pioneer Square Theater, Seattle Public Theatre at the Bathhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre. But it was Creighton's role in "The Nerd" that put him on the Wood River Valley theater map.
"I have a love and a passion for theater," Creighton said. "There is more opportunity in Sun Valley, and I am working."
Creighton said the local audience is very educated and the quality of theater is what keeps many of the actors in the community happy. Creighton's roles in local productions have included "Noises Off," "Violet," "110 in the Shade" and "It's A Wonderful : A Live Radio Play."
"We show up," Arnold said. "The real burden is on the producers."
Arnold's Sun Valley theater performances includes "As You Like It," "Deathtrap," "Steel Magnolias," "Doubt" and "Spitfire Grill." She said she has fallen in love with theater again but is very mindful of not appearing in too many productions to maintain her mystique.
"To quote Roslyn Russell, theater is stripping down naked and turning around slowly," Arnold said. "Trust has to be on stage."
Arnold and Creighton are a dynamic couple for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?"
"I told Scott, if I had my choice of any actor on the planet I would still pick Scott," Arnold said. "Roles like this is why I came here."
Creighton said he sees a part of himself in all of Albee's characters because he covers such a wide spectrum of human emotion in the play.
"It's real," Creighton said. "When you see these four people on stage, there's not a lot of glitz and glamour. People are walking through the landmines of life."
Creighton said every actor on the planet wants to play one of these roles.
What: Company of Fools presents "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
Where: Liberty Theatre in Hailey.
When: Oct. 13-30, Wednesday-Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m. and matinee Sunday, Oct. 24, 3 p.m.
Tickets: 578-9122 or www.companyoffools.org.
Sabina Dana Plasse: email@example.com