Interview with Indecent star Katrina Lenk
Katrina Lenk has had quite the 2016-2017 Broadway and off-Broadway season and just last night she received the 2017 Theatre World Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence. Last fall she starred as Dina in the Atlantic Theater Company's award-winning production of The Band's Visit, which has since been given the nod for a Broadway transfer to the Barrymore Theatre with performances beginning on October 7, 2017. Then, in the spring, she returned to the cast of Indecent for its Broadway transfer to the Cort Theatre, where it is currently booking through to September 10, 2017.
At this year's Lucille Lortel Awards, she also picked up the prize for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical" for The Band's Visit.
Her previous Broadway credits include Once, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and The Miracle Worker.
We caught up with Katrina to talk about her jam-packed season in New York City...
Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on outstanding Broadway and off-Broadway performances this season, Katrina. What would you say was your absolute highlight so far?
Katrina Lenk: Hmmm I’d say when I walked to the Cort Theatre for our first tech run and I saw “Indecent” on the marquee. Not only was that thrilling for our show, but it was thrilling for this family that we have created over the past two years who have been working for ‘Indecent’ for so long. It’s also been a kind of deliverance, I guess, for the people that did “God of Vengeance” way back when and were banned from Broadway. It’s kind of a victory for them as well. That felt pretty good (laughs).
THM: Indecent is one of the few productions of this season that brought me to tears. What do you think makes the play so heart-breaking?
KL: It’s hard to say when you’re on the inside. Although people have told me that they’re not weeping because they’re sad. They’re weeping because they are filled with hope which is a much more profound feeling. It’s something you can take with you and hold onto, long after you’ve seen the play. Hang onto this story because I think we need a bit of hope right now.
THM: I’m so glad I was able to see this play because I learned so much about 'God of Vengeance' and its history. Like so many, I only knew it as the play that first depicted two women kissing on Broadway, but it is so much more than that. What is the message that you personally hope to get across to the audience with ‘Indecent’?
KL: Oh, there are so many important messages that my brain gets tangled up. Which is the most important message? Maybe the most important thing for me is to use the play as a mirror. Things are not as bad as they used to be, but we’re not quite there yet. So I’d say: “To know where we’ve come from and to know where we have to go and feel hopeful that we can get there.”
THM: And I’m guessing you might have another busy season coming up, as ‘The Band’s Visit’ is moving up to Broadway. What can you tell us about the show and your role in it?
KL: It’s based on an Israeli movie from the early 2000s about a group of Egyptian musicians who have come to Israel to play and they go to the wrong town. So, instead of going to this glamorous town where there is a performance space, they end up in this tiny town where nothing happens and they have to spend the night there because there are no buses. It’s about Egyptians dealing with Israelis and dealing with “The Other” that you would normally avoid. When you have to deal with someone you don’t usually deal with, what do you do? I play Dina who is kinda like the head honcho of the town because she runs the café – that gives you an idea of the size of the town. She’s a very strong, no-nonsense, very funny woman who goes on seemingly a mini-journey, but it winds up being quite an epic one.