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Maryann Plunkett talks about starring in ‘The Notebook’ on Broadway

Tony award-winning actress Maryann Plunkett chatted about starring in “The Notebook” on Broadway.

Maryann Plunkett, Joy Woods, and Jordan Tyson in 'The Notebook' on Broadway
Maryann Plunkett, Joy Woods, and Jordan Tyson in 'The Notebook' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Maryann Plunkett, Joy Woods, and Jordan Tyson in 'The Notebook' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Tony award-winning actress Maryann Plunkett chatted about starring in “The Notebook” on Broadway.

American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Plunkett embodies this quote by Emerson.

‘The Notebook’ on Broadway

“I love this play more than I can describe,” she said. “I love this company. It’s a very important piece to me. I just love it.”

Portraying ‘Older Allie’

On playing the “Older Allie” in the show, she said with a sweet laugh, “I used to be the Younger Allie in my life.” “It is quite a reality check to realize where I am now. It’s good; I’m still here and I’m still around,” she said.

Working with Dorian Harewood

She went on to praise her on-screen acting partner Dorian Harewood. “I have nothing but great things to say about Dorian Harewood,” she said.

“Dorian is such a brilliant stage partner, and we go on this journey together. We go on this private little journey that we go on that is parallel to the action. I just feel so safe and happy to be on the journey with him. Dorian is there and he is up for what is next,” she elaborated.

Ryan Vasquez as Middle Noah

Plunkett also praised the talent of Ryan Vasquez as the “Middle Noah.” “Ryan carries the beauty and the pain of what Middle Noah has been through… the Vietnam War, losing his best friend, and not getting a letter from his girl and how bad it has affected him and hurt him. The depth that he brings to that character is beautiful,” she said.

Jordan Tyson and Joy Woods as the younger versions of her character

Plunkett also complimented Jordan Tyson and Joy Woods for playing the younger versions of her character. “To me, Jordan is like a young Judy Garland. As I watch her, I love her vulnerability and her openness,” she said.

“I love the elegance and vulnerability that Joy brings as the Middle Allie,” she admitted. “I just can’t say enough good things about this play and this production,” she said.

“The book by Bekah Brunstetter is ingenious and the music by Ingrid is an extension of voice and conversation. I have also enjoyed Michael and Schele’s direction. I am so happy to be a part of this production,” she acknowledged.

On playing a character with dementia

The veteran actress addressed the fact that she is playing a character with dementia.

“My mom had dementia for a number of years, so I’ve had firsthand experience with dealing with that,” she said. “I try to honor my own mother in the play, and I try to bring my own mom in Allie. My mom was a musician, very creative, and full of life. I try to bring that into Allie.”

The digital age

On being a part of the digital age, she responded, “I am a luddite, somewhat. I have a flip phone, and I am on Facebook through my husband. I don’t have my own account, so I am an ‘over the shoulder’ Facebooker.”

“The world moves too fast for me as it is, and I have to contain what I am exposed to. I like talking to people, I really enjoy talking on the phone and in-person. I still talk and text whenever I have to, but everything is fast these days,” she said.

Advice for young and aspiring actors

For young and aspiring actors, Plunkett encouraged them to “Just be kind and be open.”

“Volunteer when you are waiting for things,” she said. “Be with people and have human interactions. Just listen and respond. That’s important, especially in this world that is moving so fast and there are so many anxieties.”

“You need to be open as an actor,” she admitted. “On stage, it is about human interaction, especially our show. The biggest effect is the water and the rain.”

“Other than that, it’s a very intimate piece about people interacting with people in a very intimate way, and that’s how you discover things,” she added.

Alternate career choice

On her alternate career choice, she responded, “I love teaching, I am a mentor and coach, and I do love that a lot. In my next life, I would tell people that I would be a conductor of an orchestra because I love music and conducting humans; it is almost like a dance, where the music is dancing around you.”

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, she said with a sweet laugh, “Lucky and Content.”

Success

Regarding her definition of the word success, Plunkett said, “Success is what I have… I have a family, my husband who I love, I have friends and I am doing work that I am proud of. I am aging but I’m still alive. I’m very fortunate, and grateful for my life.”

Message for her fans and supporters

For her fans and supporters, Plunkett remarked about “The Notebook,” “I would love for people to come with an open heart. Tears do come but they are earned tears because they are about life.”

“I want people to understand the depth of what this story is about: it’s about life, loss, and there is a darkness and a grittiness to it about persevering and fighting for something,” she concluded.

To learn more about “The Notebook” on Broadway, check out its official homepage.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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