Q&A with Actor Emily Mohney
For each show, Associate Artistic Director Chanel Bragg highlights a member of the cast or creative team who is not only local to Arizona but exemplifies excellence within their field. There is such incredible talent within our community, and as the state theatre of Arizona, we love to highlight it. In August, Bragg interviewed Emily Mohney, who is starring as Cassie in ATC’s highly anticipated sequel and holiday selection, The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley.
Q: Emily, when did you first discover your love for performing?
I was placed in youth theater in the third grade to help me make friends after my family moved to a new state. It was a pay-to-play operation, and they worked us like horses until 9 or 10 at night. I learned to say “Thank you” after a note. I learned how to use mascara. I loved it.
Q: How do you cultivate that love into a profession?
I am in the same boat as a lot of local Phoenix talent in that I have a “day job”. But my aim was never to become professional when I began pursuing acting as an adult. I believe the thing that connects most professionals is that quitting was never really an option, and that constant movement will eventually cultivate your marketable skill and place you in the path of some professional success.
Q: Where did you study to help build your craft?
Almost all my skills, habits, and knowledge come from practical experience. I was one year into my BFA at Stephens College when my family and I decided it was not financially feasible. But I think any craftsman continues building their craft with every new rehearsal room, script, director … everything. We should be learning from everything.
Q: What is your proudest moment in your career?
At this moment, it’s booking the Arizona Theatre Company. I’m serious!
Q: What inspired your audition for The Wickhams?
I am an AVID Jane Austen fan. Did you know she thought her work would fall out of popularity quickly, as society evolved out of the norms she satirized in her books? WRONG, BABE. Ask me about the newest adaptation of Persuasion if you have 45 minutes.
Q: Why are you excited to be part of our production of The Wickhams?
The first time I see our costume renderings I am going to cry. I promise you. Let’s see some more empire waist dresses! I am also very excited to work with director Veronika Duerr. We saw her perform in Miss Bennet, the first installment of the Christmas at Pemberley story, last year, and the woman clearly knows how to mine every bit of comedy out of a scene.
Q: Why do you live and work in Arizona?
My family is here. My partner is here, and he is working to help do very important things to innovate Arizona’s artistic offerings. Arizona is a hard place to be solely employed as an artist. And, because of that, we lose a lot of wonderful local talent to bigger markets. But I feel a lot of loyalty to this community. It was kind of my incubator.
Q: What is your favorite role that you played?
Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker. That’s a hard role for a young woman! It’s a lot of worldliness for a girl from Chandler to conjure up. That was probably my first time not playing a romantic ingenue, either. It kind of shifted my whole perspective of how I can contribute to a story.
Q: What is currently on the horizon for you?
Hopefully, travel. My partner and I decided we wanted to prioritize seeing theatre in different markets. I want to see some weird stuff in the back of a coffee shop in Philly, or something.
Q: What is a secret talent that you have?
I own 34 thriving houseplants.
Q: Now, on to some fun questions. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Salmon. I don’t care about my mercury levels.
Q: What is a destination you always wanted to travel to?
Italy. I want to drink wine and walk on thousand-year-old streets. Maybe not at the same time. What’re Florence’s open container laws?
Q: What are you currently reading or bingeing on Netflix?
Every six months or so, I rewatch all episodes of the Great British Baking Show. It’s about time to start again!