Other Desert Cities Cast Q&A: Nancy Blum

You were last seen by Peace Mountain Theatre Company audiences in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance.  In our current production of Other Desert Cities, you play the role of the very strong-willed Polly Wyeth. Interestingly, in both plays, you have had to deal with an alcoholic sister living with you for some period of time.  

Q. How has this affected, in this case, Polly’s relationship with her sister?  

NB: Polly sees her sister's alcoholism as weakness.  She loves Silda, she is family. But her mother struggled with this addiction as well.  Polly fears it has shown up in her children as well, Brooke and Henry. She resents Silda's closeness to her children and holds her greatly responsible for their struggles and the loss of Henry. 

Q. How about the impact on the other members of her family?  

NB: Polly fiercely loves her children. She has never recovered from Henry; in fact she began drinking more when he disappeared. To see Brooke slip into addiction and depression is almost unbearable evidence of her own failure to protect her, to save her.  But Polly lacks the understanding of depression and addiction that are more common today; she relies instead on the "stand on your own two feet" kind of parenting - which she got from observing people who appeared to be very happy and wildly successful - the Reagans.

Q. What do you think is the stronger motivator in Polly’s personality – love or duty? 

NB: As an actor, I could never choose duty over love.  I would never believe it. Polly loves Lyman, Brooke, Trip, Henry and even Silda.  But she is unskilled at communicating love. Her mother was a drunk and her father enabled her.  Neither parent was there to teach Polly how to be a mom.

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