Chatting With Tracy Michelle Arnold, Star of Goodman’s ‘Other Desert Cities’


Tracy Michelle Arnold

Tracy Michelle Arnold

When Jon Robin Baitz’s searing family drama Other Desert Cities premiered at Lincoln Center in January 2011, it took the town by storm. Not since August: Osage County can I recall an American play that’s had such buzz, with the New York Times calling it “the best new play on Broadway.”

And, like most good dramas, it presents a formidable challenge early on that requires the characters to reexamine their own moral code before making a life-changing decision. And in this case, we have an upper-class, republican family that’s rocked to the core when their novelist daughter returns home after a six year absence to announce her latest effort: a tell-all memoir on the family, with no skeleton left spared, no sacred secret left untold.

I had the chance to speak with Tracy Michelle Arnold, who plays Brooke Wyeth, the strong-willed daughter who refuses to back down from her artistic vision, despite protests from her formidable mother Polly (played by Tony Winner Deanna Dunagan), in Goodman Theatre’s production, set to begin performances on January 12. Highlights from that discussion follow:

Now, you’re only, what, a few days into rehearsal?
A week and a day!

Ah, so I’m sure you’re still trying to figure out who Brooke is — what makes her tick.
I am, so this interview makes me particularly nervous!

Ha, well, let’s start here: Brooke creates some rather significant drama by revealing she’s publishing a tall-all memoir. Have you, Tracy, gotten in trouble for publishing secrets?
Well, when I was a little girl, I wrote a diary about a boy I really liked — that was pretty revealing. But then I decided it was wise to destroy it, so I glued all the pages together.

Read the full interview on The Huffington Post >

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