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Seven Questions: Robin Tynes Miller

This week, local independent theatre company Three Bone Theatre produces The Daffodil Girls, a retelling of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, but substitute the slick-talking real estate salesmen with girl scouts during cookie season. The show takes a look at the intense pressures of growing up in a highly competitive environment.

To preview the fun, I talked to Robin Tynes Miller, Founding Artistic Director for Thee Bone Theatre, about The Daffodil Girls, working in Spirit Square, and what’s next for Three Bone Theatre.

The Daffodil Girls runs this weekend, November 15-17 at Duke Energy Theater in Spirit Square. Get your tickets now.

Andy: What appealed to you when deciding to produce The Daffodil Girls?

Robin: We love the idea of taking this classic story of cutthroat manhood (Glengarry Glen Ross) and retelling it within the world of an all female scout troop during cookie season. This is the East Coast Premiere of the show, it’s actually only the second time it’s ever been produced – and the first time with an adult cast! It was developed by Bren Rapp and Jeff Swearingen in Dallas and our Executive Director caught a reading of it when she was down in Texas for work. We jumped at the chance to bring this story to Charlotte and challenge the way people think of the canon of “classic” plays that are overwhelmingly dominated by white men.

Andy: Why did you decide to use The Daffodil Girls to kick off your season?

Robin: These are challenging times in our country and we wanted to laugh! This show is absurd and hilarious, but it’s so much more than just a thin parody of Glengarry Glen Ross. It’s amazing how well Mamet’s harsh intensity plays within the realm of childhood. These girls are struggling with friendships, competition, self-image and are not getting the support they need. I think everyone will be able to find something to relate to within the characters. Being a pre-teen girl is ROUGH.

Andy: What is the importance of using an all women and POC cast?

Robin: This show supplies such great meaty roles for women – which is something we’re always looking for. It’s important for us to be looking for work that gives women the chance to shine on stage. None of the roles in this piece are race-specific but it’s important to us to have racial diversity on our stage — and not only in roles that are required to be played by actors of color. We had an incredible turn-out of women for auditions and we got the cream of the crop! It’s important to us that we aren’t just producing white centric theatre – that’s not the Charlotte community and we want to do our best to try to reflect our city.

Andy: What is Girls Rock Charlotte‘s role in the performance?

Robin: Girls Rock Charlotte is our FABULOUS Community Partner! We partner with other local organizations on each show in order to highlight the amazing work being done in Charlotte and also as a call to action for our artists and audience members to get involved. We chose Girls Rock Charlotte because the Daffodil Girls could have SERIOUSLY benefitted from their programming that encourages young women through music to be collaborative, kind, and stand up for themselves and others. It was a perfect fit!

Andy: What is your favorite part about seeing a show at Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square?

Robin: The Daffodil Girls is the kickoff to our 3rd season in The Duke Energy Theatre so there are so many good memories. It feels like home and we absolutely love the BPAC staff. There are so many “favorites” racing through my mind: the Front of House Staff (shoutout to John Moore!), the intimacy of the theatre, that feeling of excitement when the lights go down at the beginning of the show, the electricity of experiencing a live show together with strangers (anything could happen!), and of course grabbing a glass of wine to take in the theatre never hurts!

Andy:  2019 is Three Bone Theatre’s eighth year in Charlotte. How do you see Three Bone Theatre continuing to evolve?

Robin: So our 2018-2019 season is our 7th season, which is totally crazy! (How are we a 2nd grader already!?!) This is a very exciting time for the company. We have a ton of forward momentum and wonderful patrons here in Charlotte. There are some new and thrilling opportunities coming out soon (join our mailing list at threebonetheatre.com to stay in the know!!) and we’re starting to look at our work over the last decade and think about the future. We hope that Three Bone Theatre will continue to be a local Charlotte Theatre staple for a long, long time. We love what we do!

Andy: What should theatre fans be looking out for in the rest of Three Bone’s season?

Robin: Oh, this season is SO exciting. After The Daffodil Girls, we have the Charlotte premiere of By the Water by Sharyn Rothstein which will be directed by Ron Law (Theatre Charlotte) which I am very excited about. It’s a beautiful piece. And then in May we are really looking forward to producing OSLO by J.T. Rogers, directed by Paige Johnston. This was the 2017 Tony award winner for Best New Play. It focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the 1990s and the Oslo accords that strived for peace. It’s a powerful story about humanizing the other side and the art of compromise. And we wrap up our season with Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline, which is her newest work focused on race in the education system and how we are or aren’t serving our young men of color. We’re very excited to have Sidney Horton back to direct that final piece. It’s going to be an exhilarating season!