Artists from Center Theatre Group‘s premiere of Jennifer Haley’s daring drama The Nether at Kirk Douglas Theatre are sharing the joy of seeing their joint effort earn seven Ovation Awards — more than any other production received this year. The honors were announced Sunday at LA STAGE Alliance’s annual ceremony at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.
According to Brighid Fleming (Ovation winner for featured actress in a play and currently playing precocious neighbor girl Gloria in the Geffen Playhouse’s thriller Wait Until Dark), “ The Nether is so new, and I got to be the first actor to embody Iris on stage. I learned so much working with Jennifer Haley and Neel Keller. They gave me a miracle. There aren’t many wonderful roles for 13-year-olds in theater.” Fleming earned rave reviews in the challenging role of the young girl who is a virtual-reality presence in the cyberspace dimension.
Haley comments, “[Brighid] is an amazing actress, wise beyond her years, and unfazed by the material. She has given me great confidence that we can continue casting this role without warping any children. I’m thrilled she won the Ovation.”
Meanwhile, Fleming salutes Haley for “creating Iris” and Keller for “breathing life into her.” She finds that CTG provides “a wonderful environment for everything to come together.” She still finds it hard to believe she got to play this role. She remarks, “She changed me. She was supposed to be a little girl, but I had to grow to be her. I am so honored to have worked with actors like Robert, Dakin, Jeanne, and Adam. I miss the hideaway [part of the set], but I will have Iris with me forever.”