“This role was always a dream role for me,” said Thon, a Norcross resident who has been acting in the Atlanta area since 2004. “It took me a while considering [whether to audition], because it’s 100 miles round trip from my house to [Cartersville. So] it took a while considering even going out for it. But it meant so much to me that I said, ‘Anything is worth it.’ I had spent 12 years in Catholic school and I knew this woman inside and out. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me after the show and said, ‘You are such a [witch].’ She comes off that way, but it’s done out of love.
“It’s done out of concern. ... she was willing to give up her life as she knew it, which was very important to her, for something she considered the truth and more important than her own self to pursue. Because [Father Brendan Flynn] is so sympathetic and she comes off as being so rigid, she is not the sympathetic character and that’s why people would [feel] that way. But if you stop and think a little further, she was just trying to do the best she could for a situation that she thought was horrendous.”
Directed by Jeanne Young, the Pumphouse Players production featured a four-member cast in February and March: Thon, Alan Phelps as Father Brendan Flynn, Michele Curry as Mrs. Muller and Leigh-Ann Campbell as Sister James.
“She put everything she could into the role,” Young said about Thon’s portrayal. “She had a background of being Catholic. ... So she came with some clarification and understanding of what the role would entail and she had some models in her own life. But she’s also a phenomenal actress and she really does her homework.”
The leading actress in a play, of which Thon has been nominated for, is one of 29 MAT awards that will be presented at a ceremony Sept. 26 at The Roswell Cultural Arts Center in Roswell. Pumphouse Players reports show that 26 productions from 15 theater companies were reviewed for MAT recognition from July 1, 2009, to June 30.
According to www.matawards.com, “The Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards, founded by Russ Ivey, originated in October of 2004 with the intention of recognizing those hardworking individuals that put their time and effort into community and non-union professional theater. There are many aspiring actors that would like to be given recognition for their skills and dedication to the performing arts. Many of those are of the desire to build their resume so that they will be given more audition opportunities.
“Secondly, many theaters have a hard time marketing themselves so they can draw not only an audience, but a lot of the talent to their shows. This is where the MAT Awards come in. The ‘MAT’ is one of 29 different categories that are presented on an annual basis. Each year, an award ceremony is held to present those awards to the individuals/theaters that have put the time and effort into making their productions great.”
With this being Thon’s first MAT nomination, she is looking forward to attending the September ceremony.
“It’s always a wonderful thing to be recognized by your peers for having done good work because it is a lot of work,” Thon said, adding MAT judges viewed her performance in person. “It’s a lot of investigation. It’s a lot of internal flipping around, trying to find who and why and how.
“To know that not only did you think you did it right or to the best of your capability, but that other people recognized that yeah, I got it right on one hand it makes me feel very humble that I was able to find the key to make her live and at the other extreme it just makes me want to jump and shout and scream and say, ‘Yes, I did it.’ It’s kind of like being caught between two extremes.”