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THE FOSSIL RECORD: An Interview with Actress Liz Whittaker

Q: Hello there! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Liz Whittaker (she/her/hers). I’m an actress, intimacy director, sound designer, director, and teaching artist.

Q: Have you done any other shows with us at AOTC? If so, what show(s)?

I played Norma in Perfect Arrangement, directed and sound designed Safe, assistant directed and sound designed The Moors, and sound designed Angels in America, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and The Rapture Happens at Midnight.

Q: What drew you to The Fossil Record? Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I was really fascinated by the premise. Because it’s such an unusual (and devastating) circumstance, this little family of flawed individuals has to navigate their trauma essentially on their own. (Which is what it often feels like to navigate any trauma.) There’s no “correct” way to deal with something like what this family experiences, and I was really interested in exploring the different ways each character does their best.

Q: Tell us a little about your character! Who are they? What was your first impression of them after reading the script?

I play Laurie, and she is an Oldest Daughter—she feels responsible for everyone, and feels guilt about the times she failed at taking care of everyone. (Think Luisa from Encanto.) Laurie’s pain growing up has made her a little bit prickly sometimes, and she doesn’t have the greatest self-esteem, but by god, she is doing her best. She had to grow up fast, and it wasn’t fair, but she’s resilient as hell. I loved Laurie's assertiveness and vulnerability the first time I read the script.

Q: What three words would your character use to describe themselves?

The words Laurie ACTUALLY uses to describe herself aren’t very loving…she calls herself an asshole, “exhausting,” and someone who brings poison to the surface. But I think she would also call herself responsible, organized, and tough.

Q: How have you approached your character and their role within this story? What insights have you gained about your character through your acting process?

Acting is always a fine line betwee