Q&A with Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin: Susan is sassafras with a side of acerbic wit


How do you explain what “[title of show]” is?
It is a show about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical writing a show about two guys writing a musical, getting their best friends involved, going through tremendous personal growth, and experiencing every emotion imaginable because of the process.

What do you find most appealing about the show?
I wanted to work with the director Jason Bowcutt because I learn so much from him as an actor. I was also drawn to the being able to sing and act. What was most appealing was not having to be in a dramatic role.

How do you describe the character you play?
Susan is sassafras with a side of acerbic wit. She speaks truth without being self-deprecating. With her you know you’re getting honesty from a place of loyalty and love. I am in love with Susan because she is the closest character to myself that I have played, although at first I wasn’t aware of this tidbit. During the auditions, I asked another actor who is also a close friend to describe Susan to me. He said, “Do you know Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin? Susan is like that.”

What character do you find most fun to work opposite?
I like them all but the character of Hunter resonates most with me because it reminds me of my 25-year relationship that I have had with my friend George.

What would be the title of the show that you would write about?
“A Mormon and a Black Girl Walk Into a Bar” would be the title of my show. My show would be a tell-all and scandalous!

What aspect of the production process excites you the most?
I love the entire process. I love learning bits at a time and then when you finally put the whole thing together you stand back, and viola, you have a show. I love learning something from each actor.

DEE-DEE DARBY-DUFFIN (Susan) Dee-Dee is excited to make her Utah Rep debut in “[title of show]” and finally gets to be in a comedy. Last seen in Pygmalion Theatre Company’s “Women of Lockerbie,” she will be performing in Backstage at the Grand Theatre’s “To Billie and Ella with Love” Jan. 8-10, 2015. Past credits include “Fences” and “Vagina Monologues” (Good Company Theatre); “Nothing Personal,” “The Third Crossing,” winner of the 2012 Arty Award for Best Local Production, and “Slam 2012” (Plan-B Theatre Company); “Women of Lockerbie,” “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” and “Well” (Pygmalion); “For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf” (People Productions); “The Overwhelming” and “Saturday’s Voyeur” (Salt Lake Acting Company); “Messiah,” “Crowns,” “1940s Radio Hour” and “You Can’t Take It With You” (Grand Theatre), “Hairspray,” “The Civil War,” “Annie” and “Big River” (Rodgers Memorial Theater); and “Tsephange” (Sundance Lab Workshop). Directing credits include “A Sea Inside of Me” and “The Life of Jason Smith.”