by Chris Davis
The third character is Mary (Natalie Wilder), Ty’s sister, and it’s a great role for an actress who doesn’t want to bother with hair and makeup. That’s because Mary is barely seen, although she’s onstage from the first scene through the last.
Ty has locked poor Mary in the root cellar, permanently...
Mary is the center of the story, and she’s no shrinking violet. Ms. Wilder makes her a likable smart-aleck, and just as vibrant a character as the two men. Like her brother, she’s enthusiastically foulmouthed, so her best lines can’t be repeated here.
Wilder, a highly regarded local actor, performed on nearly every stage in Memphis before packing her bags and heading out of town. But, monster of vanity that I am, I'd like to believe that the most challenging role she's ever undertaken was playing me—that's right, your pesky critic—in an autobiographical one act play titled Over and Under that City. Sure, the part was originally intended for a teenage male but when Wilder expressed some interest in teaming up with my little theater company I re-wrote the part for her. And, as usual, she was fantastic.
Also, her best lines most certainly CAN be repeated here. So maybe I can convince Ms. W. to play a little game of three questions. Stay tuned.