The most recent performance taking place at the High Prairie Arts and Science Complex is Murderers — a comedy that serves up refinement as well as dark humor. The play features three people in Florida retirement communities as they each confess to being killers. As their monologues play out, the audience is treated to tales of both comedy and tragedy over the course of the show.
The play resonates with the KX News crew in particular — and that’s mostly due to one of the actors in a leading role.
If you’ve ever caught the KX evening broadcasts, you’ve probably watched anchor Brooke Williams deliver the news. But this week at the High Prairie Arts and Science Complex, you’ll be able to see her deliver something else — the words of Minka, one of the play’s three main “murderers.” This isn’t her first time on the stage, either: Brooke has appeared in performances in Williston as well.
Anyone is free to pursue their acting dreams, but what is it that led someone like Brooke — who we know as a straight-to-the-point news anchor — to take up such a different kind of production?
Brooke has been very busy over the last few weeks, but we managed to ask her a few questions to help give you the inside scoop about our evening anchor’s surprising side interest.
Seven Questions with Brooke Williams
Question 1: What inspired you, as a news anchor, to get into theater?
Brooke: “I’ve actually been interested in theatre for quite some time, even before I was a news anchor. When I moved to Williston, I had several opportunities to be in community theatre performances with Entertainment, Inc. There is such commitment to the craft with that group and the productions were a really wonderful outlet for me. So, now that I have relocated to Bismarck, I thought I would give it a try here!”
Question 2: How long have you been interested in/working in theater?
Brooke: “I’ve been interested in theatre for a very long time now, since I was in high school probably. I had an amazing English teacher who really ignited my interest in acting and performing … thanks, Mrs. Reynolds!”
Question 3: Do you think your anchoring experience gives you an edge when it comes to performance or the other way around? Does acting experience make news anchoring easier?
Brooke: “I believe it’s the other way around. Given that I have some prior on-camera experience and theatre experience, I really felt more comfortable in my role as a reporter/anchor. Also, one quality actors have that a lot of people overlook is empathy. To portray different characters and life experiences, you really have to be able to empathize with people. That is a quality that I have taken with me in my role as a journalist. People open up to me about an array of situations and life experiences, and I try to empathize with them and what they’ve been through.”
Question 4: You’re playing one of the three main characters, Minka. Is there any pressure that comes from a lead role, and if there is, can you tell me what that feels like? Is it different or similar to any pressure you might feel as a news anchor?
Brooke: “There are definitely nerves that come along with performing! I would say it’s an entirely different pressure than reporting and anchoring, because when I anchor, I can just be myself. When I’m performing, I have to memorize lines, tap into a completely different person, and hope that the audience enjoys the show!”
Question 5: How has your experience been with your co-stars and the theater crew?
Brooke: “This play is somewhat unique in that it is a compilation of three monologues. Typically, everyone would rehearse together and it’s a real bonding experience, but most of my rehearsals have been solo. I’ve really become more familiar with the cast during performances, and I’m looking forward to continuing that behind-the-stage bonding this week!”
Question 6: How do you feel about the performance overall? Are you pleased with how it turned out?
Brooke: “We had a great opening night! It was good to see a few familiar KX News faces in the crowd, too. I am looking forward to continuing to strengthen my performances as the show continues this week.”
Question 7: What are you hoping audiences will get out of the performance?
Brooke: “A good time! I want them to be able to relax for a couple of hours, have a few laughs, and enjoy themselves. Acting has always been an escape for me, and I hope the audience can feel the same way.”
Three more performances of Murderers will take place at the complex on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (June 9-11) at 7:30 p.m., and one last show will be held on Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m. Don’t miss your chance to see Brooke on a new stage before she returns to the nightly news.