Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

An Interview with Maude Gutman (AKA Anne Hering)

BakersfieldOST_2_hrOrlando Shakes favorite Anne Hering is back on the stage this Fall after recent appearances in Bad Dog, A Christmas Carol, Les Misérables, and many others. In Bakersfield Mist (playing October 14 – November 15, 2015), Anne plays Maude Gutman.

Fifty-something and in between jobs, Maude shells out her last few bucks on a thrift store painting which she’s convinced is an original Jackson Pollock worth millions. When Maude invites renowned art expert Lionel Percy (played by Steve Brady) to her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, cultures and class attitudes collide. Stephen Sachs’ colorful new comic drama asks an important question: Who gets to decide what “art” is?

In a quick interview, Anne tells us how she and her character are alike–and very, very different.

OST: Describe Bakersfield Mist in three words.
AH: Art meets bartender.

OST: Name three ways that you and Maude Gutman are alike.
AH: We swear. We say what we feel. We believe in miracles.

OST: Name three ways that you and Maude Gutman are totally different.
AH: I don’t smoke (anymore). I don’t have children. I don’t like clown paintings.

OST: Have you discovered anything new about Maude, the play, or yourself while in the rehearsal process?
AH: I’ve learned that Maude is smarter than I thought. She re-calibrates her arguments quickly, so her wheels are always spinning.

OST: Was there anything you did to prepare for this role?
AH: I watched Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?, the documentary that helped inspire Stephen Sachs to write Bakersfield Mist.

BakersfieldOST_6_hrOST: This play features just two actors–very different from the huge casts of Les Miz and Nicholas Nickleby. What’s that been like in comparison?
AH: A totally different process. Bakersfield Mist has actually been way more work. But the performances will go really quickly.

OST: As Orlando Shakes’ Director of Education you plan our Children’s Series and Youth & Teen Classes. Bakersfield Mist is Rated R. How do you feel about having a job that lets you live in both worlds?
AH: Grateful!

OST: How did you get started in acting? How did you get started in education? And when did you discover mixing the two was your winning combination?
AH: I got into theater doing musicals in high school. My first job out of undergrad was teaching high school English. The first time I mixed the two was when I got this job eleven years ago!

Don’t miss Anne–or should we say “Maude”–in Bakersfield Mist opening this month! Tickets are available online or by calling the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1.

Shakespearely yours,

Melissa Landy, Public Relations Coordinator


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