'WHAT'S COOKING' is a blog series wherein the team behind Kitchen Party Theatre Festival gives you a closer peek at some of our secret ingredients, so to speak. What exactly does a recipe for artistic process call for? Who inspires our company members? What have they learned in the industry so far? What do they find interesting about the various characters they play? Today we have a Friday Feature on 'Girls From Away' character Betsy Bechtel, by company actor, Lauren Upshall.
It has been such a delight throughout this entire show process to learn about my character, Betsy Bechtel, and discover the little things that make her who she is. It’s always a challenge and a privilege to take a character who hasn’t existed previously and bring them to life on the stage.
So, who is Betsy Bechtel? Figuring out who Betsy is, and how she feels about the people around her has been quite the journey. I believe she is a hard worker at the mill, and is fairly confident in her abilities – both at work and out on the baseball field. Betsy is a supportive friend, and always has her best friend, Bitsy, by her side. She’s also highly impressionable, though not always in the best way. Being a people pleaser (something I can personally relate to when I am off of the stage), she continuously seeks approval from Henny, even if it means going against her personal morals. When Bridey Butler – the new girl – arrives at the mill, Betsy first responds the same way Henny would, but truthfully, she is intrigued by Bridey’s personality. I think Betsy, along with the other girls, is simply captivated by Bridey’s opinions on how strong the women are.
I love Betsy because she is very observant as to what’s going on at all times – whether it be how Eleanora is being treated or what’s going on between Bridey and Baz; she is genuinely interested in those around her, even if she doesn’t always appear to be. She is very smart when she’s not heavily influenced by others, and she has a lot to offer. I hope the audience will love Betsy as much as I love portraying her on stage!
LAUREN UPSHALL (she/her)
Betsy/Linda (Girls From Away), Mainstage Performer (The Codfather)
Lauren Upshall is a 22-year-old who moved to Newfoundland in the summer of 2021, after living in the United States for ten years. She is so thrilled to be in her favourite place in the world, and even more thrilled to be a part of the Kitchen Party Theatre Festival! During her time in the US, she worked as a theatre teacher at Christian Youth Theatre, and has performed in several productions including, “Heathers the Musical” (Veronica Sawyer), and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Olive Ostrovsky). She currently works as a nanny for a wonderful family, and spends her free time going on walks, writing, and exploring the island.