Creating a Community

"It's a design job—I normally get credited as dialect designer," says Amy Stoller about her work as a coach. She happens to have the unusual credit "dialects and dramaturgy" on the title page of the "Wife to James Whelan" program. That's the extremely well-reviewed Teresa Deevy play that indefatigable Mint Theater Company artistic director Jonathan Bank is presenting as his latest rediscovery.Stoller has worked in tandem with Bank since 1996. ("Jonathan and I don't have to have lengthy discussions," she says.) This production was praised by Back Stage critic Erik Haagensen for the "believable consistency" of accents displayed by the eight-member cast throughout the drama, which takes place in Ireland's Midlands, specifically in the small town of Kilbeggan. How did she achieve it? Stoller relates the answer with humorous intensity while her rescue Maltese, Ricky, sits quietly on this visiting columnist's lap. It's part of her method: Ricky, she says,
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