Judith-Marie Bergan: Part One

Judith-Marie Bergan
Judith-Marie Bergan

Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Judith-Marie Bergan has delighted audiences with her stunning portrayals of legendary characters in her 11 seasons with the festival. We sat down to chat over coffee one afternoon. This is the second column of a two-part interview. The first was published on Sept. 26.

EH: How did you become an actress?

JMB: When I was in grade school, I had a lisp and I was very shy. My mom took me to a speech therapist who said, “You know, it’s really basically shyness with Judith; maybe you should enter her into a dramatics class.” I happened to be going to a school with a huge drama department. I just took to it. I was a drama student in high school. I majored in drama in college. I transferred to Goodman Theatre in Chicago for the rest of my degree. It’s just something I always wanted to do.

What I felt was whereas I was shy in life, on stage I could be anything. I still feel that. I’m not as shy as I was, but I still feel that I would rather go out and do a show than speak in public. There are a lot of things that you can do that you can’t do in real life. That’s kind of the appeal.

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