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Listen: What Laura Linney Learns From Bad Shows

For Laura Linney, every stage experience is a learning experience. “Even the bad ones!” she cheerfully declared on the new episode of Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast.

Listen to this week’s podcast below:

“Even the ones that are really bad, and I’ve been really bad in some things,” continued the Emmy winner, currently back on Broadway in “My Name Is Lucy Barton.” “I’ve been in some bad productions that have been painful and awkward. I was in a really bad production of ‘The Seagull,’ I was in a really bad production of ‘Hedda Gabler,’ I was in a mediocre production of ‘Uncle Vanya.’ I’ve been in some really painful, bad performances with wonderful people. They just didn’t work. They just don’t work all the time, and sometimes you are bad in them. And no one wants to be that.”

Her biggest takeaways from these experiences? “You learn [being an actor] is not all that you are,” she explained. “You try and learn lessons along the way, if you misstepped or if you’ve been distracted and gone the wrong way. You learn a little bit about red flags and how to notice them and how to avoid them in the future. And sometimes things just don’t work out. In some ways, it makes you be kind and a little more forgiving of people.”

Linney returns to Broadway (after earning her fourth Tony nomination for “The Little Foxes” in 2017) in playwright Rona Munro’s one-actor stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s bestseller “My Name Is Lucy Barton.” On Stagecraft, Linney explains why she thinks solo shows are “completely bonkers.” She also revealed her favorite co-stars and how her long involvement in “Tales of the City” has changed her life.

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New episodes of Stagecraft are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to Stagecraft on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and anywhere that finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

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