Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight: Peggy McCaffray

Peggy McCaffray | Submitted by The Theatre of Western Springs
Peggy McCaffray | Submitted by The Theatre of Western Springs

Get to know the community of Western Springs with our Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight feature!

This week, we meet Peggy McCaffray of La Grange who joined TWS in 2008.

Q. Why did you join TWS?

A. I majored in drama and education in college. For a long time I used my skills to teach elementary school and direct children in plays. At TWS I can be in the plays as I was in college.

Q. How did you find out about TWS? 

A. My mom and I went to see Patty Duke perform, and we met her backstage. She talked to us as if we were old friends. We even did the mashed potatoes together and talked about memories.

Q. Go back in time. When did you discover you had an interest in theatre/drama?

A. When I was in college, I starred in “Gaslight.” It was a drama about a husband trying to drive his wife (me) insane. It got rave reviews. It was a serious play, but laughably, it prepared me for some of the dates I had before I met the love of my life, my husband, Paul.

Q. At TWS, do you work on crews, backstage and/or front of house?

A. At TWS, I have loved working on props because of the preciseness and promptness needed for live production scene changes. Make-up is fun, because I am able to fulfill an essential task for the actors and give them peace of mind. Costumes is exciting because of the creative tension that exists when helping change costumes quickly and efficiently with a sense of ease. Hospitality is enjoyable, because I meet so many wonderful people.

Q. At TWS, do you act on stage? Name some roles. Point out your favorite or most challenging role and tell why. 

A. My most challenging role was using my chest voice in the assertive role of “Slut” in Judy DiVita’s adaption of “Two Slatterns and a King.” I sang powerfully to convey my character’s view that sloppiness is great, conniving can be fruitful and that I get what I want: the king!

Q. What do you love about TWS? What is it about TWS that motivates you?

A. I love the teamwork at TWS. Everyone pitches in and works hard, because we know that the theater is an integral part of the community. If all of us use our talents and do what we can, it works.

Q. TWS has flourished for 85 years. Are there traditions at TWS that you value?

A. I value the tradition of Studio I and II, because that experience awakened resources I had inside. It does that for others as well. Studio ignites unique characters and their authentic expression.

Q. Tell about something at TWS that was, is, or will be a really big thrill for you.

A. Comedy and music balances our lives. “Driving with the Murphy’s” is a short play I wrote that had its poignant moments and a slice of hilarious comedy and music. This play about family life was presented at Western Springs one year and then again the following year. It was thrilling to see the words I wrote come alive onstage and to hear the laughter of the audience. It had a theme common in all families and reaffirmed that we are all in this together.

Q. List three things you have given TWS.

A. Time, talent, treasure.

Projects take precious time and patience. Talents are our gift to the world. Treasure is money that supports what you believe in.

Q. List three things TWS has given you.

A. Valuable opportunities, treasured friendships, participation in teamwork.

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