Talking Tony: Schaffel Nearly Didn't Take Eyre Role
Hap Erstein, The Palm Beach Post
June 3, 2001
"It is daunting to even think of the Tony, but it is also the dream of a lifetime," she says.
"I would be lying to you if I said I didn't fantasize about it."
At the moment, Schaffel is working on keeping her expectations in check. "You know what? My dad
is going to sit next to me and I'm going to enjoy watching his face," she says. "I think that's
going to be my favorite part."
Jane Eyre from Dade didn't even study story
Joan Fleischman, The Miami Herald
February 25, 2001
Her folks, builder Marty Schaffel and wife Bette of Pinecrest, have seen the play four times—including the Dec. 10 opening. They cried. So did she.
A la Jane Eyre, Schaffel says, "I am wont to weep, anyway."
Beth Stevens, Broadway.com
January 26, 2001
"It’s funny. You’d think I’d be exhausted. Actually, it’s like going on a fabulous roller coaster ride every night. Even through all of the trials and tribulation, I and Jane and the audience have gained something that’s so heartening. It makes you feel so believed and uplifted that I feel like I’ve shared something very, very special with the audience. I’m very proud and exhilarated by that."
To Eyre is Human
Kathy Henderson, TheatreMania.com
December 11, 2000
"...[Jane Eyre]'s the most beautiful woman ever. People say to me, 'You’re too pretty to play her,' but I disagree. Jane Eyre brings out the best possible me—the most loving portion of myself....I’m so grateful that I get to spend every day with Jane Eyre, because she has led me down a different path that I might not have stumbled upon on my own. She’s made me a better human being, and I mean that sincerely....I am the luckiest girl in the world."
An Eyre of Elegance: Marla Schaffel's Journey with a Bronte Heroine
Robert Viagas, Show Music
December 9, 2000
"I guess the only thing I can say is that I love this project. This show, this woman, these characters, Rochester—the kind of love that they have—it’s been the greatest gift of my life."
"I went to the [Bronte] house for the first time, and you could just feel the love that those sisters had for one another....I walked upstairs and the original manuscript was there....They had it opened to the page where Rochester proposes to her. And when I saw those words, ‘Yes, sir. I will marry you,’ I burst into tears."
Giving voice to Jane Eyre
Alexis Greene, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
November 26, 2000
"I remember wearing my hair up for that audition, and trying to be as small as I possibly could. Jane Eyre is supposed to be very short. Bronte herself was not even 5 feet. And she is supposed to be plain. I wore flats and a dress and no makeup whatsoever. I sang my normal songs, which is one really high soprano number and one big belt number, and then John asked for a monologue....It was some compilation of Portia’s lines from The Merchant of Venice, and I went up on my lines in the middle of it. And John totally fed me the lines, to help get me on track. I was stunned. And I was mortified."
TUTS takes a 'Sound' approach to Maria
Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle
July 3, 2003
"I've enjoyed the opportunity to be in shows that are cast not so much with singers as with actors who sing well. I studied acting at Juilliard and though I've wound up cast in a lot of musicals, I think in terms of a play with songs, where music is necessary to express the intensity of emotions. I'm approaching The Sound of Music in the same way."
Actress finds the kid inside Maria: 'Sound of Music' star emphasizes youth
Martin F. Kohn, Detroit Free Press
September 29, 2003
The show begins at a convent where Maria is a postulant nun. It's an emotionally secure environment for a young woman, free from the risks that come with loving another person, Schaffel says. There, "she can devote her life to God. There's a certain safety in that decision. But the Mother Abbess knows that it's the wrong thing for her," and dispatches Maria to work as a governess for the children of the widower Capt. Von Trapp.
"Opening herself up to loving another person and how that changes her is very fortifying for an audience because they can relate to it."
[Maria's] struggle, Schaffel says, is "to realize that to love other human beings is an equally fulfilling journey on behalf of God. That takes strength."
A Favorite Thing
Michael Grossberg, The Columbus Dispatch
October 6, 2003
"I like to be creative and part of the process of creating a role, whether it's a new role or a classic role in a classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical," she said. "Even in my head, the role is so associated with Julie Andrews. I could hear her inflections in the song and dialogue. Of course, it is different because I'm not her."
Schaffel plays Maria as a younger "whirling dervish"—"more of what they sing about." "Because she's younger, the journey she makes in becoming a wife and mother and partner to the captain becomes clearer."