Two River Theater

Skip to main content Skip to search

WBGO: Actor, activist and comedian Kate Siahann-Rigg stars in the world premiere of 'A Thousand Maids' at Two River Theater

Two River Theater In Red Bank is presenting the world premiere comedy, A Thousand Maids, by Tony Meneses.

Award-winning actor, activist and comedian Kate Siahaan-Rigg is one of the stars of the show. Siahaan-Rigg, who portrays the maid “Vivian” in the show, joined WBGO’s Doug Doyle to talk about why she wanted to be a part of the new production.

“There has been this kind of weird stereotype of women who are brown and black and my color, which is somewhere in between all of those things (laughs) being cast as maids, especially in movies and television shows. You can’t deny it. It is what it is. Things are changing now, but when I was coming out of school that was super true. Everybody told me when I got out of school that I was going to play a lot of maids. So, seeing someone write a play about that was interesting as an artist along with the the bigger question of how do we see people who are in our homes every day and work with us. Then as a comedian, the play is hilarious.”

Kate says she drew upon her heritage when shaping her character in the comedy.

“I love that the way the play is written you can bring whoever you are to this character “Vivian.” My mom was Indonesian and I wanted to do a character that was a little more fresh off the boat. I thought this was an opportunity for me to take a closer look at what that experience might be like for an Indonesian maid in the real world.”

The Juilliard grad understands why playwright Tony Meneses is a Two River favorite.

“What Tony Meneses is a good at is making us laugh and come together with these moments that we all recognize from popular culture and the world around us but simultaneously connect to bigger questions about who we are and how we relate to each other across all the big hits like gender and race.”

Siahaan-Rigg is one of only two winners of the Juilliard Interarts Award given to artists who crossed disciplines to create work across the school’s divisions.

A Thousand Maids is directed by Drama League Director’s Project Fellow and recipient of the Yale 2019 Kauffman Memorial Prize, Aneesha Kudtarkar (Water by the Spoonful, Queen).

Other members of the cast are Deonna Bouye (Butterfly McQueen), Maria Elena Ramirez (Lupe Ontiveros) and Natalie Woolams-Torres (Cordelia).

Siahaan-Rigg says it’s been a blast working with them.

“We have so much fun. This cast is amazing. Everyone is a real theater expert. You are in great hands if you come to this show. People are playing different roles so it’s a real exciting theatrical experience.”

Performances run through April 28 in the Marion Huber Theater.

You can SEE the entire interview with Kate Siahaan-Rigg here.