Mrs. John Marsh : The World Knew Her As Margaret Mitchell

Prior talent : Kandace Christian

Tennessee actress Kandace Christian premiered the role of Mrs. John Marsh. Christian says that being onstage alone is “daunting” but that she has “enjoyed discovering and embracing Margaret Mitchell. She was spunky, smart and flirtatious.”

GWTW fans who have not explored Mitchell’s biography may be surprised to discover the parallels between her life and that of Scarlett. “There are many!” Christian exclaims.

As a former beauty queen, Kandace has that flirty charm down pat — that charm that was part of Margaret Mitchell’s debutante days. She is also close to the age Margaret Mitchell was at the time the book was published and during the time most of the scenes take place. - Melita Easters

Kandace Christian as Margaret Mitchell

Kandace Christian As Mrs. John Marsh

Christian has a long list of stage credits in the Nashville area and has twice won recognition as Regional Best Actress. She is also a featured vocalist on three Disney albums and a session vocalist.

She holds Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Classical Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from Blue Mountain College and Mississippi State University; she has completed coursework for a Doctor of Education (Music). A former Miss Mississippi, Christian is a native of Tupelo.

She has served as a Music Specialist for the Williamson County School System the past eight years. She was chosen as a vocalist for albums by Disney/ Pixar Movies including Finding Nemo – Ocean Favorites.

Christian is associated with several Nashville area theatres and audiences may remember recent performances in The Sound of Music, The Homecoming or Southern Fried Funeral. She played the Godmother in Cinderella 8.O. Christian received Regional Best Actress Awards for her roles in The Fantastiks! and Nunsense.

She received standing ovations for her work as Mrs. John Marsh during a St. Patrick’s Day reading at the Franklin, Tennessee Library this spring and during a preview of the current production before an audience curators, authors, scholars and GWTW fans in May at the University of Georgia during a Margaret Mitchell symposium.

 

How were you cast as Margaret Mitchell in this production?

I attended an open call audition last fall with the Southern Writers Theatre (Jaz Dorsey) and was cast for a reading of the play at the Franklin Library in March. They were looking for feisty redheads to play Margaret, and after the audition I was sent home with a script in hand. The playwright, Melita Easters, drove up from Atlanta to attend the reading. We had a conversation after the reading at the Battle Ground Brewery in Franklin on Saint Patrick’s Day and among the Irish motif and green beer drinkers, she asked my interest in staging this for a full run in Atlanta this summer. It was fitting that among Margaret Mitchell and Scarlett O’Hara, two well-known Irish women, we were having this discussion on Saint Patty’s Day. I was extremely honored to have the playwright in attendance and that she wanted to move “onward and upward” to a full production. (source)

How do you identify with Margaret Mitchell?

I identify first and foremost with her need to be unknown. There was a period of my life, during my year as Miss Mississippi, that I ached for the chance to go to the Dairy Bar without being recognized. I know I am no Margaret Mitchell, but for that short period of time I felt the way she expressed feeling from 1936 until her tragic death in 1949. Margaret was a lot more salacious than I am – she loved “the bizarre and the wild,” but I do enjoy being unconventional and have been known to “let my hair down” from time to time. (source)

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