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Linda Kash

"I sure hope I don't forget my lines in the delivery room."

David Leyes

Joe Szekeres

I've wanted to interview Linda Kash, another Canadian performing arts/theatre scene darling.

Yes, she will be eternally known as the iconic Philadelphia (Philly) Cream Cheese Angel from television commercials for years to me. However, she has now gracefully passed the wings on to another individual.

There’s more to this delightful lady. I could feel a big smile on my face when I found out where I’d seen her work.

For example, she was the lip reader in the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry want someone to read a person’s lips at a party. Kash has also appeared on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ ‘Third Rock from the Sun’ and ‘Cybill.’ She has also appeared in the films ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Waiting for Guffman.’

In the summer of 2023, I saw Linda’s remarkable work at the Stratford Festival in the ‘Casey and Diana’ premiere.’ It was one of the theatrical highlights of last summer for me. This past January, the production transferred to Soulpepper for a Toronto engagement, and I had the chance to see this incredible cast at work again.

She is not one to sit around, however.

On Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m., Linda will be directing a staged reading of Nora and Delia Ephron’s ‘LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE’ for Peterborough’s New Stages Theatre Company at The Market Hall. This special New Stages event is not just a performance, but a fundraiser for Lumara/Camp Kerry, a bereavement retreat program for families coping with grief and loss.

I was thankful she could take a few moments to answer questions via email.

When I asked Kash where she completed her artist training, she found the word ‘complete’ interesting. She attended the American Academy of Performing Arts for one year, where she had every intention of completing the three-year program but added: “I became distracted by a Second City workshop as well as a handsome improviser the first summer I came home.”

And that was it. Linda was hooked on performance. She considers Second City her formal training and foundation as an actor. Eventually, she returned there and got a chance to direct a Firehall show.

Linda also runs an acting studio – The Peterborough Academy of Performing Arts – which has been running for seventeen years. She and her staff teach kids and teens throughout the year. She also runs Drama Day camps for two weeks in the summer.

She also teaches adults through a school and production company she co-founded in 2019 called klusterfork. Coaching and teaching in the Peterborough community is fundamental to Kash. She says it’s hugely satisfying and rewarding to watch young talent develop.

Kash is also very proud of her work playing Marjorie in ‘Casey and Diana’ at Stratford and Soulpepper. She calls it a privilege in her professional career. She will never forget the rehearsal and performances of ‘Casey’ because: “it was so collaborative and so personal to all of us, including the crew. Everyone was equally and tremendously invested in this story…I think that’s why it resonated so profoundly with the audience.”

She also loves directing and seeing the big picture. She calls that process detective work in trying to figure out the playwright’s intentions. Working with a collaborative team to bring a story to life is endless fun.

What drew Kash to direct ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’?

“I performed the play when it came to the Panasonic in Toronto. I worked with Cynthia Dale, Wendy Crewson, Jeanne Becker, Lauren Collins and the late great Margot Kidder. It was a special experience…It was like sharing a giant cup of coffee with the audience, chatting about clothing and memory with dynamic women who felt like close friends. I wanted to re-create that feeling. And I think I have with the talent I’ve chosen for Peterborough. Dynamo’s all “

What a cast that has been assembled for the upcoming Market Hall production: Jenni Burke, Maria del Mar, Jane Luk, Kinley Mochrie and Megan Murphy.

Will men also find ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’ interesting:

“Men can relate to stories about their mothers and what they wore, to school crushes, wedding days, Messy divorces, and the loss of people we love. I think those themes go well beyond gender.”

The fact the play will be performed over Mother’s Day weekend was another deciding factor in staging the production at this time. Linda guarantees that everyone who sees this show will think about their lives and about pieces of clothing that have meaning. And because it’s Mother’s Day weekend, Linda hopes we will take a moment to think about ‘her.’

What’s next for Linda after the staged reading?

She boldly states she’s back on the hamster wheel these days happily auditioning for film and TV. She and her brother Daniel will be doing a play together next year, which is thrilling.

She’s also running a couple of camps in the summer through her school.

Linda also created a pilot for a pre-school children’s show produced in Peterborough. She’s looking for interest to develop it further and considers it all a great adventure.

Best of all…

Linda’s counting the days before she meets her first grandchild. She has been invited to the delivery room for the arrival.

That’s wonderful news.

Kash’s sense of humour was still present when she wrote: “I sure hope I don’t forget my lines.”

New Stages Peterborough presents Nora and Delia Ephron’s ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’ on May 11 at 7 pm and May 12 at 2 pm at Peterborough’s Market Hall, 140 Charlotte Street. For tickets to the show and to learn more about New Stages, visit newstages.ca. To purchase tickets over the phone, call the Market Hall Box Office at (705) 775-1503.

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