In the Wings: A Conversation With Rapture, Blister, Burn Star Krista Apple-Hodge

The Barrymore winner talks about her first stage kiss, going to high school with John Legend and how porn helped her get into character for her latest role.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.32.44 AMMy name is … Krista Apple-Hodge, hyphenated (from Apple) since I married fellow actor Dan Hodge in 2012. We’ve decided that an “Apple-Hodge” sounds like a Colonial American dessert. We’re taking recipe ideas …

I am … incredibly shy, for someone who gets up in front of other people for a living. That’s why I started acting. It was the only thing, in high school, that could get me talking in public.

I grew up … in Springfield, Ohio. Proverbial home of The Simpsons; actual home of a Frank Lloyd Wright house that almost didn’t survive.

How would you describe Rapture, Blister, Burn in one sentence? “A bunch of wily women and one unfortunate man test the limits of feminism and idealism, and things go poorly for everyone.”

In the show you play a feminist college professor. In what way are most you like her? When I’m not onstage at the Wilma, I’m a college (acting) professor down the street at University of the Arts. My students have seen the show, and loved watching me channel my Inner Professor.

How are you different? My character, Catherine, is a woman of ideas. She is very, very articulate about the world in a way that’s wildly different from me (see above comments RE: SHY!)

To get into character for the show I … spent almost an entire month reading about feminist theory and the history of porn. Best! Research! Ever!

The cast of "Rapture, Blister, Burn." | Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

The cast of “Rapture, Blister, Burn.” | Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

The cast is largely made up of women, which is … quite frankly, a welcome change. Not that I don’t love my Dude Dramas. I do. But a smart, audacious play with one man and four women spanning three generations? Nearly unheard of. Also, I’m not gonna lie: There are a lot of girly beauty products backstage. Usually it smells like Axe and Old Spice backstage here. Now it smells like Pantene and hairspray.

My first stage kiss … was in grad school, and it was much more than a kiss! It was also, quite awkwardly, the first play that my then-boyfriend (now-husband) saw me perform in. I think he’s recovered from the trauma.

The first play I was in … was my preschool Christmas Pageant. I played Sheep Number Two. I stood up in the middle of the pageant and told my mom in a big stage whisper to stop waving at me. One of my crowning moments, truly.

Apple-Hodge (right) and co-star Cambell M. O'Hare in "Rapture, Blister, Burn. | Photo by TK

Apple-Hodge (right) and co-star Cambell M. O’Hare in “Rapture, Blister, Burn” | Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

My dream role is … Blanche, in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

My surprising celebrity crush is … Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I could listen to him talk about infinity for infinity.

The most famous person I’ve ever met was … John Legend, before he was famous. We went to high school together. He was kind, brilliant, and of course insanely talented. We all knew he was going to be famous. It wasn’t even a question.

The last thing I binge-watched  was Scandal. And Cosmos. Because, well, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

To stay in shape I … run/jog. I just ran my first 5K a few weeks ago (the monster miler 5K, to benefit the Veterinary Hospital). Looking forward to more races in the spring.

The last time I dined out in Philadelphia … I went to the Watkins Drinkery in South Philly. I had this amazing grilled cheese with provolone, Gouda, carmelized onions and peppers. And a Pumpkin Ale.

The best show I saw in Philly recently … was La Bête at the Arden. I’m a huge fan of Scott Greer and Ian Merrell Peakes; the direction was stellar and the ensemble was fierce!

The best thing about Philadelphia’s theater scene … is that it’s so home-grown. The companies here are cultivating local talent, not just shipping in “star” artists from New York. So artists can put down roots here and really find their voice. And audiences can get to know an artist over time—watch them evolve over productions and seasons—which is its own work of art.

Rapture, Blister, Burn plays at the Wilma Theater through November 8th. More information and tickets can be found here