Simply Streep is your premiere source on Meryl Streep's work on film, television and in the theatre - a career that has won her three Academy Awards and the praise to be one of the world's greatest working actresses. Created in 1999, we have built an extensive collection to discover Miss Streep's work through an archive of press articles, photos and video clips. Enjoy your stay.
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July 26, 1975 | Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
In the book “The O’Neill: The Transformation of Modern American Theater”, director Lynne Meadow relates the story of casting Meryl Streep: “I said, I would like her to play the princess in Marco Polo. It was children’s theater, really sort of family theater. I had never really done that but I agreed to do this, because I thought the piece was charming. And so the moment comes when the bad guy, who was played by Chris Lloyd, says to Princess Meryl, “Give me your ring”. We’re rehearsing it and Meryl started to take the ring off. But then she was having a hard time, so she was yanking on her finger. Finally she put the finger between her knees, trying to yank the ring off, and then she rolled on the floor, still trying to get the ring off. It was hysterical. Jonathan Levy, the playwright, said, “But Lynne, she’s the Princess. What’s she doing?” And I said, “What she’s doing is just marvelous”. He said, “I don’t think a princess would act this way.” So I stopped the rehearsal. And Meryl and Jonathan and I walked to the side to talk about it. Jonathan said, “I’m not sure a princess would behave in quite such a way.” And Meryl said, “I did a lot of work with kids when I was in New Haven. It seems to me that kids really like to see their heroes have flaws. They prefer when their heroes are real people and have problems.” She used those words – “have flaws”. So I will never forget the moment of dealing with her, and Jonathan Levy then saying, “Yes, I think you’re right.” So we left it in and it was very funny.”
Meadow took Levy’s play to New York’s famed Phoenix Theatre in 1977. The role of Princess Kogatin was played by her Yale classmate Christine Eastabrook in New York.