Kiersten Buckley Discusses ‘Chemical Imbalance’


Amit Bachani, Editor-in-Chief

It’s finally that time of the year again! After months of hard work and dedication, Patriot Productions proudly presented their rendition of Lauren Wilson’s widely acclaimed play, Chemical Imbalance, to an amazing response last weekend. Filled with incredible performances by the entire cast and hilarious moments throughout, Chemical Imbalance was one of the most memorable productions from Mrs. Richardson for audiences.

Set in Victorian London, the play comically juxtaposes good and evil as Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego, Mr. Hyde, is unleashed after he drinks a dangerous potion that makes him aggressive towards everyone he meets. With a dinner party hosted by his sister, Ambrosia, up in the air and an eager bachelorette waiting for his arrival, Jekyll and his cousin Xavier are left to deal with the consequences as the guests struggle to understand who’s who in this comedy of errors. 

The Patriot Press got the chance to speak with Junior Kiersten Buckley, an actress who plays the role of Ambrosia Jekyll, about her experience working in the production and some highlights from behind the scenes. 


What was your favorite thing about being in Chemical Imbalance?

My favorite thing about being in Chemical Imbalance was the cast and crew. Everyone was so loving and supportive, and they created an all around loving environment. I knew that even if I messed up, everyone would be there to support me. Mrs. Richardson and Miss Cugini were also amazing directors, and I can’t wait to be a part of the musical with them! 


What’s your favorite scene and why? 

My favorite scene in the show is most definitely the dinner table scene. The whole cast is standing at a comically large table while the scene slowly changes from normal to chaotic. At first, everyone is peacefully eating dinner, and then everyone suddenly starts to climb underneath the table and converse with hilarious banter. And if that wasn’t enough, Henry Jekyll suddenly begins chasing one of the dinner guests with a knife, causing chaos to ensue. This scene was especially fun to act out, because my character Ambrosia was getting increasingly drunk throughout the crazy scene.


What did you like most about your character? What was different about her from other characters you’ve played? 

My favorite thing about this character is simply how crazy she is. At first, she simply is begging her brother, Henry, to get married for the good of the family. But, by the end of the show, she is drunk off of eggnog and she has many humorous lines. Additionally, she gets clubbed in the head in Act Two. That was certainly one of the highlights of this role! She was very fun to play, but she was also very different from my past characters. This is  mostly because of her British accent and overall craziness. In last year’s fall play, I played a snarky American housewife, and I played an innocent young hatmaker in last year’s spring musical. Of course, these characters are very different overall. Despite this, it was an amazing experience to play each and every one of these diverse characters. 


What’s one scene you think audiences loved and reacted to the most? 

The scene that I think audiences loved and reacted to the most was definitely the scene where Lady Throckmortonshire accidentally drinks Jekyll’s evil potion. During the scene, Jekyll and Ambrosia’s mother, Euphronia, is hosting Lady Throckmortonshire over for dinner. Lady Throckmortonshire is a very elegant lady of high esteem, yet she insists on drinking a bottle of “grape juice” that Jekyll accidentally left in their living room. Upon drinking grape juice, Lady Throckmortonshire goes crazy and begins to attack Euphronia. This is because, of course, the grape juice was actually an evil potion that was concocted by Jekyll. The entire scene is hilarious due to the nature in which Morgan, who plays Lady Throckmortonshire, and Vanessa, who plays Euphronia, attack each other on stage. Their excellent stage combat and chemistry on stage leads to an altogether hilarious scene that always leaves the audience laughing. 


Overall, the amazingly talented cast and crew gave us another night to remember and more productions to look forward to with the Spring musical in 2020. Here’s wishing Kiersten, Mrs. Richardson, Ms. Cugini, and the rest of our Drama department the best of luck with future shows and hoping that they continue to wow and entertain us here at Freehold Township!