In brief: Courtney, 35, is in the midst of a rare triple-header, with leading roles in each show of Georgia Shakespeare‘s summer repertory. She’s Viola in Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical, the battling Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Gwendolyn Fairfax, the object of much tomfoolery in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. The last time someone tried this was in 2003, when Chris Kayser did the heavy lifting in Much Ado, The School for Wives and Cymbeline.
Lives now: Midtown, with husband Nicolas Quiñones, owner of Woodfire Grill, and their son, Javier, who’s almost 7 months.
Where you’ve seen her: It’d be easier to ask, “Where haven’t you seen her?” She’s been Ophelia in Hamlet, Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Aphrodite/Hunger in Metamorphoses and Maggie in Cat on a Tin Roof, among others, in nine seasons at Georgia Shakespeare.
And … In August: Osage County, Eurydice (as Loud Stone!), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Go, Dog, Go! at the Alliance Theatre; as the only character in My Name Is Rachel Corrie at Synchronicity Theatre; in Boeing! Boeing! at Aurora Theatre; and in Brownie Points and Lost Highway at Theatrical Outfit, among others.
First time onstage: In a concert of summer songs in fifth grade at Brookwood Elementary in Snellville. Her solo, from Lullaby of Broadway was: “… the rumble of the subway train, the rattle of the taxis. …” She recalls: “I was so upset that I didn’t have more to do.” Her mom told her: “Don’t you worry, Courtney. Everybody was talking about the girl who sang about the subway train and taxis.”
How she found theater: Through her mom, who worked in the office at Shiloh High School and built costumes for the musicals there. “She wanted to go see these shows, and I went with her,” Courtney says. “I wanted to go back and go back and go back.”
Theater as a career: “It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be what I do.”
She’d be honored: And has been, by Creative Loafing (best local female actress in 2008, best comedian critics’ picks in 2005) and the Suzi Awards (best lead actress nomination for My Name Is Rachel Corrie at Synchronicity Theatre in 2007 and Twelfth Night at Georgia Shakespeare in 2006).
What was she thinking? “It looked easier on paper,” she says of her summer workload at Georgia Shakespeare. But she’d been home with her son. And maybe not showering every day. And maybe wearing pajamas for three days at a time. “I just wanted to be back doing what I do,” she says. “I’m glad I did. I’m having a good time.”
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, covering or working in the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: email@example.com.