Actress Yolonda Williams. Courtesy Photo
For many actresses, aging can be detrimental when auditioning for a plum stage role, and in Menopause the Musical, actress Yolonda Williams had to audition more than once for the part of her character, Professional Woman, which she plays through May 10th at the Bethesda Theatre.
Williams, who will be 45 in July, said recently, â€œI tried out for the part several times before, but they kept telling me I looked too young to be going through menopause. I still donâ€™t look my age, but in these economic times, I will throw on a wig and look older if I need to,â€ she laughed.
A native of Texas, Williams plays an overachieving executive in the hit musical, which is about four women who meet in a department store and bond over their collective experience of menopause, and its accompanying hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.
Jeanie Linders, author of the musical, said she wrote it to empower women. â€œIt [menopause] launches them [women] into a new phase of their life, and when they are [in the] theater shouting â€˜Thatâ€™s me!â€™, then they know that what they are experiencing is normal,â€ Linders said.
â€œI resonate with my character, because in my younger life I was somewhat like that [her character, the Professional Woman],â€ Williams said. Williams said her aggressiveness has paid off as she becomes a more seasoned actress. â€œThese days itâ€™s hard to find someone over 40 who can act, dance and sing,â€ Williams said.