Mary Louise Wilson

I think it was 1959 or 1960, I was going into Threepenny Opera at the then Theatre de Lys [now the Lucille Lortel Theatre], to play Lucy, the part originated by Bea Arthur. The production had run so long it was like a swinging door for a generation of actors; you weren't in the swim until you had done a few months in Threepenny. So here I was going in, and I remember crying on the phone in the lobby because somebody at Equity was telling me I wasn't qualified to be a member. The only other part I had ever played was Second Dead Lady in Our Town at Circle in the Square Theatre. I had one line. I don't know for sure, but maybe in the dark ages to qualify you had to be in more than two Off-Broadway shows (or have more than one line). Or else I just dreamt all this. Memory is a tricky thing. One thing I do know happened. Within the first month of playing Lucy, I got hired away to perform in a revue and I had to get finger-printed and get an AGVA card to work in a saloon.