Lauren Ambrose on playing Juliet in Central Park and nursing on the side.
(...)As Ambrose is well aware, it’s pretty hard to ignore the irony of a new mother’s playing one of the most iconic virgins in English literature. But other than, you know, not actually being 14 and virginal, Ambrose certainly seems to fit the part. Growing up in New Haven and going to day school at Choate, she was a self-described “tortured” and “restless” teenager. She married photographer Sam Handel at age 23, and, six years later, still looks like someone whom bodega owners really ought to card. Her best-known character, the oft-flailing younger sister Claire Fisher on Six Feet Under (A DOS METROS BAJO TIERRA), is a pop-cultural poster child for irrational decision-making, having dated a bipolar guy who didn’t like his meds and explored the effective subtlety of leaving a foot in the locker of a boyfriend who’d wronged her. The show may have given her, says Public Theater director Oskar Eustis, “a very noticeable and striking familiarity with death,” which should prove rather useful in a Shakespearean tragedy. (...)