Name: Nicole Rodenberg (Slasher! at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theater of Louisville)
Hometown: Fargo, ND
Favorite diner/diner food: I know that I live in New York now and I should be really up to speed on cool diners as some are so famous they have songs named after them (Tom’s Diner), but nothing will ever replace the Perkins chain in my hometown. I don’t think they consider themselves a diner, but they are open 24 hours a day and serve breakfast for all those 24, which is basic diner criteria. I think I spent 40 percent of my free time there in high school eating anything fried (fry it and it will be my favorite food).
Memorable bus trip: I’ve spent my fair share of time on the Megabus and Greyhound traveling between Minneapolis (where I went to school) and home and Chicago and home. I had a bus break down on the way to Minneapolis from Chicago. It was the middle of November and we all had to file onto the highway (this was the midnight bus so it was the middle of the night) and wait for another bus to come and get us. Once everyone realized we weren’t going to anywhere anytime soon, people starting sharing food and blankets and stories to pass the time. Busses are so intimate — there are no in-flight peanuts, no one can make you wear your seatbelt. I've overheard conversations that would make a sailor blush, but I’ve also met grandparents on their way to see their grandchildren. Sometimes the grandparents are the ones making sailors blush!. People talk to each other way more on busses then do on airplanes — mostly because what else are you going to do to pass the time for 35 hours?
Name: Noah Bean (Love’s Labor’s Lost at the Huntington)
Hometown: I was born in Boston but grew up in Mystic, CT
Favorite diner/diner food: There was a diner on Main Street in Mystic when I was growing up called Bee Bee’s. All the old-time locals used to hang out there and drink coffee. During the summer, I used to go down there at least a couple times a week with my two best friends, grab a booth by the window, and we would each get a grilled tuna and cheese with a chocolate milk. They went out of business a few years ago — I think its some sort of gift shop now. Too bad, it was really good chocolate milk.
Memorable bus ride: The Chinatown bus from Boston to New York. It’s the best way to jump between the cities. The ride can get a little precarious, depending on the driver you get, but for fifteen bucks it’s worth the risk.
Name: Karen MacDonald (Kate Keller in All My Sons and Mary Todd Lincoln in A Civil War Christmas at the Huntington)
Hometown: Watertown, MA, a town of many great diners
Favorite diner/diner food: The Town Diner in Watertown is my favorite in this area; at the other end of the state, Joe’s Diner is a classic in Lee. Breakfast is my favorite meal at any diner any time of day.
Memorable bus trip: I got on the crowded bus at Marco Polo Airport, traveled on unfamiliar roads, through dusty, unremarkable, slightly industrial suburbs, then onto a longish bridge at the end of which is Piazzale Roma. The end of the road. Literally. On the other side, a miracle . . . a city of water, gondolas, palazzos, churches, breathtaking beauty . . . Venice.
Name: Will LeBow (The Corn is Green, The Cherry Orchard at the Huntington)
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York (land of the world’s best diners)
Favorite diner/diner food: The Parkway Diner (of Billy Joel’s “Brenda and Eddie” fame). I used to hang out there in my late teen years trying to pick up girls. My favorite diner food has to be the classic BLT or corned beef hash and eggs.
Memorable bus trip: Touring with The Boston Pops (a four bus caravan, actually) while performing The Polar Express with the orchestra from North Carolina to all of the great cities along the east coast.