ROLE OF A LIFETIME / TESS MALIS KINCAID: A countess ... and designs on 'Woolf'

Atlanta stars discuss their memorable characters --- and the part they'd just love to play.

Meet the actress: A LaGrange native, Kincaid is a graduate of Wake Forest University and a founding member of Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell, where she oversees marketing and fund-raising.

She estimates she has transformed herself into 33 different characters since moving to Atlanta in 1994. She's 44.

Favorite role: Stevie, who finds herself in the calamitous position of having to compete with her husband's new mistress —- who happens to be a goat —- in Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" (Actor's Express, 2004).

"Doing Albee was just amazing, and it felt like the stars just aligned: the right director, the right cast, the right story. . . . I felt like it was the first chance that I had ever had to dig into a role that deeply and fully."

Her dream role: Albee, again. She'd love to portray the hard-drinking, man-eating, sexually adventurous Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Upcoming: The Countess of Rossillion, mother to Bertram, in "All's Well That Ends Well" at Georgia Shakespeare (July 10-Aug. 3). How does the tall brunet beauty feel about doing a role usually reserved for more mature actresses? (Judi Dench played the Countess in a recent London production.) "I'm kind of crossing over," Kincaid jokes. "I was never an ingenue."

"I would just love to dig into that part. There's a ferocity to it —- and a sadness and vulnerability that I would love to explore."

TESS MALIS KINCAID

On why she'd like to play Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

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