The upcoming show, Wait Until Dark, is a bit of a departure from the more light hearted productions our patrons have seen recently. Director Mike Nelson has turned to a darker, more suspense-laden show this time around at the Avenue Theater. When first presented with the script, he had second thoughts on it, but, “after working with such a talented group of actors and tech folks, it is very much becoming one of my favorite shows,” according to Nelson.
Actors Jess Kowach, (Susie) and Dave Joseph, (Roat), agree that the first scene is their favorite in the show. Jess says the scene captures the audience and draws them in immediately, and Dave adds you see the three main antagonists constantly sizing each other up to see where they stand.
Kowach and Joseph also commented on some of the steps they took in preparing for their roles. Jess practiced walking around in the dark and with her eyes closed to get into character. Not an easy task and she “has the bruises to prove it, “said Kowach. For Joseph, music played a crucial role. “One of the ways I got into character was by listening to dark, powerful music. Certain excerpts from Dvorak’s New World Symphony can take me to a really dark place,” he said.
For Cassidy Soto, (Gloria), getting into character required her to work both on being both louder and more childish than she is. “This prep was difficult, because it is very out of my comfort zone, “ Cassidy stated. Eric McAnallen didn’t have any specific tricks for getting into his character, (Mike). According to McAnallen, “I’ve been trying to play Mike as real as possible, which means his actions and speech are not that far from my own.” McAnallen says, “In a different time and place, I could be Mike. We both have that potential to do wrong and we both have too much of a conscience to let that wrong be something that gets someone hurt.”
Director Suzanne Weber has assembled an excellent cast to populate the maiden voyage of the S.S. Wunderbar, a magnificent cruise ship of German registry. The Love Boat had nothing on the Wunderbar. You’ll be treated to a couple embarking to enjoy their honeymoon, although one of them is terrified of the sea; a comic book artist putting the finishing touches on the newest superhero in a pantheon of heroes. A greeting card writer who can’t stop plying her craft even on her vacation cruise, along with a beautiful starlet, hoping to completely recover from a devastating accident that wreaked havoc on her career. The crew includes a purser named Gunther with exquisite taste in apparel, a Teutonic former nanny is the cruise director, while a celebrated New York Photographer is on hand to capture memories. Who can imagine a more idyllic scene? But murder awaits. Whodunit? Watch carefully and perhaps you will be able to identify the culprit.
Character lines in a vacuum sometimes make you scratch your head. But put them in context, and you’ll be laughing out loud. Join us and enjoy these and other lines straight from the character’s themselves.
Don’t Say it! You said it!
She fell off an Alp?
It hasn’t been 2 years. It’s been 1 year, 11 months and 25 days.
You used my nerdy sap of a husband?
I SAID YOU NEED SOME SNAPPS!
I don’t think you do anything normally.
When looking back at a show you're part of, it’s hard not to have favorites – rehearsal moments, lines, characters, etc. The actors of The Curious Savage are here to share some of those with you as they prepare to open the show tonight.
Cheryl Crabb and many of the other cast members love the scene where all the sanatorium’s residents spill on stage when a door opens getting caught snooping.
Veronica White likes the gentle tenderness between the characters Jeff and Miss Willie at the end of the show, especially when she kisses him then apologizes for being so tired and forgetting. Veronica says, "that scene is very quiet but very powerful."
Jess Kowach remembers laughing at the ad-libbing during rehearsal when Hannibal throws his cards up in the air and then picks them up one by one, bending over right in front of Lily Belle. Lily Belle said "Do something about this man's ass in my face!" Needless to say, Jess wasn’t the only one cracking up.
And, it’s not just the scenes that make a lasting impression – whether sad, happy, or funny. The actors also have their favorite lines of the show like:
"Please speak some witch talk for us!"
“50 needles and 50 pins and 50 dirty Republicans.”
"Do you light up when you're mating, Lily Belle?" "...you're a perfect witch!"
"She bit me!"
It’s moments and lines like this that motivate actors to give it their all. Join us for these and many other ‘favorite’ scenes. See what part of the show you love the most and let us know!
Yelling, biting, tears, laughter, jealousy, hatred, love and so much more! That’s just a little bit of what happens in R-ACT Theatre Productions’ The Curious Savage showing this weekend only.
The actors have thoroughly embraced their alter egos in this show – most being nothing like their character in real life. Some of the actors have described themselves as a self-absorbed princess, an overbearing stepson, and an overly dramatic girl needing love. Along with the other over-the-top characters, they all get a reality check by a kindly widow just wanting to spread some happiness and do some good.
After spending weeks living with their characters, the actors have had lots of practice ‘getting into character.’ Cheryl Crabb had to practice being less feisty since her character is a meek, motherly figure. She does admit, though, that, like a younger Mrs. Savage, she had a "great seat"!
Eric McAnallen, however, got into his character by “berating the servers at the restaurant where he had dinner, and then he would slap around a box of kittens while lighting a cigar with a $100 bill.” All in his mind of course. Clearly acting takes a lot of work getting into character.
All in all – the actors have had their work cut out for them during this production. Come see if it’s all paid off. They want your love and also hate for these wacky people at the sanatorium. Or, as Mark LaMarche describes it – the madhouse.
What do you think of yourself? Ever ask yourself that question? Actors do it all the time because you can’t ‘become’ someone else without changing your attitude, thoughts, actions, and beliefs.
How can you play stupid if you’re smart? Act mean if you’re sweet and compassionate? How long can you last speaking with a new accent? What about impersonating another character while being in character yourself? Sound confusing? You’ll see these performers take it all on and kill it…well kill someone at least.
Valerie Boyce (Rosa Lee Hayford) shares that she and Rosa Lee share a love for animals and kind-heartedness. Oh, and they also can both shoot a gun. Could her sweet and innocent act be fake?
Bridget Yeager (Vlouptua Amore) loves playing the bad girl of the show because she’s not in everyday life. The character is boy crazy and self-centered so unlike Bridget, but they do both love to act. Could this bad girl have turned really bad – bad enough to kill?
Diane Brosius (Beulah McKade) only got into her mean-to-the-bone character after repeated nagging from Director, Cheryl Crabb. Could this murder be done just because someone’s mean enough to kill?
Finally, there’s Clay Glenny (Reuben McKade) who’s smarter than his character acts. He’s sweet and good natured, but could he just be dumb enough (I mean smart enough) to commit murder?
I guess you’ll just have to wait and see which of the Hollar resident’s hidden personality and desires created a murderer.
Welcome to the Hollar! R-ACT Theatre Productions is back with another audience participation murder mystery. Cheryl Crabb thoroughly enjoyed directing this production and is thankful for such a participative cast that was willing to change their blocking many, many times. She also bribed them during rehearsals with food to keep everyone happy too.
When asked for some insider information on the show, Cheryl shared of the many laughs the whole group had during rehearsals. It also seems that there’s a lot of contradictions between actors’ personalities compared to their show characters. Quiet Bridget Yeager as Voluptua Amore is vamped up like never before while sweet and positive Diane Brosius plays the meanest of them all – Beulah McKade. There’s also sleazy Seymour Simpson played by Eric Armstrong. Other characters Cheryl describes are sweet Rosa Lee, laughable Reuben McKade, and dim-witted Zeke. Then there’s Luther Drummer – the Benedict Cumberbatch of the hollar.
All in all, it’s one motley group of misfits and someone’s gonna git it. Get your tickets today so you can find out who – and WHY!
Everybody has favorites – foods, books…people. Actors have favorites with their shows too. Sometimes the favorite is their own part, line, or scene while other times, fellow characters steal the show for everyone. Let’s find out some favorite things the ‘Do Not Disturb’ actors have before opening night.
The wigs of the show are rated at the top of this show’s list. Seeing everyone transform from one character to another was amazing and hilarious. The costume room is packed with all the changes.
Co-Director, Debbie Bowser, says she enjoyed watching everyone transform from one person to another since there are 8 actors for 22 parts. The laughter never stopped during rehearsal with the switches.
Conrad Bianco remembers the hilarity of performing the rendezvous scene the first time. No details provided so you’ll have to watch to see why.
The character that left the biggest impression on Mark LaMarche was ‘Melissa’ because of how limber she was.
Eric Armstrong remembers many fond memories of rehearsals, but his funniest experience was the considerable number of rehearsals the cast went through to try to get his character’s pants to come off quickly. He shared that he ‘was feeling the breeze.’
More favorite parts are the lines of the show. Here are some of the funniest (at least for the cast). You’ll just have to see the show to figure out what they mean…and if they really are funny.
“What’s the matter with him?”
“Now, I’d love to stay here and do unnatural things with mules on film for you, but…I’ve got a job!”
"You wanna kiss Carl?"
“Do you want to go bowling?”
And, let’s just say…that’s only the beginning. Don’t miss the hilarious comedy showing this weekend at The Avenue Theater.
Character analysis – Who are you? What are you? Where are you…from? Well, the cast had these and many more things to think about while developing their characters. Now they’re sharing their ‘research’ with you by comparing themselves to their show personalities.
Conrad Bianco says his character Craig “is portrayed as a high stacks tycoon who would cheat and lie just to make an extra buck. Me, I'm happy being true to myself and good to others.”
Amy Ellefson feels she’s like some similar in attitude to some of her characters as all their personalities are light-hearted, fun and adventurous. You’ll just have to see the other personalities (I mean characters) come out during the show.
Devious is how Vicki Mann describes her character while she herself is not. She does enjoy ‘hamming it up’ on stage, though, and pushing herself out of her natural tendencies.
Do you think it would be easier to ‘play’ a similar or different personality? How about multiple personalities in a matter of two hours? As I was writing this blog it became difficult keeping all the actors and characters straight, and I was only writing about them. Come let us amaze you with these crazy characters this weekend, and we’ll see if you can keep them all straight.
What do you get when you have a one-room set for 6 shows with 2 directors, 8 actors, 22 characters, numerous wigs, countless costumes, and a full group of amazing backstage crew? Of course, it’s one uproariously funny and entertaining production by the talented R-ACT members, which is just in time for Valentine’s weekend.
Directors, Debbie Bowser and Larry Spinnenweber, have been having a wonderful time during rehearsals, laughing at and with the cast and crew. Many of which are new or newer to acting and production work. That’s one of the best parts of the R-ACT organization in my opinion-no experience necessary to participate. Enjoy theater? Ever wondered if you can be part of show business? You CAN.
But back to this show…since the cast plays multiple roles, the challenge for this production was creating unique character personalities and appearances. To do this, Debbie had the actors analyze their characters, creating a ‘life’ for each one. She describes the actors/characters as a riot, delightful, amazing, and…flexible (literally).
This cast was game for anything and takes these risqué one acts to the edge all while creating a crazy and funny experience. Debbie says, “If you have as much fun as we did making this show, you’re in for a treat.” So come join us and enjoy.
The R-ACT family has already been busy at work for 2015 on our first production of the year, “Do Not Disturb,” by Van Zandt and Milmore. This show is a set of six one-act plays set in a large city hotel room and so a slight departure from our usual productions. Don’t worry though-you’ll get your usual fair share of laughs, just spread out over a few more characters.
The two (yep-two) directors had their usual difficulty in choosing from the talented folks who came to offer their services. But choices were made and the rehearsals are almost behind us with opening night in a matter of weeks. So far, there have been many laughs from the cast as you can see from our backstage picture, and the set is almost ready to go after some great work from our design and construction volunteers.
Along with some great shows this year, R-ACT members are planning some great new programming for the community to enjoy. We’re hosting a paddle-party fundraiser in March, a red-eye bus trip to NYC in April, a new kids theater camp in July, and a new type of show featuring classic TV sitcoms to round out the summer as well.
As you can see, this year’s going to be fun-filled and jam-packed with opportunities to join R-ACT in some great shows and events. Remember that we welcome new talent on stage as well as behind the scenes. We always need volunteers for tasks big and small so join us at our next monthly meeting on February 5th at 7pm at the Avenue Theater, and see how you can get in on the action.
Remember to mark your calendar for our first show of the season on February 13th-15th, and plan on coming out to enjoy “Do Not Disturb.”