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Showing posts from December, 2015

Grey Gardens - meet director Christopher Dykton

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What do you find appealing about Grey Gardens?
The characters.  It's a mix of complex characters.  Edith and Little Edie are seen at two distinct moments in their lives thirty years a part and we ask the question, "How did we become like this?"

What single word would you use to describe yourself as director of Grey Gardens?
Determined.

What have you learned about yourself while working on this show?
It's easy to reflect on who I am and who I was years ago, when doing a show like Grey Gardens.  And also, how nutty part of me is.

What do you hope the audience takes away from Grey Gardens?
I hope they embrace the love of the two Ediths.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
The cast is small and the production is technically complex.  Three actors play two parts across thirty years -- that's really different to do.

How long have you been directing and choreographing?  How did you get involved with LTA?
Directing and choreographing have been my du…

Grey Gardens - meet cast member Marshall Cesena

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Meet Marshall Cesena who is playing Jerry and Joe Kennedy Jr. in LTA's Grey Gardens.

What do you find appealing/interesting about your role in Grey Gardens?
I love the parallels between Joe in Act I and Jerry in Act II.  Whether they mean to or not, they both seem to exist (in the context of the show, at least) to stir the pot between Big Edie and Little Edie, providing a catalyst for the larger conflicts in each act.  This show has layer after layer; I probably discover something new each time I read through the script and every time I perform a scene.  It's incredibly well written.

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of Joe and Jerry?
I've been on a small hiatus from theatre and this show has set the bar very high as my first production back.  It's really rekindled my love of performing, especially with this amazing cast and production team.  The role itself has taught me about real character work.  Both these guys come from worlds that are unfamil…

Grey Gardens - meet cast member Penelope Gallagher

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Meet Penelope Gallager who is playing Lee Bouvier in LTA's Grey Gardens.

What do you find appealing about Lee in Grey Gardens?
My character is a real life princess!

What have you learned about yourself in playing this role?
Her older sister becomes the first lady of the United States.  That's pretty cool!  It's fun to have an older sister, even if it's just for a show because I don't have any sisters.

What single word would you use to describe Lee?
Tomboy.

What do you want the audience to take away from this show?
The love between mothers and daughters is powerful.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
It has a really small cast.

How long have you been acting and how did you get involved with LTA?
I've been acting for six years starting with drama camps.  The LTA summer camps are great!

What advice would you give others who want to get involved with theatre?
Never give up!  You'll have a lof of no's at auditions but the little yes'…

Grey Gardens - meet cast member Dick Reed

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Grey Gardens - meet cast member Nicky McDonnell

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Meet Nicky McDonnell who is playing Big Edie in Act 1 and Little Edie in Act 2 of LTA's Grey Gardens.

What do you find appealing/interesting about your character and this show?
I prefer musicals that feel more like plays - when they touch on deeper themes and characters.  Grey Gardens explores the terrain of humanity that is typically left behind.  Big and Little Edie defined a social circle and due to their circumstances, they fell from grace.  No one was there to truly catch them when they fell despite their pedigree, but they had each other and held on to one another to survive.  Exploring which character needs the other one more and when and why it is fascinating to me - that shifts throughout the show and the documentary.  It touches on many of the great Greek themes of loss and despair, betrayal, courage and survival - hopefully all that pathos will draw the audience more deeply into the story.

What have you learned about yourself in playing these roles?
To play Big Edie and L…

A Christmas Carol - meet cast member Clare Baker

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Tell us about your role in A Christmas Carol.
I play Belle Fezziwig, Scrooge's past love.  She is the daughter of Mr. Fezziwig who was Scrooge's employer.  When Scrooge visits the past, he sees his relationship with Belle unravel before his eyes.  Eventually, Scrooge's greed overpowers his love for Belle and they part ways.  Scrooge then sees Belle's family that she has after their relationship ended and sees what his future could have been.

What were some challenges you faced while working on this show?
The three scenes Belle is in are consecutive but each have very different emotional levels to each of them.  During the scene in which Belle and Scrooge break-up, I struggled with reaching the raw emotion needed for this scene.  I had to work hard to emotionally connect to the feelings that Belle was experiencing during this scene.

What do you hope the audience takes away from A Christmas Carol?
That friends and family are the most valuable things a person has in their l…

A Christmas Carol - meet cast member John Trope

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A Christmas Carol - meet cast member Eva Gary

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Tell us about your character in LTA's A Christmas Carol.
Martha Cratchit, the oldest of the Cratchit children, is a kindhearted teenager who always has her family's best interest in mind.  She tries to provide for herself and her family by working at a young age.  Because Mrs. Cratchit has to spend the majority of her attention on Tiny Tim, Martha tries to step in as a motherly figure for some of the children.

What were some challenges you faced in working on this show?
As the Cratchit family began working on individual scenes together, I noticed the age gap more and more between myself and the other kids.  I felt that I was at an awkward age because I was the oldest of the children.  As we rehearsed more, I learned how to use my age as an advantage.  Now being older plays into the scene well because I have taken on a caregiver role and the age is a benefit instead of a challenge.

What do you hope the audience takes away from this performance?
I would love for the audience to ta…

A Christmas Carol - meet cast member Celeste Gary

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Tell us about your role in LTA's A Christmas Carol.
My character's name is Fan Scrooge.  Fan is Ebenezer's little sister who is bright, energetic, and loves Ebenezer very much.  Ebenezer and Fan's mother passed away and Fan is now the only joy in Ebenezer's life.  Her father is very cruel to Fan and her brother after their mother dies.  Their father loves Fan because she reminds him of his wife, so to make her happy he allows Ebenezer to return home from boarding school over the holiday.

What were some challenges you faced with this show?
I found it challenging to connect with my character because I have two sisters and I don't have a brother.  Unlike my character, my parents are kind and loving.  This made it difficult to relate to Fan and make her feel more real to me.

What do you hope the audience takes away from A Christmas Carol?
I hope the audience enjoys the show and that the performance helps them get into the Christmas spirit.  I hope seeing the show rem…

A Christmas Carol - meet cast member Nathaniel Burkhead

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Tell us a bit about your character in LTA's A Christmas Carol.
My character, Tiny Tim, is a very sweet and kindhearted person, very innocent.  I love how he stays happy and filled with Christmas cheer.  He is the kind of person that will always see the glass as "half full" no matter what happens.  He is also kind of funny, in the way that when everyone else sees Scrooge in a bad way, he believes (in his optimist sort of way) that Scrooge isn't really a bad person, or that he just doesn't have the knowledge to realize that he is.

What were some challenges you faced in working on this show?
Some challenges in working on this piece were learning to speak in a British accent, which, thanks to this play, has become natural.  Another one was learning to walk with a limp, which resulted in several ankle problems and also a sprained ankle once.  Lastly, there was finding the right sized crutch, which we had to raise twice, and then lower.  At last, we finally got the righ…