Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meet the Cast of "Five Women"!!!!

Or some of the cast, anyway. I'm going to spread these out some over the next few weeks.

Let's start with our lone guy (poor Felipe, he came to rehearsal on Monday night and had to sit through a LOT of us girls talking about all sorts of stuff with regard to our characters -- sexual promiscuity, weight issues, Mommy issues, Daddy issues, all sorts of stuff ... he was a very good sport, but I felt really bad for him).
Typically I like to post headshots of the cast, but I don't have any of today's featured cast members. I did, however, find a cast photo from LTA's The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, in which Felipe played Comet and Laura played Blitzen. So here's that:
Felipe would be the sullen-looking reindeer in the green shirt in the lower left corner. Laura is in the beige suit, with curly black hair.

Name: Felipe Cabezas
Role: Tripp

Favorite roles you’ve played already: Wallace in Women and Wallace; Graham in Cleansed

Roles you’d like to play someday: Jules in Boom; the frat dawg in Red Light Winter; and others whose names I can’t remember right now.
What are some of your non-theatre hobbies? Playing sports, photography, watching stand-up comedy.

What is your dream job? Astronaut

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Anything chocolate. In fact, the more vicious the name, the better. If some company made a “Lethal Fudge Injection Chocolate,” I would be ALL OVER that.

What was your very first email address and/or IM screen name? Why did you choose it? YpshnaAfro. Ypshna was a nickname (which was only really used for a month or two), and I had a 'fro when I made the screen name.

Who’s your celebrity cheat? You know, the celeb you heart so much that your significant other says “Okay, fine, if you ever meet that person, you can hook up once just to say you did it, and I won’t get mad.” Manuela Martelli. Google her. (Erin says: I did, and her pic is below. She's cute.)




















Name: Laura J. Scott
Role: Mindy

Favorite roles you've played already: Favorite role was Veta in Harvey, favorite production was Saturday Sunday Monday at LTA.

Roles you'd like to play someday: Volumnia in Coriolanus

Least favorite thing about your character in Five Women: She's a graceful klutz like me, a little too close to home.

What are some of your non-theatre hobbies? Raising my daughter Hannah. Training my cats to leash walk. Pretending I'm foreign when an annoyingly stupid (American) tourist in DC asks me for directions.

What is your dream job? To be part of a rep acting company where I have the luxury of being paid/getting benefits to act every day.

If you had to live for a month off of either corndogs or Big Macs, which would it be? I'd starve first.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey

Who's your celebrity cheat? David Strathairn (Erin says: Just for kicks, I'll give you guys a pic of him too.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 Season and Director Applications

Happy Monday, all! I think this may be the first time in history that I have updated EARLY.

But we have exciting news that must be shared!!!

CCT with 2nd Flight Theatre Company has announced its 2009 season! You all know that we're kicking off with Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (or you should, since it's all I've been blogging about for weeks), but we have chosen the rest of our season and are ready to begin looking for directors who are interested in working with us on these two shows.

Our second show of the season, going up after Five Women... in late spring, is Flight of the Lawnchair Man by Peter Ullian and Robert Lindsey-Nassif, a fun and slightly campy musical about Wal*Mart employee Jerry Gorman who, with the help of his girlfriend Gracie, achieves his dream of flight by suspending a lawnchair from 400 helium balloons. (Side note: Some Guy in Oregon actually did this.)

Rounding off our season in the fall will be John Guare's award-winning Six Degrees of Separation, a story about a con artist and the relationship he develops with an older couple he's scammed. The original Broadway cast included Stockard Channing and Anthony Rapp (best known for originating the role of Mark in Rent), and the film version starred Ms. Channing and Mr. Rapp (reprising their roles from the stage production -- Channing was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this film), Donald Sutherland, Ian McKellan, Anthony Michael Hall, Heather Graham, and Will Smith as the con artist, circa The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

If you're interested in directing one of these two shows for us, submit the director application package by December 31, 2008!

And for all you actors, put us on your audition radar.

This promises to be a particularly fun season ... you know you want to be a part of it!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rehearsal Numero Uno

So on Monday night we had our first read-through at Susan's house, prefaced by the Best Brunswick Stew Ever (thanks to Donna Naybour for the recipe!) and an estrogen-laden conversation about babies and the like that probably made poor Jeff the sound guy want to put his head through a wall, being the only male in the room (the only male in the cast, Felipe, was unable to be there, so poor Jeff was on his own. Sorry Jeff.).

The read-through went well. We talked some about our characters, some about the impact of the play's events on each woman, and touched on some ways we can play with the meanings of and reactions to some of the script's more major happenings. I think we're on our way to a rockin' good show.

On a more personal note, I went into this a little apprehensive about playing the funny Georgeanne (even though it was my most coveted part in the show), as my only truly comedic role to date is Brooke in Noises Off, which is supposed to be over-the-top silly. I was afraid of doing Georgeanne a disservice by trying too hard either to be funny, or not to be funny, but in the car on the way home I realized that out of all the characters in this play, I am the most like Georgeanne, and her experiences are experiences I can actually identify with personally, unlike the other characters. So I'm feeling a lot better about that. I can't speak for the others, but I at least am going to have a LOT of fun getting inside this woman's head. I'm so excited!

Next week's agenda for the blog: begin cast interviews!!! Check back and see who I decide to put on the spot :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The cast list is out!

Sorry to all who were hoping for an update earlier in the week ... I didn't have anything exciting to report earlier. Callbacks for "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" were Wednesday night, so if I'd tried to do my Tuesday update, it would have just said "Callbacks are tomorrow, and that is all."

We had a really, really strong turnout for auditions and callbacks (I think everybody in that callback walked out thinking "Wow, I rocked out my callback, but so did everyone else, so that's gotta be a tough call for the director to make!!"). But, after what I assume was much deliberation and banging her head against the wall, director Susan Devine has announced the cast as follows, in order of appearance:

Frances: Betsy Eames
Meredith: Lauren Feliz
Trisha: Melissa McConnell
Georgeanne: Erin Anderson King
Mindy: Laura Scott
Tripp: Felipe Cabezas

Congrats to the cast -- it's gonna be an exciting ride!!!

Rehearsal updates and cast interviews will be posted over the next few weeks, as usual. I'm hoping to have some ugly bridesmaid dress costumes to post soon -- at least a couple of the cast and crew members have discussed taking a trip to David's Bridal to take pictures of each other in ridiculous dresses to post up here ... if that happens, you'll be the first to know :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Auditions are TONIGHT and TOMORROW!

In the Waddell Conference Room (114) from 7:30 - 9:30 pm.

Actors will be brought into the audition space 2-3 at a time to read sides from the script.

Synopsis: During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below.

Characters:
Frances, the painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist cousin of the bride
Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom
Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behavior
Meredith, the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret
Trisha, a jaded beauty whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question
Tripp, a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye

Characters' age ranges are early 20s through mid 30s.

You do NOT have to be a NOVA student to audition.

Actors will be asked to read both with and without a Southern accent. If you can't do a Southern accent, don't let that stop you -- director Susan Devine told me that she's more concerned with actors being able to pull off the timing and comedy, and that she'll work with them on the accent if need be.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reminder: Auditions!!!

Just a reminder to any and all that auditions for Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, directed by Susan Devine, are next Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Come prepared to read sides from the script (no need to memorize a monologue -- hallelujah!) and if you can do a Southern accent, be ready to bust it out.

This is one of the lamest updates ever ... not only is it super short, it's also the same information I've put in the last two updates. So, to make it a little more interesting, I'll leave you all with some pictures of some truly awful bridesmaid dresses. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed finding them :)





(This one actually won an award for the ugliest dress at the "Once Was Enough" Ugly Bridesmaid Dress competition. I want to go to this thing.)











Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not much new to report ...

... since we're between shows. (I just typed "shoes" on accident, and almost left it, cuz I thought it was funny, but I figured it would really confuse people.)

We do, however, have the poster for the next show! At least, a draft of it. Once the show is cast, all the "Does" will be removed and real names put in.


Again, audition info:

Auditions are December 2-3 at 7:30 pm. Callbacks, if necessary, will be December 10 at 7:30 pm. Actors will read sides from the script; no monologues need to be prepared. See the post below for more information about the individual characters.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Further clarification on 5 Women Audition

I spoke to Susan Devine, the director of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, and this is what she said regarding the ages and the accents:

I don't care about the ages. Meredith should play a little young - that's all. I will work up character descriptions and sides for auditons over the next few days. And - I will ask actors to read without and accent and then with one. I just need to know that they can acquire a little southern accent. But, it's far more important that they can carry off the comedy and character.

So there we go. Meredith and Frances are early-to-mid 20s ish, Trisha, Tripp, and Georgeanne are early 30s ish, Minday is late 40s ish, but those are all flexible.

If you can't do a Southern accent now, start working on it, but it's not a deal breaker :)

EDIT: Reminder that there IS a male character in the show; his name is Tripp. He appears towards the end, and has a good one-on-one scene (and kiss) with Trisha.

Elephant Man and 5 Women

I know, I know. I promised an update yesterday. But since I haven't been around to know what's been going on, I had to do some digging to get information for you, and it took a little longer than I'd thought.

Thus far, The Elephant Man has been getting great reviews from the audiences; the cast has been getting standing ovations every night, and director Natalie Safley's Master's program mentor came to see the show, which was Natalie's thesis project, and loved it. So Natalie is now a Master of Directing! Go Natalie!

Also, the CCT/2FT website now has an RSS feed. I had to get Michael Schaaff to explain to me what that means, but essentially, it means that you can get automatic updates whenever something new is added to the website. I'm still fuzzy on the details of how that works, but when I figure it out, I'll let y'all know -- it's a good way to keep abreast of audition notices, show dates, etc.

Finally, CCT/2FT will soon be holding auditions for its winter show, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. Auditions will be held in the Waddell Conference Room (114) on December 2nd, 2008 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm and December 3rd, 2008 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm. Callbacks (if needed) will be held in the theater on December 10th, 2008 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm. Actors will be brought into the audition space 2-3 at a time to read sides from the script.

Synopsis:
During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist (early-to-mid 20s); Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom (mid-to-late 30s); Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behavior (early 30s); Meredith, the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret(early-to-mid 20s); and Trisha, a jaded beauty (early 30s) whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question when she meets Tripp, a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye (early 30s). As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny.

EDIT: Yes, Tripp is a character who appears onstage. Meaning there is a male part in the show. Meaning we will need guys at auditions :)

The age ranges I just gave are approximate, and my own opinion based on what I've read of the script. If you are younger than mid-20s but look older, or older than mid-30s but look younger, come on out! I'll check with the director about how hard she's sticking to these ages and post back soon.

You do not have to be a NOVA student to audition.

We've also had questions about whether actors should come prepared with a Southern accent; I'll check with the director on this and report back. My guess would be that it can't hurt to start practicing your Scarlett O'Hara voice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm back!

Hello loyal readers! I am back, married, and honeymooned, and I logged in to read Theresa's updates over the past couple of weeks and lo and behold, she appears to have forgotten all about you! Bad producer!!! *shakes finger*

Now, of course, it's the end of the workday, so I don't have time for Update Tuesday (sorry guys, still picking up the pieces from my vacation here at work, but the good news is that I think I'm mostly done for the moment). But I promise you that I will update tomorrow. I don't really know what the update will be about, since I've been out of the country and thus have no idea what's been going on Stateside, but I'll figure something out. Wait with bated breath, y'all. With bated breath.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More cast/crew interviews!

Hi all! This will (probably) be my last post for a few weeks. As you've probably all realized, I haven't been doing so well at updating on Tuesdays, because I've been slammed at work trying to get things done early in preparation for my upcoming nuptials. So while I'm honeymooning, Theresa Bender is going to be doing our updates, and I'm going to see if she'll take over next week too (it'll be my last day at work and I know I'll be crazy busy, in addition to not really being functional on a human level since it'll be 4 days from the wedding).

I promise Theresa will take good care of you guys and give you lovely posts :)

Since last week I told Hans that, seeing as he's the lead and all, I would post his interview this week, let's begin with him :) I'm also going to make this a long post, putting in ALL the interviews I've received thus far, as my farewell-for-now gift to you all :)

Name: Hans Dettmar
Role: John Merrick

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? I am always trying to find time to catch up on my drawing and oil painting projects, though I inevitably get into another show and run out of time. Besides that I love swimming and cycling. I am also an avid gamer: PC, console, and board games especially.

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you (this must be something you haven't said yet, and should be something interesting -- 'I like cats' isn't very exciting, but 'I have been to every country in Europe' or 'Mariah Carey is my cousin' is)? Attended 13 schools, moved 14 times, studied piano with 10 different teachers, studied 5 languages, speak 2 fluently (English+German) (Erin says: Damn.)

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If you don't act, still the same question. My 2 must-do musical theatre roles are Sweeney in Sweeney Todd and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. (Erin says: Everyone wants to do Sweeney. It's always on CCT/2FT's table, and the day we actualyl decide to do it, we're going to have to beat the would-be Sweeneys away with a club.)

What was your favorite fairy tale or toy as a child? LEGO -- have been collecting since age 5! So it was my favorite toy then AND now.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? We have Max, our Cairn Terrier and 2 cats: Mosby and Miranda. Presents? What kind of owner do you think I am? Of COURSE they get presents :-)

Name: Robin Zerbe (the only one who sent in a headshot this week!)
Role: Miss Sandwich

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? I'd have to go with fencing, reading, hanging out with friends, watching movies, writing, traveling (when I have the time and money), knitting, and listening to music.

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you (this must be something you haven't said yet, and should be something interesting -- 'I like cats' isn't very exciting, but 'I have been to every country in Europe' or 'Mariah Carey is my cousin' is)? I lived in Germany for 18 years. Oh, and I like cats. (Erin says: Har har ;) )

If you act, what is your favorite role to date? If you're a techie, what is your favorite show on which you've worked to date and why? If you're a director, which show has been your favorite to direct and why? If you're all three, feel free to answer one, two, or all of those. :) Regarding acting, I really had fun playing Harriet/Kate in An Experiment with an Air Pump. It was not only a great cast and crew, but it was a challenge to have to differentiate the 2 characters, LOTS of lines, and I got my first experience with stage combat (nothing like a good period catfight). As a techie, I'd have to choose being a set dresser on Crazy Eights (horror movie, check it out at imdb). It was a great learning experience and neat to see how they make stuff look the way it does on film. Plus, there's really nothing creepier than working at an abandoned mental institute piled full of random stuff at 3 am. I'll get my first taste at directing next summer when I get to direct a children's play I'm currently writing for the Elden Street Players, Fairytales in Training. I've had lots of fun acting for kids, and am looking forward to this next step.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? I have 2 tailless rescue kitties, Stubbs and Spazz (who some of you had the chance to "meet" at a rehearsal) (Erin says: Best names EVER.). They are spoiled rotten by my mom, leading to their own toy basket and toys all over the place, and are regularly treated to extensive belly rubs. They even have health insurance (ok, stop laughing). (Erin says: Hey, no, pet health insurance is a good thing -- Kevin's dog has diabetes, and if he'd anticipated that, he'd have gotten the insurance and his vet bills would be way lower.)

If you could live WITH any character from a play/book/movie for a day, which character would it be? Why? I'd love to prance around Middle Earth with the elves. Why? Because I can (and yes, I'm a geek, now you all know).

Name: Christy Jacobs
Role: Stage Manager

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? I like to draw, write poetry, dance, drink beer, watch movies, and just be chill.

What was your favorite fairy tale or toy as a child? I had (and still do have) a little cabbage patch doll. She was with me through all of it. I adore her.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? I have a cat named Moseby and another named Bunnie. I buy them catnip because they are stoner kitties. Other than that they get food, litter and all my lovins.

Do you have any little thing(s) you do "for luck" before a performance? I give hugs to all who are willing to get hugs. The contact helps keep me cool. I also say a little prayer.

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? My sweats, some shorts, and a beater with a comfy hoody just in case

What's your favorite comfort food? Mac and cheese

Name: David Saunders
Role: Will, Porter at the London Hospital

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If I were to really get into acting and develop the necessary skills to take on a major role, I would love to play the King from The King and I, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, or the Cowardly Lion from The Wiz. I am intrigued with how each of these characters (all the same really) comes across as a major asshole (Erin says: Can we say "asshole" on the air? We can? Awesome.) at first but turns out to be a pretty nice guy deep down inside, once a woman gets hold of his heart. Alas, where would we assholes be without the leading ladies in our lives?!

What was your favorite fairy tale or toy as a child? Fairy tale: In the words of Sarah Palin, "All of them!" Toy: I had a LOT of fun with "Mr. Bubble" in my youth (Friday night, the mood was right!) but if that doesn't qualify as a toy, I will go with my beloved hand puppet, Grover from Sesame Street. If every kid had a puppet, the world would be a much better place.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? No pets these days, but I had a ton of hamsters growing up, and they all lived pretty high off the hog in the "Habitrail" palace. If I were to get into pets again, I would definitely go for something on the endangered species list. Are polar bears tameable?

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? I think a pair of M.C. Hammer pants would be fun to wear for a month, and I would seriously wear them the whole 30 days, assuming I didn't have to leave the house during daylight. (Erin: Well, now, that just takes all the fun out of it for the rest of us.)

What's the strangest gift you've ever received? My dad gave me plenty of geeky gifts from Radio Shack over the years, but the all-time greatest was the metal detector for my 11th birthday. I really stood out in the hood, hunting for gold doubloons or whatever I thought was hidden under the streets of D.C. with that gizmo! Fortunately, it broke just in time for puberty.

Name: Natalie Holmes
Role: Princess Alexandra

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? My hobbies include the outdoors (hiking, running “garden assistant”) (Erin says: What exactly is a "garden assistant"? What do you assist the garden in doing?), music, trying out new recipes, Scrabble, trivia, and school. A self-professed geek (and proud of it!!!), I actually enjoy learning for learning’s sake.

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If you don't act, still the same question. Who doesn’t act? We all play roles in this stage of a world, now don’t we? I guess if I had to choose … Margo Channing. (IMHO, Bette Davis was robbed of the Oscar). She was uncompromising in who she was … tough yet vulnerable.

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? My most flattering jeans and my suede boots and a tee shirt … or maybe my black wrap dress … or maybe the turquoise empire waist scoop neck dress … or maybe … darn, do I have to decide NOW?

What's your favorite comfort food? It frankly depends upon my mood and could be from any part of the food chain and could vary depending on the kind of comforting I need.

If you were to change your name, what would it be? Since my name fits me l would not change it (though it made for some confusion during rehearsals as the director and I share the same first name; I had to stop myself from responding every time someone said “Natalie”) … but … when I am being prickly and snarky, I get called “Natasha”.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Cast & Crew Interviews!!!

Again, with the late post. Sorry guys. They've been kicking my butt at work; I've got like 10 documents to finish before I take 2 1/2 weeks off this month, so I'm working furiously (okay, well, more furiously than usual).

BUT, we have new interviews! I actually have about 4, and since last week's post was so long, I'm going to go ahead and only post 3 now, in the order in which I received them. Sorry Hans; I know you're the lead and everything, but Theresa, Natalie, and Alyssa got theirs to sooner. We'll learn about you next week, along with Robin :)

No headshots of these lovely ladies, sorry guys. You'll just have to come see the show if you want to know what they look like!!!

Name: Theresa Bender (Erin says: Theresa answered all the questions and told me to choose five ... which apparently was what I was supposed to do for Jay last week, but I didn't get -- or didn't read, that's entirely possible -- the memo. Oops.)
Role: Producer

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? Belly dance, ice hockey fan, art gallery docent, beer wench at Herndon's Friday Night Live during the summertime, avid reader, cooking. And I just took my first pole dancing class!

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? I have a wonderful, 10-year-old, blond Lab named Max. Yeah I know -- not a very original name. I sure do buy presents for him - and treats. He loves Greenies. Those things are addictive. Doggie-crack!

If you could live one day as a character in any play, which character would it be? The Marquis in Quills or Iago in Othello. What fascinating minds to visit ... for a DAY.

Do you have any little thing(s) you do "for luck" before a performance? It's an OCD thing, not for luck, but I check every prop and every costume piece I will use. I also skim over my lines in my head before the show. Unlike the NHLers during Stanley Cup season, I don't grow a beard. I also find a quiet place and just get away from the dressing room chatter for a few minutes.

If you were to change your name, what would it be? Something more exotic! How about ... Zahira? Or Delilah?


Name: Natalie V. Safley (Erin says: I'm not sure if I'm supposed to pick five for Natalie, so I'll let you all get to know a lot about her :) )
Role: Director

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? What is there besides theater? Hiking, Wine Tasting and Reading

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you (this must be something you haven't said yet, and should be something interesting -- 'I like cats' isn't very exciting, but 'I have been to every country in Europe' or 'Mariah Carey is my cousin' is)? I am a New Kids on the Block fan, and will attend two concerts in the next two months.

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If you don't act, still the same question. Linda Loman, Death of a Salesman

If you act, what is your favorite role to date? If you're a techie, what is your favorite show on which you've worked to date and why? If you're a director, which show has been your favorite to direct and why? If you're all three, feel free to answer one, two, or all of those. :) As a director, I find different aspects of each production that are my favorite. I couldn’t ever pick just one; I like the collaborative process of rehearsal. I like to work with actors who are open to working with others, and make it about the whole production and not just their part in it.

What was your favorite fairy tale or toy as a child? My favorite toy as a child was my blanket: Comfy. I took him everywhere; yes, a blanket can be a "he."

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? Bubba is a buff tabby cat. We rarely buy him presents, but we often play attack cat.

If you could live one day as a character in any play, which character would it be? Snow White because everything is happy, cheery, and full of song. (Erin says: Till the wicked queen tries to kill you! That's not so happy.)

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? A Black Dress

What's your favorite comfort food? Red Wine

If you were to change your name, what would it be? Natasha

What's the strangest gift you've ever received? An ex-boyfriend’s mother once gave me slippers for Christmas … that were not my size and had been worn. (Erin says: Ew.)


Name: Alyssa Jacobsen
Role: Mrs. Kendal

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you (this must be something you haven't said yet, and should be something interesting -- 'I like cats' isn't very exciting, but 'I have been to every country in Europe' or 'Mariah Carey is my cousin' is)? Something that one probably wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at me is that I'm half Swedish. I certainly don't look Swedish (dark hair, dark eyes) so people tend to be surprised when they find out.

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If you don't act, still the same question. A role for theatre that I would really, really love to play would either be Elphaba or Glinda from Wicked. I'd be equally happy with either ;). For film I would have killed to play the role of Lisa from Girl Interrupted -- or any Angelina Jolie role for that matter.

If you act, what is your favorite role to date? If you're a techie, what is your favorite show on which you've worked to date and why? If you're a director, which show has been your favorite to direct and why? If you're all three, feel free to answer one, two, or all of those. :) My favorite role to date was the last show I was in where I was cast as Catherine in The Foreigner. It was such a fun show and the entire cast and crew were awesome. I usually seem to go for dramatic roles, so I was really pleasantly surprised when I got cast in the show to play Catherine and was thrilled to have the opportunity to convey a comedic character.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them? I have lots of pets! A dog, six cats, 2 ferrets, 2 guinea pigs, 5 birds -- oh my! You don't even want to know how much work that is ... (Erin says: You're right ... I don't! You poor thing -- well, not really, cuz I know you love them all, but that's like when someone says they have 15 children, I just gape at them like "Why???")

What's your favorite comfort food? My favorite comfort food is anything sweet. You can never go wrong with chocolate. And I looove eating chips -- they're great for ALL occasions :).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm not so good at the updating, am I?

Before I begin, I'd like to say that some people have really odd names for their blogs. When I went to log in just now, blogger had a ticker of recently updated blogs, and some were just weird. One was actually really inappropriate, involving the vernacular for a part of the female anatomy. I think blogger needs to be a little more discriminating when mentioning their recently updated blogs on their homepage.

That said, I'm back! Only two days late! Kevin and I closed on our new house (!!!) on Tuesday, so I was not near a computer to do an update, and when I got to work yesterday I had 67 gmail messages and about 12 work emails to sort through, in addition to everyone stopping in to ask how the house is. And, you know, work. I actually had a lot to do yesterday, work-wise, so I didn't get a chance to update.

BUT, I have a chance now, so here you go! Our fabulously fantastic producer, Theresa Bender, has been working on getting me cast and crew interviews. So far we only have 2, and I am going to post them both here today, so this'll be an ultra-long post as a mea culpa for my being late with the update.

The original instructions were "pick 5 of these questions to answer", but apparently Michael and Jay can't read, because they both answered all of them ;)

Name: Michael Schaaff (I'm BACK! Erin says: For those of you just tuning in, Michael was Alan in bare.)
Role: Props Master

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? Movies, long walks on the beach, causing shenanigans, pretty sure this answer is the same one I put for bare ... (Erin says: Yep, so am I. Way to be original, Mike.)

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you (this must be something you haven't said yet, and should be something interesting -- 'I like cats' isn't very exciting, but 'I have been to every country in Europe' or 'Mariah Carey is my cousin' is)? I'm manipulative to the point where I can get anything. How do you think I got into the blog ... again. (Erin says: Well, now I'm on to you. I thought I was putting you in because you're AWESOME, but it turns out, I'm just being manipulated. Apparently you're not as awesome as I thought.)

If you act, what role would you really, really love to play? If you don't act, still the same question. I'd love to be Peter in bare ... (still have songs stuck in my head from that show). Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q. Corny Collins in Hairspray. (Erin says: I can totally see that. That's it, next year we're doing Hairspray.)

If you act, what is your favorite role to date? If you're a techie, what is your favorite show on which you've worked to date and why? If you're a director, which show has been your favorite to direct and why? If you're all three, feel free to answer one, two, or all of those. :) Acting: Ken de la Maize in The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s. Tech: Stage Managing Black Comedy. Directing: My life.

What was your favorite fairy tale or toy as a child? Toy: LEGOS!

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Do you buy presents for him/her/them?
I have 2 dogs (that live at my parents' house): a collie/lab, and a lab/golden retriever. They're super awesome and I spoil them whenever " go visit them ... and my parents.

If you could live one day as a character in any play, which character would it be? Princeton. How fun would it be to be a puppet for a day? Minus the having someone's hand shoved up your a$$ all day. (Erin says: Inappropriate! But true, so I'll let it slide.)

If you could live WITH any character from a play/book/movie for a day, which character would it be? Why? Um ... Richie Rich. Cause he's ... rich ... duh.

Do you have any little thing(s) you do "for luck" before a performance? Nope; I do, however, have a routine that I do: I check everything I touch onstage. Walk the set once, and then tense my whole body, hold it for about 3 seconds, and then release. Then I'm ready to do a show.

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? If it was socially acceptable to wear capes, I would wear my Superman costume. Everything is more dramatic with a cape.

What's your favorite comfort food? Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

If you were to change your name, what would it be to? ... Odd question, but I'd say Armando Vega, cause it just sounds cool.

What's the strangest gift you've ever received? My brother gave me a life-sized Silver Surfer (the one from the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer movie display) ... it is currently sitting on my balcony overlooking my apartment complex. He will be dressed up for Halloween! (Erin says: This thing scared me half to death the first time I visited Mike. I went out to the balcony to wave down Asher, and when I turned around, there was the Silver Surfer, staring me coldly in the face. Creepy.)

Name: Jay Tilley
Role: Ross

What are your hobbies outside of theatre? Theatre definitely takes up most of my free time, but I would say walking, fishing, writing, tennis, rooting for and following my favorite sports teams (Go Cowboys, Braves and Gamecocks!) (Erin says: Another Cowboys fan! Woo-hoo!), comics (Batman and Superman are my favorites), caring for exotic pets, and studying the paranormal. I actually think it would be cool to be a paranormal investigator one day!

What's something we wouldn't be able to guess just by looking at you? Since I'm still a very large man, probably that I've lost nearly 75 pounds since the beginning of this year. But I have indeed lost that much and hope to be down 100 pounds by the end of the year. And my goal is to eventually lose 188 pounds. (Erin says: Awesome, congrats! That's not easy to do!)

What role would you really, really love to play? Without a doubt, the Phantom and Sweeney Todd in musical theatre. In Shakespeare, the Scottish King. In contemporary drama, Stanley Kowolski. There are many others, but those are my major dream roles.

What is your favorite role to date? I have been blessed to play many great roles thus far, but I would have to say Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days. That role and the production I was in at Vpstart Crow will always hold a special place in my heart.

What was your toy as a child? I was big into Star Wars, Transformers and GI Joe. Out of all those toys, I would have to say my Darth Vader tie fighter! What can I say? It was too cool! ;-)

Do you have any pets? My wife and I have two dogs (a red-ticked beagle and wolf/husky mix), an aquatic frog, a betta fish and a bearded dragon. They're like our kids and we spoil them rotten! ;-)

If you could live one day as a character in any play, which character would it be? I played God once, so I would say the Almighty. I would definitely make some changes and pay some old adversaries a visit! :-P

If you could live WITH any character from a play/book/movie for a day, which character would it be? Why? Bruce Wayne/Batman. He intrigues me more than any other character I've ever encountered in any form of literature. I've just always been fascinated by his duality, darkness and his insatiable desire to keep others from suffering the same loss he suffered as a child when his parents were murdered. Plus I think it would be cool to take a ride in the Tumbler or on the Batpod! ;-) (Erin says: I find it interesting that so far both of our respondees [is that even a word?] have chosen movie characters. Well, I guess Batman could be a [comic] book character. I may have just disproved [disproven? What is wrong with my English skills today?!] my own point.)

Do you have any little thing(s) you do "for luck" before a performance? Honestly? Not really. I have a process I go through, including when to put on my costume and makeup, check props and warm up, and I always take 10-15 minutes by myself just before curtain to just get focused and get into character. But I am superstitious, so I don't, for example, say the Scottish King's name in a theatre around me unless we are actually performing in the play! ;-)

If you could wear only one outfit for a whole month, what would it be? Ha! Probably shorts and a T-shirt!

What's your favorite comfort food? Seafood is my favorite food but my favorite comfort food is probably pizza and hot wings!

If you were to change your name, what would it be? Maximilian King, which was once upon a time going to be my stage name. King is a family name, and I've loved the name Maximilian ever since I saw Disney's The Black Hole as a kid. It featured an evil red robot named Maximilian, who was actually named after the actor who played Dr. Hans Reinhardt (the evil scientist who created the robot) - the great Maximilian Schell.

What's the strangest gift you've ever received? When I was a kid, my paternal grandmother gave me a horn, the kind you squeeze, for my birthday. Not sure what was up with that since I was almost in junior high at the time! :-P

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm a bad blogger!

I forgot Update Tuesday yesterday! My apologies to all my die-hard fans!

Part of why I forgot is that I don't have a WHOLE lot to report. Theresa Bender, producer of "The Elephant Man", tells me that the cast is mostly doing table work right now (for you non-actors, this is when the cast and director sit around with the script at the beginning of the process and hammer out character stuff, plot points, all the nitty-gritty that makes the show what it is and helps them really embrace the characters and story), so there's not many rehearsal shenanigans to talk about at the moment. But I'm sure I'll get some soon.

Actually, Mike Schaaff, whom you'll remember as Alan in "bare", is our Props Master for "The Elephant Man", and he informed me that sometime before next update he will be taking a team of people to the home of a man who is letting us borrow a cast-iron tub. The reason this is interesting is that said cast-iron tub is evidently in the gentleman's attic. So there should be some fun stories/photos of the tub-acquiring adventure.

Theresa is also working on getting interview with the cast like we did for "bare", so you should have some of that coming your way soon.

In other, not-entirely-CCT/2FT-related news, the Little Theatre of Alexandria is holding auditions at the beginning of October for "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues", directed by Susan Devine. I say this is not entirely CCT/2FT related (as opposed to not at all related) because Susan is the director for our winter show, "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress." She's also a friend of mine, so I figure I'll give her show a little plug here :) Go here for more information on the show. LTA is having auditions for another show as well, "Scrooge: The Musical" directed by Lisa Anne Bailey (whom I had the pleasure of hanging out with at Bonefish in Chantilly a few months back following a production of "A New Brain" at Kensington, and she's hilarious and very sweet).

I think that's all for now ... that's not a bad update, in my humble and not at all biased opinion, considering I came in with nothing major to report!

Oh, and p.s. ... this has nothing whatever to do with theatre, but I am currently drinking coffee that is making my mouth and throat go numb. Not that weird numb you get when you burn your tongue on hot coffee and it's numb but hurts at the same time -- no, this is numb like someone spiked it with lidocaine. I think I'm done with this coffee.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Beginnings and Sad Endings

With every ending comes a new beginning, and that's exactly what's going on in the life of CCT/2FT right now.

With the (very sad -- half the cast was in tears during the closing number on Saturday night) of "bare" comes the beginning of our next production, Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man". Before we get into the details of the new show, however, let's do a quick wrap-up of the old one.

"I'd like to start with just a ...
If we could take a moment ...
[...]
I tried to find the words to ...
Just the right quotation ...
But I must confess I came up empty."

For those of you who saw "bare", you may recognize those words. For those of you who didn't see "bare", shame on you -- your punishment is that you have to Google the words yourself to get the reference! But in all seriousness, I think with the end of this show, most of its participants feel as though a little piece of them is missing -- not just that they now have evenings free to watch Monday Night Football and eat dinner with their families, but more than that. This was one of the closest-knit casts I've ever worked with -- this cast was truly a family, and I think there will be a bit of separation anxiety over the course of the next few weeks as we all readjust to life without rehearsal (and each other) every night. To me, that right there says more about the success of this show than any review or any box office numbers (not to say that the reviews and numbers weren't good or aren't important; I'm just a sentimentalist). To the "bare" team: I for one feel priviledged to have worked with each and every one of you. This cast had more talent and dedication than possibly any other cast I've worked with, and you all turned out a great product. Be proud of yourselves, and stay in touch!

And now, for our next trick, we present to you "The Elephant Man", directed by Natalie V. Safley. Some of you may have seen the movie with Anthony Hopkins, or may be familiar with the story of John Merrick from your history books or your own research/interest in the subject. For those of you who aren't: a brief synopsis ...

"The Elephant Man" is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, who has been a freak attraction in traveling side shows, is found abandoned and helpless and is admitted for observation to Whitechapel, a prestigious London Hospital. Under the care of a famous young doctor who educates him and introduces him to London society, Merrick changes from a sensational object of pity to the urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati. But his belief that he can become a man like any other is a dream never to be realized.

I'm pretty excited about this play. Safley is taking some interesting directions with it, and the cast list is full of names I recognize from having been in the community theatre world for a while, and you probably will too:

Cast List (in order of appearance)
Ringmaster/Announcer: Asher MillerFrederick
Treves: Stephen Smith
Carr Gomm: Tim Griffin
Ross: Jay Tilley
John Merrick: Hans Dettmar
Pinhead Manager: Eric Garner
Pinheads: Laura Moody, Kara Succolosky, Kyla Waitt
Belgian Policeman: Wayne Jacques
Conductor: David Saunders
Miss Sandwich: Robin Zerbe
Will, porter at the London Hospital: David Saunders
Bishop Walsham How: Phillip Archey
Snork, porter at the London Hospital: Wayne Jacques
Mrs. Kendal: Alyssa Jacobsen
Duchess: Kara Succolosky
Countess: Kyla Waitt
Lord John: Eric Garner
Princess Alexandra: Natalie Holmes

I don't know about you, but I'm curious as to why "Miss Sandwich" didn't make it into the final round of "Clue" suspects. Probably that won't be covered in the script, but maybe there's some back story there for Ms. Zerbe to delve into during character analysis time.

To wrap up: Congrats to the wonderful cast of "bare" for a great show; congrats to the cast of "The Elephant Man" for being cast in our next fabulous production; and keep checking in over the next few weeks for new cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at "The Elephant Man". You'll have a guest writer, too, in the form of "The Elephant Man" producer Theresa Bender -- I know, it will be very sad to not have my charming wit for a few weeks, but she'll take good care of you, I promise.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Coming Up on the Last Weekend

I'm afraid I don't have much to report from a personal point of view this week; I'm a bad board member/costumer/theatre blogger and was not present at the theatre this weekend for the second week's run of "bare". Don't blame me though -- blame my friends who put me in their wedding on Sunday (it was a beautiful wedding, for the record -- one of the best I've been to, and I've been to a LOT of weddings).

Seriously, though, I don't have any personal stories to tell this week, but from what I hear, the show went very well, we had great crowds every night, and the cast had a blast at the cast party on Sunday night after the show. A well-deserved blast, at that -- these guys have worked their butts off, and they deserve the chance to let loose a little bit.

We're gearing up for our final weekend -- this week, the schedule shifts a bit. Instead of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening performances, we are doing Thursday, Friday, and Satruday evening shows. The college tells us that since classes are now in session, parking may be problematic on Thursday night, so arrive early to give yourselves time to find a spot.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our First Review!

Our first review is out!

Another congrats to the cast and crew!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opening Weekend = A Huge Success!

Mad props and congratulations go out to every single member of the cast and crew for a FABULOUS opening weekend!!!!

I'm not going to lie, we had some rough rehearsals last week. But man, did you guys pull it all together for a great, great show.

I think the highlight of the weekend was during Sunday's performance (by the way, to anyone who saw the show Sunday evening, the whole cast mentioned what a great audience you were -- not that Friday and Saturday's audiences weren't great, but Sunday's crowd was incredibly responsive for it's size). During "911 Emergency!", one of the running crew came back into the dressing room, where I was patiently waiting to help Rikki Howie (Sister Chantelle) with her quick change, and said, "Where's Rikki's wig?"

Well, the last time I'd seen Rikki's wig, it had been on her head, and since she was onstage, I assumed it still was. So I went to the wings and peeked out onstage, and sure enough, Rikki's out there singing her heart out with a bare head.

There was a mad scramble as everyone backstage tried to locate the missing wig. Michael Shaaff (Alan) finally found it -- onstage, in the archway. Turns out, when Rikki went onstage, the beehive of her wig knocked against the set and it fell off -- but since she only had one hand free, she couldn't put it back on, so she just left it and continued with the scene.

No big deal -- it's live theatre, these things happen. I retreat to the hallway to wait for Rikki's quick change, and as the scene ends, I hear Rikki tell Carla Okouchi (Rory) and Janelle Delaney (Tanya) to "Come on, girls -- and grab my wig!"

Well, the audience thought it was hilarious, so no harm, no foul.

Once again, major congrats and a huge round of applause to everyone who's worked so hard on this show. If you haven't seen it yet, come see it. It's good. I promise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Depths of Alan

Michael Schaaff, who plays Alan in "bare", sent this to me yesterday, so I am giving you all a Thursday Update :)

Originally this was going to be a journal of sorts of Alan's thoughts throughout the show. It turned into more of an essay, but Mike says it really helped him with the character even this late in the game. I think every actor should do this for their characters about halfway through the rehearsal process -- it's amazing what you discover about the character, the show, and yourself.

When I was cast for this show, I was really excited about the concept. From what I had heard, it sounded great. Once I read the synopsis I was sold. I was playing the nerdy kid. Huh, I can play that cause that's what I was in high school. Long shot for me, I know. So we started up rehearsal. Initially I kinda just classified myself as ensemble and was content with just being moving scenery. As we were progressing along with rehearsals I started to wonder were Alan fit into this group who has known each other "since 7th grade". He had to be more than just moving scenery. Alan is considered the nerdy guy, counterpart to Diane. He's the standard smart, follow the rules, good student, which in high school is a nerd. He's the norm that the other guys are branched off of, making him seem plain. What makes this character special? One of the themes this show has is "hear my voice". It's about young people wanting acceptance and the way I see the Alan character, he wants to be accepted as more than just the nerd and maybe more than just a friend. Most "nerds", and anyone for that matter, can relate to the feeling of wanting to be with someone but going unnoticed. In Alan's case, it's Diane. She clearly likes Jason and Alan can't compete with that. So he remains content to be her friend, always hoping one day to be seen. When the Jason/Peter/Ivy stuff goes down, I feel that Alan is on the "intellectual" side of the responses to the situation. How would/should he respond? He's got scientific facts. There are all kinds of case studies and data showing that being gay is genetic with some influence from environment. It's the old nature vs. nurture question. Does he choose scientific fact over religion? An even more posing question is, does he choose religion over a friend? What's right? Does he go break free of the "rule-following obedient kid" mold? While he doesn't have the lines to express his feelings, as he is just an ensemble character, I feel that a friend to Alan is everything. As a nerd in high school you come to cherish your grades and your friends. High school is rough and you need support to make it through. I don't think Alan would be the kind of person to throw away a friendship. Social acceptance is vital to a "nerd". Have you ever really met a mean nerd? If you have they are very few and far between.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Show is Good, Come See It.

It's hard to believe we only have three days left until we open (sorry to all cast members who read that and had a heart attack).

Everyone is working really, really hard on this show. This cast is so dedicated, and the crew is working their tails off to put the cast in the best light possible. Metaphorical light, I mean. Literal light too, as well as props, costumes, hair, and all that, but really, I meant the crew is working hard to make the cast look as good as they are.

I would like to give a special shout-out to our assistant director, Keith Ryder, to thank him for the sinfully delicious margarita truffles last night. And, you know, for all his hard work, but seriously, those truffles were possibly the most incredible thing I have ever eaten -- and that's saying a lot, because I really like food.

In the coming weeks we will probably have journals from some of the characters, as written by the actors playing them. I'm hoping to do this; we'll see if the cast is too burned out from performing 3 nights a week to chronicle their adventures for me (can't really blame them if they are, especially given how hard they've been working up to this point, but since they're the ones who suggested these journals to me, I'm assuming they will write them).

I feel like this isn't really a very exciting post. I would like to share some pictures, but I don't have any (too bad, too, those are always good for making the post look longer!). At this point we've all been at the theatre until so late that I think everyone is on auto-pilot, including me, so it's hard to make my brain think of anything to say besides "the show is good, come see it."

So.

The show is good.

Come see it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On a more serious note ...

Up till now these posts have been full of jokes and witticisms, but I want to stop and take a moment to be a little more serious.

We open in (according to Leah's Facebook status) 10 days. Wow.

From what I've seen of rehearsals so far, this cast is amazing. So strong, so dedicated. I'm really proud to be a part of this show. You guys are awesome. Even in the face of health crises, exhaustion, and family emergencies, you're still giving it your all and rocking it out every night.

To the crew: You guys rock just as hard. The set looks amazing; Molly Hicks has done an incredible job turning Styrofoam into stone; Kevin King and Rick Wilson have constructed a truly awesome set with all sorts of moving pieces; Theresa Bender has thrown herself into props to the point of driving all the way from Herndon to Rockville at 9 AM to acquire free silk rose petals; Colleen Stock is hands-down the most cheerful and dedicated stage manager I've ever had the pleasure of working with ... the list goes on and on.

I haven't heard the band yet, but I know they're going to be fantastic as well; they always are.

And to ramp it back up a notch to my usual irreverence, the penis piñata is dead. I believe it went down something like this:

Scene: Onstage, during a rehearsal. Cast members are attacking each other with the penis piñata.

Voice from the house: Guys! Stop beating each other with the penis!

The cast member holding the penis piñata drops it on the floor. It cracks. The head now dangles lifelessly from the shaft.

We will be duct-taping it back together for rehearsals and making a new one for the shows, but still, this is a sad day. Let's all please take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of this beloved new cast member.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Piñata Party

So I promised you all a Thursday post if Asher sent me the pictures Michael told me he was going to send. Well, he didn't, but Brittany did, so Brittany is today's official Blog Superhero, and she gets extra superhero points for being as nerdy as me to the point of Googling the word "piñata" so that she could paste it into an email and have the proper accent on it. I thought I was the only one that anal retentive -- good to know I'm not!

Okay, so this post is about the piñata-making party a few of our cast members had earlier this week. During the show, there is a birthday party, and at this birthday party is a piñata shaped like a penis. Now, this is not an easy thing to acquire, nor is it cheap, so the cast decided to make their own penis piñata. Below, find pictures from this endeavor, courtesy of Brittany Washington (who says the piñata is apparently pretty heavy, so we're going to hope she doesn't take out and cast/audience members while she swings it around onstage!).


Early on in the process (pre-papier-mâché [see, I can Google for accents too!]). Michael concentrates very hard. I'm fairly certain he's trying to create the head, but I really don't know.


Now that the head is attached to the shaft, Brian begins to cover it in papier-mâché.
Yes, this is slightly out of order, but it would take a really long time to delete this picture and go back and left-justify it, because I'd also have to delete all the others and re-justify them, because my computer is being really slow. At any rate, this is Michael, peering at us through the penis. A little weird, that.

Asher blow-dries the papier-mâché once the penis is assembled.
These next few photos are actually from set building on Sunday, but I figured I would include them as well.
Our lovely set -- that's me on the left, laden down with bags of costuming paraphernalia, then Brittany, Michael, and Kevin's dad Mike.
Michael and Theresa being craaaaazzzzzyyyyy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

2 Weeks Out!!!

We are almost 2 weeks out from opening night, ladies and gentlemen. Who's ready?

It's a scary time for a theatre group, to be 2 weeks away from opening. Kevin King (our technical director) and I were talking last night, and he said "I feel like we're behind, but if you think about it, in the old theatre we wouldn't have even been in the space yet, so I guess we're actually ahead!"
It's true. When 2nd Flight was just 2nd Flight, and we performed at the Cramer Center in Manassas, we wouldn't even move into the space until 2 weeks before the show went up (which would be this coming weekend). We'd build stuff ahead of time, but we wouldn't be able to really put it together until we were in the space.

And I have to say, this set is going to kick butt. Right now it's not painted or anything, it's just the skeleton, but it's awesome. Mad props to Kevin and Rick Wilson (our other technical director) and all the others who helped work on it so far (Theresa Bender, Brittany Washington, Asher Miller, Michael Schaaff, Kevin's dad Mike, and I'm sure there are others but these are the people I have actually seen working on it).

On another tech-related note, if you ever need cheap fabic, go to Wal*Mart. Their dollar-a-yard racks have costumed more shows for me than I can count. Go in with an open mind regarding color and weight of the fabric, and you're bound to find something that will work really well. Don't go in planning to be picky; you'll never find exactly what you want. Looking for something specific in the dollar-a-yard rack is like looking for a vintage Versace evening gown at the Sterling Goodwill. Not gonna happen.

That's about all I've got for today, but I have it on good authority that I may have some fodder for a Thursday update coming my way. I won't make promises, since it's not within my control whether or not the photos I've been told of appear in my inbox, but if they do, there will be an exciting story about the making of a certain special prop.

In the meantime, here are a couple more rehearsal photos, courtesy of Traci J. Brooks.


I actually watched this in rehearsal, and in person, it was even funnier than this picture. Poor Tara and Dan were trying to sing lovingly to each other, paper in hand, while Dan grabs Tara's butt to keep her from falling. Without the paper, she'll be able to hold on better, so he won't have to grip so hard, so it won't look as funny. But in rehearsal, it made me laugh.


This is one of two classic Ryan onstage poses. The other pose looks like Superman posing on top of a building with his cape billowing in the wind (though usually there's no billowing cape, for Ryan). When I go to see Ryan onstage, I always look for these poses -- I don't think it's on purpose that he does them, it's just that the roles I've seen him in lend themselves well to these "I'm singing very passionately out ot the audience" types of poses. I'm not making fun of you, Ryan. You know I love you.


A rare tender moment between Ivy and Nadia. I'm not entirely sure if this is actually Ivy and Nadia, or Juliet and the Nurse, but regardless, it's one of the few times Brittany's character isn't calling Tara's character a ho-face.

And finally, we have a not-so-tender moment between Ivy and Jason. Ivy looks like she's about to stab him in the face, then laugh about it. I'm not 100% sure what's actually going on here, but I can tell you that Ivy does not actually stab Jason in the face. Unless Debbie took some interesting directorial liberties that I'm not aware of. Which I don't think she did.
That's all for this particular update Tuesday! Come back on thursday and see if Asher sent me what he was supposed to (and if he didn't, you'll know it's his fault you don't have a story, not mine!).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Update Tuesday strikes again!!!

I promised two updates, so two updates ye shall have.
In this update, pictures from rehearsal!!!
Director Debbie Niezgoda offers direction (cuz that's what directors do, ideally) to actor Dan Plehal (Jason). I think he looks like he's not paying any attention, but I'm sure he's actually committing her every word to memory; right, Dan?
Photo credit: Traci J. Brooks


Ryan Khatcheressian (Peter) and Dan look very studious. Dan must be taking better notes, though, cuz his hand is moving faster. Step it up, Ryan!

Photo credit: Traci J. Brooks







Assistant Director B. Keith Ryder and Stage Manager Colleen Stock (greatest stage manager ever, from what I can tell) take notes. Lots of note taking going on at rehearsals. Kinda makes you wonder if they ever actually sing or dance or act, doesn't it?
Photo credit: Traci J. Brooks



Yes, they DO rehearse! Here, Ryan practices being a hummingbird while the rest of the cast practices choreography for "Rolling".

Photo credit: Brittany Washington

Meet the Cast: The Last Installment

Welcome back! We have some exciting news here in the CCT/2FT blogosphere (that's right, we have our very own blogosphere!). This blog has been recognized by showbizradio.net for being awesome! Well, okay, the blog itself wasn't, really, but the fact that we have one was. Check out the writeup here. This is pretty exciting for me; I've been doing theatre in this area a long time and this is the closest I've come to having showbizradio actually mention me for one of my theatrical contributions. Unless you count "Noises Off" back in 2006, when Dave kicked the railing onto my head and the review mentioned the great breakaway set, but it's too bad that actress was standing in the wrong place (in their defense, they didn't know, but for the record I'd like to state that I was 100% in the right place -- the railing was in the wrong place [i.e., on my head instead of on the second story]). But yeah, exciting!!!

Okay, this week we have our final installment of Meet the Cast interviews, and I think, because I'm feeling particularly update-y today (and I kind of want to make Michael's head explode with the sheer power of Update Tuesday), I just might post ANOTHER entry after this one. You'll have to wait and see!!!

Name: Cory Okouchi
Role: Lucas

What are some of your favorite past roles? Scrooge, Sagot, Lucentio (short shorts picture Shannon found -- Erin says: I tried to find this picture to post but alas, I could not. If I can track it down in the future I will post it. It's pretty hilarious.)

If you could play any role you haven't yet played, what would it be? Sweeney, Hamlet

What do you do when you're not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? Boring engineering work and making feature films! I'm kinda eclectic.

Anything else we should know about you? Nope.

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you (can't be something you've said already; make it good – "I'm allergic to cats" is lame, but "I once worked as a dancer in a vampire theme bar" is awesome!)? I'm from Idaho but I've never grown a potato. All my plants die.

Name: Asher J. Miller
Role: Zack - The Jock

What are some of your favorite past roles? Heck Tate, the Sheriff in To Kill A Mockingbird and Lewis in the musical Pippin

If you could play any role you haven’t yet played, what would it be? The Farmer in The Crucible (Erin says: Exactly which farmer, Asher? I'm pretty sure they were all farmers.)

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? I work with my production company to put webisodes online, I DJ, and try and find other movie- and music-related projects.

Anything else we should know about you? I enjoy pie a great deal.

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you? I am Samuel L. Jackson … I used to be a huge comic geek. On a more interesting note, my cousin was Miss World 1969 and my mom partied with Grateful Dead, no seriously. (Erin says: Asher's mom has facebook. Who knows what comes next??? Michael? Brittany?)

Name: Carla Okouchi
Role: Rory

What are some of your favorite past roles? It was an honor to play Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, our first show as 2nd Flight! Ms. Casewell in Mouse Trap was the most deep and interesting character I've had the pleasure of bringing to the stage. Poppy in Noises Off ... yes, Matthew watch out ... "I'll make it my own!" Mayor Maggie, Ron, and Clem must round out the list from Batboy: The Musical ... it's not often one can flirt with one's husband the Reverend as Mayor, play his brother, and get killed along with the rest of the cast.

If you could play any role you haven't yet played, what would it be? Elphaba in Wicked; I actually met Stephanie Block a couple months ago after the show. She was fabulous as Elphaba, and if you've seen my Halloween picture from last year, you'll know it's a dream role of mine. (Erin says: Yes, the picture posted here is from Halloween last year ... Carla is not typically green.) Mimi in Rent -- another show that I would LOVE to be part of in the future. Velma in Chicago and Kim in Miss Saigon.

What do you do when you're not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? I'm a music educator by day and spend any free time outside of working on shows ... dancing or playing billiards ... I actually have a couple trophies from APA league. Rack 'em!!

Anything else we should know about you? Making a movie "Ninjas versus Zombies" with my husband and friends. Check out http://nvzmovie.com/ for a sneak peek! And no, my character is not a ninja or a zombie.

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you? I'm an animal lover and should have studied to become a veterinarian ... too bad I can't stand the sight of blood. If we could own a farm I'd have plenty of horses and dogs running about! Ever since I was little riding horses had been my favorite outdoor activity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet the Cast of "bare": Part 4!

Hello once again, loyal readers (and newbies who stumbled on this blog because they were looking for posts tagged with "Sterling, VA", "Improperly Acquired Street Signs," "Awesome," etc.)!

I'm trying to get better about updating this thing. My goal originally was to update every Monday. Well, Mondays are rough days, cuz I'm usually not awake or functional till after lunch, and by then I'm already logged into my personal gmail account, which means to log into blogger on this account I have to log out of gmail, then into blogger, then out of blogger and back into gmail, which is just too much for my brain to handle on a Monday. So I've decided that Tuesdays will be Update Tuesdays, and I will do the update first thing in the morning (unless my bosses have something else for me to do!) before I log into gmail. It's a win-win for everyone (except maybe my bosses).
We're getting closer to the end of the cast list. I think there's only 3 actors left. And whether or not you get to meet them is dependant on whether or not they decide to send me their interviews! Lucky for you, I know two of them quite well, and feel confidant that I could create answers for them and no one would know the difference. The third I don't know as well, but he reminds me a lot of my brother, so I may just have my brother answer the interview on his behalf. Cory, Carla, and Asher, y'all might want to get your questionnaires in ... you don't really want to know what kinds of bizarre answers the Anderson family could come up with for you!

Today, meet Cathy, Felicity, and Michael! (I had originally typed "And now, on with the show!" but that sounded really cheesy, and besides, it's Show Biz Radio's tagline -- I don't want to be a tagline thief unless it's a really, really good tagline. I can't even think of one I'd want to steal right now. Perhaps Tuesday mornings aren't ideal update times either ... )

Name: Cathy Arnold
Role: Claire

What are some of your favorite past roles? Last summer, I played Grizabella in CATS … what an awesome role to play! It was my first time back into theatre since HIGH SCHOOL!

If you could play any role you haven’t yet played, what would it be? ????? (Erin says: I assume this means Cathy has played all the roles she's ever wanted to play. Well, after playing Grizabella, that makes sense.)

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? During the school year, I teach pre-kindergarten at a preschool; I have been singing with a Jazz Combo since 1987; I love water volleyball; I am raising my beautiful 13 year old daughter and 6 year old Shih Tzu.

Anything else we should know about you? I am an M&M freak, I love to watch CSI and Ghost Hunters, and I love to enjoy the outdoors in the summer (as long as it is not camping). (Erin says: Cathy and I might be the same person, except for the part where she can sing and loves the water ... so, not really the same person. But I, too, like M&Ms and CSI, and hate camping!)

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you (can’t be something you’ve said already; make it good – “I’m allergic to cats” is lame, but “I once worked as a dancer in a vampire theme bar” is awesome!)? I played on a dodge ball team last winter!! It was a serious sport! Also, speaking of serious, I am a ruthless Scrabble player.

Name: Felicity Ann Brown
Role: Kyra

What are some of your favorite past roles? Topsy in The King and I, Professor Willard in Our Town, Granny in the party scene of The Nutcracker. I loved being an ensemble member in American University's production of Kiss Me, Kate, because the dance routines were incredible. Oh, and chorus member of The Mikado with Washington Savoyards, because that's how I met Guillaume. (Erin says: According to Facebook, Guillaume is Felicity's boyfriend. Probably you could figure that out, but since I had hard proof, I figured I'd pass along that little nugget.)

If you could play any role you haven't yet played, what would it be? Kate in Kiss Me, Kate.

What do you do when you're not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? I'm the Acquisitions Coordinator for American University's Library. I'm starting library school in the September. I try to squeeze in ballet classes here and there, but I'm also on the Board of the Victorian Lyric Opera Company (shameless plug: http://www.vloc.org/) so I don't get away from theatre much.
Anything else we should know about you? I like alternative and punk rock … and I like it loud.

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you? Nerdiest high school moment: I once soldered together a circuit board for my F.I.R.S.T Robotics team while wearing a nun's habit (it was during my dinner break for The Sound of Music dress rehearsal). (Erin says: If there are pictures, I would like to see them. That sounds even nerdier than MY nerdiest high school moment!)

Name: Michael Ehrlich
Role: Priest, and I’m serving as the vocal director

What are some of your favorite past roles? Ali Hakim in Oklahoma and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

If you could play any role you haven’t yet played, what would it be? Leo in The Producers. If I were MUCH younger, I would love to play Matt in The Fantasticks. I'd like to play the Wizard of Oz in Wicked. Hmmm …There are so many fun roles, it’s hard not to write a huge list.

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre (day job, hobbies, etc.)? I’m the choral director at W. T. Woodson HS in Fairfax. I just finished my 20th year. I’m also the president of the Virginia Music Educators Association. I love to travel, love to cook, bake, read, go to the movies, theatre. Spend as much time as possible with Roger and also with my 1 year old golden retriever Max!
(Erin says: Michael has received all sorts of awards and recognition for his teaching and directing. Too many to list here, but he is quite an accomplished man! Be impressed.)

Anything else we should know about you? I’m not sure … let’s see … I’m a tap dancer. I told color guard for quite a few marching bands for over 22 years. Does that count for something interesting?

And finally, what is one thing that people would not guess about you upon first meeting/seeing you? I’ll never tell!! :) (Erin says; Oh, now that's just mean!)
That's all, folks! (See, THERE'S a tagline worth stealing! I knew one would come to me eventually.)