“The Hughes Sisters” — it already has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Despite their youth, being a part of A Christmas Carol will be Isabelle and Olivia’s 5th (yes, FIFTH!) Parkway Playhouse performance together.
What do you like about being in a play with your sister?
OLIVIA: If it’s a cast where you don’t know anyone, at least I have someone to sit with instead of coming in and sitting by yourself. But I’ve never been in a play without her.
What do you like about A Christmas Carol?
ISABELLE: I like that there are new people and people I already know from Mulan Jr. I also love singing all the Christmas songs.
After a week of technical rehearsals for Mulan Jr. and performances on Friday and Saturday nights, the Malas kids (Zach and Amira) showed up with their mom (Amanda Martin) in tow for Suday’s A Christmas Carol‘s rehearsal. No rest for dedicated actors!
So, what’s it like having your mom as a member of the cast?
ZACK: I think it’s really fun–
AMIRA: (interrupting) Fun?!?
ZACK: Yeah. What’s good is when we go home, if there’s anything we’re supposed to be working on, we don’t have to explain it to her. She can help us with whatever it is.
AMIRA: Yes, that is helpful. But the con.. the con is… it’s like “Sit still. Sit still.” all the time. *
And what is it like being in a cast with your kids?
AMANDA: I like it. It’s a unique extra-curricular activity because I can actually be a part of it with my kids, you know? I can’t be on their basketball team or take dance class with them.
It certainly is amusing to imagine that, though!
In case you missed Mulan Jr. and wondered how it went…
Break legs down in Atlanta, Parkway Playhouse Junior!
* No children were harmed as a result of this interview.
You may have seen Kristen Livengood around Parkway Playhouse last summer but not known if you were already supposed to know her and so didn’t know what to say… Well, here’s your chance put a name to a face.
What is your theatre background?
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since graduating, I’ve performed numerous roles at area theatres including Diana Wortham, Parkway Playhouse, HART and ACT. I’ve also developed an interest in Directing and performing Improv Comedy. I’ve directed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and the NC premiere of Leaving Iowa here at Parkway Playhouse.
I entered college at UNCG thinking I was going to major in music, but then I saw a performance of The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and was left speechless because I had no idea what theatre could be, and I immediately changed my major and have been eating, sleeping and breathing theatre ever since.
What was your job at Parkway Playhouse during the 2013 season?
Over the 2013 Summer Season, I was the Box Office Manager and you may have remembered seeing me in there. Since the season has ended, I’ve stepped into the General Manager position across the street. I’m also an Acting/Improv Comedy Instructor for Parkway Playhouse Junior, which will continue next year as well.
What was your favorite part of working here last summer?
I have two favorite things from the 2013 Mainstage Season. One being A Few Good Men because that was an amazing show overall, and the special effects in Sherlock Holmes Returns. As far as my favorite thing that didn’t happen onstage, would be the few Improv Comedy classes that I taught, because you can never expect what a kid is gonna say and it’s usually hilarious.
What are you looking forward to the most about the 2014 season?
What I’m most looking forward to, would be directing Forever Plaid. The show is so enjoyable to read that I can’t wait to see what it’s like off the page and on the stage!
And now for your chance to win tickets to Mulan Jr. this weekend!
We salute all veterans–but especially those in our A Christmas Carol cast. Doug Shaw is a West Point graduate and served for twenty years all over the world: from Germany to Hawaii. Also, our dearly beloved Scrooge, Bruce Chuvala, was a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force and served as a navigational engineer on B1 bombers in the Vietnam War. Thank you.
*If we missed any veterans, respond in the comments and we’ll add them.
WARNING: There will be more sequels to this post than there are Die Hard movies because the cast of A Christmas Carol is filled with family connections. Today, though, we feature Will and Rob Storrs, because Will’s* other show The Complete History of America (abridged)opens tonight (7:30 pm ~ Burnsville Town Center). Yes, that’s right–he’s rehearsing for two shows at once. (And he’s not the only one: many of the young actors in A Christmas Carol are also in Mulan.)
At the last rehearsal, Will gave director Andrew Gall (and the rest of us) some good belly-laughs, so his performance tonight is sure to do the same for you. In fact, when Rob was asked what it was like to be in the same cast as his son, he just laughed.
* The show is also McKensie Pauley, Ryan Robertson, and Jenny Martin’s… and probably Haven’s too, since she’s doing props. Break legs! (Anyone know where that phrase comes from? The answer will be revealed in a future post…if no one spills the beans in the comments–which you should feel free to do.)
Parkway Playhouse is still going strong, but don’t fall prey to the helpful arrows. We absolutely love the road signs that have been put up around Burnsville to assist patrons in finding Parkway Playhouse, but you can ignore them until spring. Our next three shows will not be at the theatre itself.
The Complete History of America (abridged)will show at theBurnsville Town Center
There’s a new face lurking about Parkway Playhouse … Meet Bobby Abrahamson who is the Stage Manager for this production of A Christmas Carol. His job is to keep all the rehearsals organized and running smoothly. He’s the one who emails to remind cast members of practice, keeps notes during rehearsals and sends out post-rehearsal notes. He is the designated Answerer of All Questions. Sounds like a fun job with a big cast, eh?
But that is what he does, and here’s a bit about who he is.
Q. What kind of theatre background do you have? favorite role? or production you were a part of?
I have started Stage Managing for shows this past year and I am loving it!
I have had a number of parts where I am a silly teenager, a flamboyant king, or narrator. Thus, my favorite part is Adon-Ra in Fight Girl Battle World at North Carolina Stage Company. I was a Space Terrorist and in the second scene I fought my opponents with a Light Saber and then choked an evil muppet.
(Don’t you wish we had a picture of that!?!)
Q. What are you most looking forward to about the production of A Christmas Carol?
I was once in a production of A Christmas Carol as Fred briefly and I really enjoyed my memories with the cast. I remember Tiny Tim giving me some M&M’s during one of the performances so I hope to have some great memories with the cast and feel the Christmas spirit.
Q. Do you have a favorite theatre phrase?
“Be good to your Stage Manager.”
Q. Have you got a theatre pet peeve?
It is really irritating when it is two days before the first performance and the other person doesn’t know their lines.
(Note to cast… )
Q. Favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show is Parks and Recreation because Leslie Knope is hilarious and all the characters crack me up.