Thursday, August 29, 2013

Theatre Conservatory Instructor Donald Amerson: Everything It Takes to be a Great Teacher, Plus He’s Fun!

When SCR Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa hires a new instructor in the Teen and Kids Acting Program, she sets her sights high.  The latest addition to the staff meets all of her criteria. His name is Donald Amerson, and his credits are endless.  Here are a few:

  • Master of Fine Arts/Drama, Eastern Michigan University 
  • Acting Coach and Teaching Artist, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
  • Adjunct Professor, Eastern Michigan University 
  • Teaching Artist:  Young Actors Guild, Ann Arbor, MI; Detroit-Grosse Point Collaborative; Youthville, Detroit; Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles
And that’s just his education and teaching experience.  Amerson is also an actor and a director, who has appeared in shows from Michigan—his home state—to New York and staged plays for numerous theatres in Michigan as well as for The Producers Club in New York and Plaza De La Raza in Los Angeles. 



All of this is impressive, but it’s only the beginning. According to Takakuwa, Amerson has those extra traits that make a good teacher, especially when working with young people.





“He treats the students with incredible compassion and respect, and his enthusiasm for the craft is infectious. That shows in class where he explores creatively with his students, making use of puppetry, mask work, music and all theatrical forms of storytelling.”



Amerson also fits comfortably into SCR’s acting program, which stresses “process” over “product.” This means sharing and exploring the craft (process) of acting rather that emphasizing the creation or performance (product) of plays, and it’s at the heart of Takakuwa’s teaching philosophy.  “While these skills can set a strong foundation for becoming a professional artist, they are invaluable life skills, and Donald has a natural affinity for this approach,” she says.



After teaching Year I students last season, followed by one class in each of the Summer Acting Workshops, Amerson is settling in happily.  “It's been a real pleasure teaching students with such a wide array of experiences and future ambitions.  I look forward to building on those experiences as I teach Year II this fall.”



Among the students benefiting from Amerson’s experience—and enthusiasm—during his first year as an SCR instructor is Natalie Sepulveda, who, besides thinking that Amerson is “ a very, very fun teacher,” also observes, “The training we get in his class helps us learn what it’s really like to be in the theatre.”



Learn more about SCR Conservatory classes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Selling the Dream: "Death of a Salesman"

by Kimberly Colburn and Andy Knight 

Charlie Robinson as Willy Loman.
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Staging the Salesman at SCR

Willy’s steadfast pursuit of his American dream has compelled audiences and inspired theatre artists for decades. Death of a Salesman is a play that Marc Masterson had wanted to direct for years and hadn’t yet found the right opportunity. He’d flirted with the idea ever since he was once asked to interview Arthur Miller, shortly after Miller directed a production of Death of a Salesman in China in 1985.

Fast forward several decades and Masterson is now the artistic director of South Coast Repertory. He’s reconnected with his old friend Charlie Robinson. The two had worked together as child actors, doing a half dozen or so plays together in Texas. Robinson is an SCR veteran, most recently starring in SCR’s productions of Jitney and Fences. Masterson met with Robinson to see if there might be a project that they could work on together. He asked if there were any roles Robinson wanted to play that he hadn’t gotten a chance to yet, and Robinson quickly responded, “Willy Loman.”

Robinson says he “had never done an Arthur Miller play before, so I was eager to tackle this exceptional, renowned, American legend's dialogue.  Who could resist rehearsing, and finally performing, a play written by this country's most quintessential playwright?”

(Read the full interview with Charlie Robinson)
“With A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams had printed a license to speak at full throat, and it helped strengthen me as I turned to Willy Loman…I had known all along that this play could not be encompassed by conventional realism, and for one integral reason: in Willy, the past was as alive as what was happening at the moment, sometimes even crashing in to completely overwhelm his mind.”
—Arthur Miller from his 1987
autobiography
, Timebends: A Life



Willy Loman is a salesman, through and through. He knows to his core that what you need to be successful in life is to be well-liked. If people know you and like you, then you always can count on a sale.

Like anyone, Willy wants to teach his boys, Biff and Happy, to be successful too. They should be able to have it all: the house, the car, and the finer things in life. It’s the American dream.

Willy is seemingly living the dream, and with the help of his wife, Linda, he travels all over the Eastern seaboard to peddle his wares in support of his family. He’s been doing it for years. So long, in fact, that he’s started to notice that he doesn’t know everyone the way he once did. And the drive is getting harder and harder to push through. Linda wants him to ask his boss for a job that doesn’t require travel. Willy’s pride declares him the master of New England, but eventually he must agree with her—he can’t keep up the travelling much longer, and he decides to speak to his boss about it as she suggests.


Charlie Robinson and Marc Masterson
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He finds his mind wandering, unable to concentrate on the road. He slips into his own memories, remembering his glory days when his sons were young. Biff was once the captain of the football team with a scholarship to college—how is he now 34 and aimlessly working on farms? What happened to him? What’s happened to Willy? How can Willy get Biff back on track? Willy’s determination to pass on his vision of success becomes his Achilles’ heel and makes this story universally recognizable in his need to pass on a better life to the next generation.

In Arthur Miller’s classic, the play slips seamlessly between the past and present through Willy’s increasingly tenuous grasp on reality. Miller’s original title was actually The Inside of His Head. In Death of a Salesman, we’re never quite sure whether what we’re seeing is what actually happened or Willy’s perception of what transpired. This technique accentuates Willy’s deterioration, and it makes Salesman all the more heartbreaking. As the title of the play informs us, Willy is ultimately destroyed by his reality. But his death is not in vain: Miller tells Willy’s story with vigor and compassion—and gives voice and dignity to the middle class “dime a dozen.” 

The Man Behind Willy Loman

Playwright Arthur Miller uses Willy Loman, famous everyman of dramatic literature, to explore the shortcomings of the American dream and critique what he saw as an unwavering reverence for capitalism. However, to think of Willy as a mere vehicle to expose the country’s failings is to rob him of the complexity that makes his downfall so moving. In the end, Willy’s humanity and need to cover his desperation are palpable. Miller said of his plays: “As a writer….I have always felt that the issue was not to deal with the problem in the abstract, but to deal with the people who are in that problem. The emphasis is on the people.”

Arthur Miller
Miller often turned to his own life and the people in it to create his rich and nuanced characters. Willy Loman is inspired by Miller’s uncle, Manny Newman, a salesman whom Miller described as “the ultimate climber up the ladder” and a man who “lived in his own mind all the time.” Newman was spontaneous and charismatic—and prone to stretching the truth. Miller saw beyond Newman’s tall tales and empathized with a man who needed to invent stories to compensate for his lack of personal success.

In his autobiography, Timebends, Miller described seeing Newman after many years at a matinee of All My Sons. Without any greeting, Newman informed Miller that his son, Bobby, was “doing very well.” For Manny, Miller’s success was an embarrassing reminder of his own failure and only rekindled his need to compete. Newman committed suicide not long after. Miller later spoke of the chance encounter in an interview: “Manny was living in two places at the same time. And I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be marvelous to be able to do a play where somebody is in two or three different place concurrently.’ That’s when the penny dropped.” The result was Miller’s masterpiece Death of a Salesman.


Charlie Robinson: Who Can Resist Willy Loman?

Charlie Robinson
Charlie Robinson, veteran of stage and screen—you might remember him from last season’s SCR production of Jitney—portrays Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. We asked him a few questions about the play and the character.

Artistic Director Marc Masterson says that you zeroed in on Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman as a role you wanted to take on. Why this role and play? 
Marc and I have been friends and colleagues since Houston's Studio 7, more 45 years ago.  I had never done an Arthur Miller play before, so I was eager to tackle this exceptional, renowned American legend's dialogue.  Who could resist rehearsing and performing a play written by this country's most quintessential playwright?   

How do you approach the character of Willy?
Willy Loman, is one of the most well-written, tragic figures of our time, and for that matter, probably of all time.  Death of a Salesman is considered a "perfect" play, if anything can be labeled as such. Many a playwright has tried capturing this enigma, called Willy, but they have been only tributes to Arthur Miller's writing.  I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to play this tragic figure. It is an adventure in true character study. The idea of an ever-changing reality for this man—who doesn't like his reflection in the mirror, nor in others, so much so, that death would be convenient—speaks volumes to the layers within his soul, when life becomes too much to bear.  

Why does this play endure? Why is it so universal?
Death of a Salesman resonates globally, regardless of ethnicity, because it speaks to the question of success: the ability to achieve it, maintain it, lose it and be deceived by it. We see the struggle of a man to judge his worth by the coins in his pocket, and a further struggle with himself as age and death creep up on his doorstep.  Also, the pressure for a man to leave his mark on the world, is universal, and if not by success, then how?  That question transcends time.

If you could have lunch with Arthur Miller and talk about Death of a Salesman, what would that conversation entail?
If I had been fortunate to have known the great Arthur Miller, I would ask: “At what moment in your life … did ink masterfully find paper, and Willy and his world suddenly appear?”

What do you want audience members to come away with after having seen this production?
I hope audiences will enjoy our production and that it also will move them to hold life a little dearer. I hope that they can release themselves from the pitfalls of expecting their loved ones, especially their children, to follow in their footsteps, as well as teach them not to live vicariously through their children's lives.  I would say: ‘Learn a lesson from the tragedies of all Willy Lomans; be true to yourself, accept defeat graciously and courageously, and embrace any and all success humbly. ‘

For our MyStage audience members (ages 15-25), what would you say about how to get the most out of this play? 
In preparing a young audience for this production of Death of a Salesman, or any production, I would ask that they look beyond the time and space with which the dialogue manifests itself upon a stage; instead, hear the words in the context of their own lives.  We all know people like the Lomans.  It is never too late to pick yourself up, and brush yourself off, because the alternative is fatal.  Listen mindfully, and act accordingly.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The World of Death of a Salesman

“From Slavery Through Reconstruction” by Aaron Douglas (1934)
Michael Raiford's set design.
Director Marc Masterson has assembled a top notch team of designers to tackle Arthur Miller’s classic play, Death of a Salesman.

While the play generally takes place in the late 1940s when Miller wrote it, Masterson was interested in the overall production emphasizing the universality of the plays themes rather than an absolutely faithful historical reproduction. He and set designer Michael Raiford were inspired by the Brooklyn neighborhood setting and its increasing urban density as it encroaches upon the Loman’s diminutive home. Raiford abstracted the overlapping buildings, skylines, and fences of the city into the many linear angles and slats you can see in the set.

Holly Poe Durbin's costume design for Willy
Raiford was also inspired by the African-American casting choices which led him to the work of muralist Aaron Douglas. Douglas painted murals in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, and some of his murals can be found at Fisk University and the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library, now called the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His work is modernist and typically abstracted from West African and Ancient Egyptian art, featuring flat forms and repeated geometric shapes.

Lighting designer Brian Lillenthal will set the mood and tone, working with rich light and the shadows cast by the set.

Costume designer Holly Poe Durbin is challenged with evoking the sense of the late 1940s and early 50s within this abstracted set. Sound designer and composer Jim Ragland will be creating a jazz infused score for the production.

Pictured: Initial ideas and renderings from Raiford and costume designer Holly Poe Durban. These are a starting point that will evolve over time until you see the final pieces at showtime.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Familiar and New Faces Arrive for Death of a Salesman Rehearsals


Thirteen actors are now full into rehearsals for the season-opening production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.The cast is a mix of new and familiar faces.

Larry Bates as Happy. He has appeared at South Coast Repertory as Ralph D in The Motherf**ker with the Hat. His other SCR credits include Booth in Topdog/Underdog, Cory in Fences, Cactus in Mr. Marmalade and Youngblood/Darnell in Jitney, for which he won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Award for Best Featured Actor. He is a graduate of The Theatre School, DePaul University.
Chris Butler as Biff.  Butler is a two-time Ovation, NAACP, LADCC and Garland Award winner for his work in Yellowman (The Fountain Theatre) and Stick Fly (The Matrix Theatre Company).  He is making his SCR debut. Other theater includes the Broadway revival of 110 In The Shade (Roundabout Theatre Company); Gem Of The Ocean, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Rubicon Theatre); A Raisin In The Sun, The Piano Lesson (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Blue (Pasadena Playhouse); A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Globe Theatre); and The School For Wives (La Jolla Playhouse). Butler holds an MFA in theatre from the University of California at San Diego and a BA in dramatic arts from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Gregg Daniel as Uncle Ben. He is returning to SCR after previously appearing in August Wilson's Jitney and Fences. He recently appeared in the Mark Taper Forum's production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone. His other SCR appearances include A Christmas Carol (Jacob Marley) and Theatre for Young Audiences production of James and the Giant Peach. He is a founding member and artistic director of Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble.
Celeste Den as Miss Forsythe She returns to SCR after appearing in the Broadway international tour of Chinglish at SCR, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the 2013 Hong Kong Arts Festival.  Her other theatre credits include the world premieres of Wild Swans at American Repertory Theater and Young Vic in London; Between Two Friends and Island at Actors Theatre of Louisville; 11 Septembre 2001 and Peach Blossom Fan with Center for New Performance; Spit, Shine, Glisten! with Cotsen Center for Puppetry; and Laws of Sympathy with Playwrights' Arena. Den received her BFA in theatre from the University of Florida and MFA in acting from the California Institute of the Arts.
Tracey A. Leigh as The Woman. Her previous appearances at SCR include In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Safe in Hell, the NewSCRipts reading of The St. James Infirmary and the Pacific Playwrights Festival readings of Happy Face and Tough Titty. She recently appeared as Titania in Shakespeare Center Los Angeles' A Midsummer Night's Dream, in Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble's production of Elmina's Kitchen, and in The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King at Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA.
Becca Lustgarten as Letta. She is her South Coast Repertory debut. Her past credits include work at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Primary Stages, Hangar Theatre, and the Actor's Studio NYC. Lustgarten received her BFA in theatre arts from Boston University and studied at the Accademia Dell'Arte in Arezzo in Italy. She is a graduate of the 2013 South Coast Repertory Acting Intensive Program.
Georgina E. Okon as Jenny. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and Essex, England. She moved to the United States to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and “live”out a dream. She recently performed in To Be or Not at Actors Art Theatre, and The Changeling at Long Beach Playhouse. Other roles include The Snake in The Little Prince and Esther in Amazing Grace.
Tyler Pierce as Howard Wagner. Pierce returns to SCR where his credits include How to Write a New Book for the Bible and Death of the Author (NewSCRipts). He has appeared in tours of Legends with Joan Collins and Linda Evans, Barriers and A Midsummer Night's Dream. His selected regional theatre credits include I'll Be Back Before Midnight (The Colony Theatre Company); How to Write a New Book for the Bible (Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre); Good People (Geffen Playhouse); Gronholm Method (Falcon Theatre); Death of a Salesman (The Old Globe); and A Streetcar Named Desire (Guthrie Theater).
Christopher Rivas as Stanley. The New York City native recently finished a great run and romp in The Assassination of Leon Trotsky, A Comedy at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. His other stage credits include Helen at the Getty Villa, Songs of Bilitis with Rogue Artists Ensemble at the Bootleg, and Camino Real at The Theatre@Boston Court. His Indie film Public Law is making the festival circuit now, and he's just shot a pilot titled "Clandestine." Next to acting, Rivas lives creatively through his poetry.
Charlie Robinson as Willy Loman. His work at SCR includes The Piano Lesson; My Wandering Boy; Fences, which earned him a 2006 Ovation Award for his portrayal of Troy; and Jitney, which earned him a Los Angeles Drama Critics award nomination for his portrayal of Becker. He is received an NAACP's Theatre Image Award for Best Actor in a Play for The Old Globe's The Whipping Man. Another theatre home for him has been the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. See him soon in the feature film, Hoovey, to be released this year.
Kim Staunton as Linda Loman. She last appeared at SCR as Berniece in The Piano Lesson. Staunton has been a guest company member at the Denver Center Theatre Company for the past 13 seasons. She represented the Colorado company as an inaugural Lunt-Fontanne Fellow at the Ten Chimneys Foundation. Staunton has also appeared regionally at Ebony Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre, Syracuse Stage and the O'Neill Theatre Center. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of The Juilliard School.
James A. Watson Jr. as Charley.  He last appeared at SCR in August Wilson's Jitney. Watson trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (U.S. Extension) and his television and film work earned him an Emmy nomination, and NAACP Image Award. His other theatre work has included National Pastime (The Fremont Centre Theater, Pasadena) Dream on Monkey Mountain (Mark Taper Forum) Lemon Meringue Façade (Best Supporting Actor nomination, San Fernando Valley Awards), In White America, Room Service (A.C.T., San Francisco), and Rashomon/Outrage, Golden Boy, Calculated Risk (Marla Gibbs Theater).  
Tobie Windham as Bernard. His last appearance at SCR was in A Midsummer Night's Dream. His other stage credits include The Whipping Man at Marin Theater Company, Seven Guitars (San Francisco Bay Area Critics circle nominee for best actor), Blues for an Alabama Sky, American Buffalo, Balm in Gilead, Slither, The Brothers Size (SFBATCC nominee for best actor), Marcus; Or the Secrete of Sweet and Two Coons. He has performed on the stages of The American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, Chalk Repertory Theatre, South City Theater Company, City Equity Theater and Birmingham Park Players.  He is a native of Birmingham, Ala.
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Get the Inside Scoop on "Annie" Part Two: We're Onstage!


The Summer Players’ production of Annie is up and running! Our student performers are having a blast performing onstage for their family, friends and SCR theatre-goers. After weeks of rehearsal, they are putting all they've learned out there for the world to see and are winning over audiences, earning the roar of applause after every show.

Before the show opened, we caught up with our cast bloggers to hear what they had to say about their Annie experience leading up to opening night.


SCR: What is the biggest thing you've learned, so far?
Rachel: "I've learned to take big risks and to have fun with my choices." 
Jamie: "…go for it! It doesn't matter if you make mistakes; you should make them loudly and proudly…every mistake is a learning opportunity." 
Guy: “…commit to every character choice.” 
Rachel: “The cool thing about acting is that you get to create your character anyway you want!”
Our bloggers in full costume and ready to take the stage!

SCR: What has been your favorite moment so far?
Rachel: "My dog Oliver is playing Sandy…he never stops amusing us." 
Guy: “He brings excitement to every cast member!” 
Jamie: “It’s one of my favorite feelings…holding our harmonies. It makes the song take on a new dimension.” 
Tejas: “Seeing all the little things fall together to create something powerful and funny.”

SCR: What has been the best part about working on Annie?
Tejas: “The camaraderie of everyone…”  
Rachel: “Definitely getting to work with people of all ages and experiences.” 
Jamie: “The age range [of student actors] is almost 10 years. Getting to connect with so many people…it’s a wonderful experience.”
Guy: “The best part is the staff. We have the best director, musical director, stage manager and costume/set designer.” 
Tejas: “It couldn't happen if everyone wasn't working together.”


Here's a quick peek at the Annie gang singing "Tomorrow." 
Can you spot our bloggers among the ensemble?
More next week with our Annie bloggers! 

Buy tickets now!

Learn more about SCR's Theatre Conservatory

The Annie Bloggers
Guy, age 16
Jamie, age 14
Rachel, age 15
Tejas, age 13

Monday, August 5, 2013

Creating The “Look” Behind the Season: SCR’s Artwork

Graphic Designer Crystal Woolard
The plays have been selected and the production schedules are being finalized. The next step for a season: what will its look be in brochures, online, advertising, postcards, posters and other promotional materials?

Enter SCR’s graphic designer Crystal Woolard. She loves finding different ways to tell a story.

“Sometimes it's with pictures, sometimes words,” she says.  “Sometimes it’s photographing an actor in an old, unused telemarketing room or trying to find the best way to illustrate a stinky cheese man.  Every day is different.”

There are a number of steps she goes through when designing the images that playgoers see in the season brochure each summer. Of course, she first reads each play!

“As I read, I write down key words or powerful images that the play’s text suggests,” she relates. While she is working to visually determine how to describe the play, another staffer is reading the plays and writing brief descriptions about the works. Both words and images need to blend to create an impact for playgoers or prospective audience members.

“Also, with our 50th Season, we wanted to represent the importance of SCR, the impressive productions over the years, as well as the exciting plays of the coming season,” says Woolard.

After she has done her initial sketches, the artistic director and marketing director provide their feedback “to make sure that the images I create really support how we are describing the play,” she explains. This is an important step. given the large number of new works that SCR produces.

From there, Woolard designs and finalizes the “look” for season materials Along with her associate graphic designer, the final art is created. Each piece will be used differently—in a brochure or an ad, on a poster or a postcard, online, in color, in black-and-white, horizontally, vertically … the applications seem almost unlimited.

Woolard says some of the most careful listening in the design process comes when she needs to “see” ideas and concepts through the eyes of others, and then bring those many viewpoints together and create a single vision for the show art.

That can be a challenge, especially in the case of new plays.

“With world premieres, the script often goes through revisions,” she says. “Our challenge is to capture the essence of the story to entice an audience to come see it, but sometimes without knowing how that story might actually end up”

At the end of the day, Woolard says her job is fun.

“When I see the plays and discover that it and the show art have the same vision, that’s really great for me,” she explains.

And the other fun part? “When hundreds of boxes of brochures are delivered and we get to open them and look at the final product!”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Get the Inside Scoop on "Annie"


Meet Our Annie Bloggers
Guy McEleney, age 16, from Long Beach. Guy started acting when he was just five years old and has been studying acting at SCR for eight years. In Annie, he portrays Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "My favorite thing about [FDR] is his voice. As, an actor it brings a challenge."

Jamie Ostmann, age 14, from Los Alamitos. Jaime has been acting since she was four years old and began studying acting at SCR in 2007, at age eight. In Annie, she portrays Frances Perkins. "[Frances] is just such a strong person. In a time when women were expected to stay home, she became the first woman to enter the presidential line of succession."


Rachel Charny, age 15, from Irvine. Rachel began acting at SCR when she was eight years old and has been here ever since. In Annie, she is a part of the ensemble and portrays Bonnie Boylan. "[In the ensemble] I have room to take big risks and make strong choices. [All of my] characters are all so unique."

Tejas Dhindsa, age 13, from Irvine. Tejas started acting around the age of 10 and has been studying acting at SCR since 2010. In Annie, he portrays Harold Ickes, a member of FDR's cabinet. "This character is…very passionate about everything he does. He always goes above and beyond."
This year an unprecedented 34 students make up the cast of SCR's Summer Players production of Annie. They all love the show and are learning more about acting and working together everyday. We recruited four cast members as bloggers to get the scoop about what's happening backstage and in rehearsal and what they're learning from this experience.

We caught up with our bloggers and got some behind the scenes tidbits:

SCR: What is happening right now in rehearsals?
Jamie: "We just had a sing and dance through of the show." 
Rachel: "...cleaning up choreography." 
Guy: "...building character choices." 
Tejas: "...and really tightening up the music." 
Jamie: "It's really coming together now!"
The cast of Annie getting notes in rehearsal.

SCR: What is your favorite song in Annie?
Guy: "'NYC' because every time I sing it I envision the beautiful streets of Times Square." 
Tejas: "Probably, "Little Girls" sung by Mrs. Hannigan. The actor, who plays Mrs. Hannigan, Shane Iverson, does a great job projecting her emotions in a way that always makes me laugh while simultaneously scaring me."
SCR: Do you have any fun backstage stories?
Rachel: "All the dancing is so much fun…[it's] been a blast." 
Tejas: "During our first sing through of the final song, "Bows," everyone sang different words and the sound ended up being very odd indeed." 
Jamie: "I get to watch Oliver (the dog who plays Sandy) a lot and one day he discovered how to open the door to the [rehearsal room]. I had to almost tackle him to keep him from escaping!"
Guy: "Oliver just freely roams the [rehearsal] room and will make his way into every scene."
Oliver the dog, spontaneously gives a kiss to Tejas (top left).


More next week with our Annie bloggers!

Buy tickets now!


Learn more about SCR's Theatre Conservatory