Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meet the Cast of "Jack and the Giant Beanstalk"

In Jack and the Giant Beanstalk by Linda Daugherty, new characters and a few twists revitalize Jack’s adventure. SCR’s Junior Players take on this play with a cast full of young artists from SCR’s Conservatory Program, which offers classes for kids through adults. We asked the young actors to share a bit about themselves and what makes theatre so special to them. Get to know more about the Junior Players:

Chaney Lieberman (Peddler 1) - I am 12 years old and live in Aliso Viejo. This is my fourth year studying at SCR. I first started acting when I was about seven or eight. I have been in Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol and The Nightingale, which all were performed at SCR. The thing I love most about performing, is how you can relate to someone or something completely different from who you are. It also lets me escape any problems I might be having and go into a new world with no worries.

Mitchell Huntley (Jack) - I am 13 years old, and live in Newport Beach. I am in seventh grade at the Orange County School of the Arts, in its Musical Theatre conservatory. I am in my fifth year of acting classes at SCR. I first started acting when I was in SCR's summer program in 2009. At SCR, I have been in Cinderella, The Nightingale, Into the Woods, Seussical and Annie. I also appeared in Bugsy Malone and The Jungle Book at Mariners Elementary School, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the Lake Forest Players, and Once On This Island at Newport Harbor High School. I love the feeling of sharing an amazing story with an audience in creative ways.

Max Salinger (Sailor 2/Townsman/Youngster 3) - I will be 13 in March and I live in Irvine. I started studying at SCR the summer before third grade, and I was hooked. SCR’s summer workshop was my first experience. My first play was SCR's A Christmas Carol. Since then I have been in The Who's Tommy, All My Sons, A Christmas Carol at Sierra Madre Playhouse and Miss Saigon, Once Upon a Mattress and Seussical at Stagedoor Manor in New York City. Performing gives you the chance to mix up your boring life. After awhile, everyone gets tired of being themselves and wants to try to be someone else. You can leave your problems behind when performing.

Emme O’Toole (Lady Pomegranate) - I’m 12 years old and I’m from Irvine. I’ve been studying acting at SCR for five years. I first started acting when I was eight. I love performing in plays! At SCR, I’ve appeared in A Christmas Carol, Seussical, The Nightingale and Annie. I’m also involved both onstage and backstage at a couple of community theaters in Orange County. A couple of other favorite roles include Laurie Morton in Brighton Beach Memoirs at Mysterium Theatre and Melinda Loomis in Inherit the Wind at the Attic Community Theatre. I love exploring other characters, digging into their motives, personalities and quirks. Performing is a way to not be myself for a while. I get to handle someone else’s problems and experience their joys as well. Also, throughout the rehearsal process, my fellow ensemble and I become very close. They become a second family to me and SCR becomes my second home.

Lauren Dong (Adelaid/Ensemble) - I am 11 years old and live in Irvine. I have been studying acting at a SCR for the past three years. I first started acting when I was seven. My most memorable roles are A Christmas Carol, Seussical, Annie and The Sound of Music. I like being able to explore all different kinds of characters through different thoughts and emotions. I like getting excited about performing in front of a live audience because I get to make a difference in someone’s life that day.

Louis Tonkovich (Ned/Ensemble) - I am currently 11 years old and I reside in Modjeska Canyon. I have been attending classes at SCR for four years and acting for about the same amount of time. At SCR, I have performed in A Christmas Carol and the Summer Players production of Annie. I have also performed in Ragtime: The Musical and Assassins. The thing I like best about performing is feeling the audience’s presence and sensing them relating and siding with one of the characters. Perhaps some people in the audience have felt the way a character feels, so they know what that character is going through.

Shelby Hayes (Jack’s Mother) - I am almost 14 and live in Eastside Costa Mesa. I have been studying acting for three years. My classes with SCR were my first acting experience. I hade the role of Girl About Town in the 2011 production of A Christmas Carol, Death in The Nightingale with last year's Junior Players and Cecile the French Maid in Annie in the recent Summer Players production. I have also performed in a couple of plays with other local theaters, most notably as the Scarecrow in The Attic Community Theatre's youth production of Wizard of Oz. The thing that most fuels my passion for acting is the fact that I can channel my true inner weirdness into another character and instead of judging the real me, the audience applauds me.

Lizzie Mills (Guitar Lady/Ensemble) - I will be 14 in March and I live in Coto De Caza. This is my fourth year with SCR. I first started acting by just doing plays here and there since I was about seven but I would always enjoy doing plays for my family since I was about five. At SCR I have been in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court twice (first as Merlin then as Queen Morgan), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as Charlie), and Many Moons (Chuy). I like performing because I enjoy the challenge of taking on a character who could be one hundred degrees opposite of who I am. I also enjoy meeting my cast and slowly becoming like a family as the play moves on.

Graysen Airth (Lady Plum) - I am 14 and from Newport Beach. I have been acting at SCR for three years and started acting when I was eight in school drama classes. I’ve been in several plays including A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Discovering Rogue and The Jungle Book. What I like best about performing is the excitement and rush of being on stage and the feeling of joy it brings to me and to the audience.

Alex Theolodgides Rodriguez (Jack’s Father/Voice of Giant/Ensemble) - I am 14 years old and live in Irvine. I am in my sixth year studying acting at SCR. I started acting in third grade, after my older sister had started going to SCR. I was in A Christmas Carol in 2009, portraying the complex and emotionally tortured character known as Turkey Boy. What I like most about performing is combining talents with people who are really creative and dedicated to make something great.

Huxley Berg (Chicken/Ensemble) - I am 13 and live in Mission Viejo. I have been attending SCR since I was eight, it was the summer after my third season of little league when I knew there must be some other place for me. My grandma took action and told me about SCR and their theater program. I thought that was pretty cool so I started taking classes and the rest is history. I have been in many plays, I was young Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Nightingale, last years Junior Players production. I am currently in my first year attending Orange County School of the Arts. When performing, no matter the role, becoming somebody or to even create somebody is the best feeling on and off stage. SCR helped guide me to myself and who I will become. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to share and learn from such great teachers.

Abby Matzke (Young Steward/Youngster 4) - I am 13 years old and live in Huntington Beach. I have been studying acting at SCR for about four years. I started acting when I was seven, so about six years ago. The plays I have been in are: A Christmas Carol, Once on this Island, Bye Bye Birdie, Rising Son Rising Moon, Many Moons, Little Red Riding Hood and The Parable of the Stimples. The best part of performing for me is that it is a way to express myself and my individuality. I love acting, it is my true passion and through this experience in Junior Players I hope to perfect my craft.

Tessa Taylor (Peddler 2) - I am 13 years old and from Newport Beach. I have been studying at SCR for four years. I first started acting at the age of two. I have been in many school plays and 6 plays at SCR which include: Alice in Wonderland, Many Moons, The 8 Dragons, The Monsters in My Room, Daisy Head Maisy and A Christmas Carol. What I like best about performing is that I can be a whole new person on stage. In fact, when I was in A Christmas Carol I played the role of Tiny Tim. Pretending to be a boy was a whole new experience!

Ella Web (Giant’s Wife/Youngster 1) - I’m 11 years old and from San Clemente. This is my third year at SCR. I started acting when I did the summer acting workshop at SCR in 2011. I’ve been in two productions at SCR: A Christmas Carol and Annie. When I’m performing I like that have the chance to live in someone else’s life for a day.

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