Monday, May 12, 2014

Meet the Cast of "Bliss"

by Laurie Woolery
directed by Hisa Takakuwa
SCR Teen Players
Nicholas Studio
May 16-May 25, 2014

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Sidney is discontented with being contented, so, she sets off on an adventure to find what truly gives her bliss and purpose in life. SCR’s Teen Players take on Laurie Woolery’s play Bliss, directed by Hisa Takakuwa, 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 gives them their own personal “bliss.” Get to know more about the Teen Players:

Brooke Boukather, age 16, Irvine
Roles: Helen of Troy/Fortinbras

I started studying with SCR in fourth grade when I was 10. My favorite shows include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as Violet Bauregarde), Sleeping Beauty (as Briar Rose) and A Christmas Carol (as Fan). Art is what gives me bliss. Storytelling and performing is my bliss.

Kelsey Bray, age 15, Trabuco Canyon
Role: Bernie in the Studio

I first started acting in third grade at SCR. I have been attending classes for seven years now. Some of my favorite shows I have been in are the Junior Players Sleeping Beauty and the Summer Players productions of Seussical, Cinderella and Annie. What gives me bliss is to be performing, because when I am performing I feel free and like nothing in else in the world matters but that performance.

Kiera Callahan, age 17, Irvine
Roles: Mrs. Rhodes/Joan of Arc/Rosencrantz

I started acting in elementary school in plays and I've been at SCR for three years. I really enjoyed being in A Christmas Carol and Annie. I love sharing my passions, like acting, with others and making a difference. That truly gives me bliss.

Rachel Charny, age 16, Irvine
Role: Butterfly

I first started acting at SCR eight years ago when I was in third grade. Some of my favorites plays that I’ve been in were the Junior Player's Sleeping Beauty, The Velveteen Rabbit and of course Bliss. Without sounding like a cheesy McGee, I have to say that being at SCR—acting, dancing and singing—truly gives me bliss because they are the perfect balance of work and play.

Lauren Cocroft, age 16, Costa Mesa
Roles: Melvin/Mona Lisa/Gravedigger

I started acting at a community theatre after I saw my friend in a show when I was 7. I started at SCR when I was in seventh grade and have been in the program for five years. My favorite plays were the Summer Players shows Cinderella, Into the Woods and Seussical. Spending time with my friends at a place that I love and working on something truly wonderful is my bliss.

Chris Huntley, age 16, Newport Beach
Roles: Slacker/Alfred of D Boyz/Laertes

I first started acting on the fireplace hearth in my living room, but found my passion for performing here at SCR. I started in the summer program and have been at SCR for seven years. Some of my favorite shows I've been in at SCR are A Christmas Carol, A Secret Garden, Cinderella, Into the Woods, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Snow Angel. Bliss for me can be any number of things: from my toes in the warm sandy beach, to my face in the warm stage lights. Bliss is where I feel at home.

Shane Iverson, age 17, Irvine
Role: Sidney Rhodes  

I started acting in the eighth grade, when my former dance teacher suggested I take some classes at SCR. I am now in my fifth year here. In my time at SCR, I've been in Annie, Seussical and A Christmas Carol. My other theatre credits include Antigone, Oklahoma! and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I find my bliss through discussion and debates. I love hearing people's opinions and learning from them, as well as sharing my own.

Anna Ladokhin, age 17, Irvine
Roles: Ms. Folly/Lady of Shallot/Ghost of Hamlet’s Dead Father

I first started acting at age 11. This is my fifth year studying at SCR, but my first year with the Teen Players. Seeing people being moved by the art I've created truly gives me bliss.

Guy McEleney, age 17, Long Beach
Roles: Saul/Van Gogh/Claudius

I began my studies at SCR in third grade when I was 8. I thoroughly enjoyed performing in A Christmas Carol when I played Peter Cratchet. I find bliss in relaxation and validation: relaxation because it brings me peace and validation because I feel accomplished and happy.

Grace O’Brien, age 17, Rancho Santa Margarita
Role: Fatima

I’ve had the pleasure of studying and working in the SCR Conservatory for seven years. I’ve learned so much from all the shows I’ve participated in, but if I had to pick my favorite, I’d say A Christmas Carol. There is something so special about getting to be part of so many peoples’ holiday traditions. Making other people smile gives me bliss; there’s just something about smiles that are so infectious and energetic.

Jamie Ostmann, age 15, Los Alamitos
Roles: Nun/Guildenstern/Member of D Boyz

I came to SCR the summer after second grade, so I've been here for seven wonderful years! One of my favorite plays was when I was in Peter Pan when I was 9, which was a blast. I also loved being in the Junior Players show Sleeping Beauty as the evil witch. That was an incredibly challenging role. Being with those I love brings me bliss. My actual family is the best, but I also have a fantastic SCR family. Every show I get new brothers and sisters who love and support each other, and that's pretty awesome!

Karoline Ribak, age 17, Garden Grove
Role: Marilyn Monroe

I first began acting when I was 5 years old and have studied at SCR for eight years. Some of my favorite plays I've been in are The Velveteen Rabbit, A Christmas Carol and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Also, I have greatly enjoyed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Charlotte's Web at the Long Beach Playhouse. I experience my greatest bliss when walking across the bridge to South Coast Plaza after a class at SCR. There is nothing more rejuvenating than the sensation of clearing my mind and immersing myself in rehearsal, then getting a breath of fresh air and a glimpse of the city lights.

Clarke Schwartz, age 18, Aliso Viejo
Roles: Miley Cyrus/Ophelia

I first started acting when I was 10 and I have been studying acting at SCR for six years. It's the best training I've had. My favorite play I've ever been in was definitely A Christmas Carol. This may be cheesy, but performing gives me bliss. I dedicate most of my time to it and I've had to sacrifice a lot of my social life for rehearsals and shows. But I have no regrets. Nothing gives me more satisfaction then getting up on that stage and telling a story to an audience. It's beautiful and it's my bliss.

Kaylee Wan, age 17, Orange
Role: Degas’ Ballerina

I started acting when I was 9 and have been acting for six years. Some of the favorite shows that I’ve been in are Seussical, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and The Magic Lake. What gives me bliss is my dog and theatre.

Lindsey Wiercioch, age 18, North Tustin
Roles: Kitty Purty/Gertrude

I first started acting when I was in third grade, but I didn't really get into acting until I began classes at SCR the summer before high school. I would have to say that SCR's production of Into the Woods and A Christmas Carol have been my favorites. Stephen Sondheim can be incredibly hard to sing—especially in the musical's opening number! A Christmas Carol was a wonderful experience that I am very glad to have been a part of. My personal bliss is laying under a tree, with no one around and just listening. When it's quiet and I'm alone with my thoughts and the shade, I can just breathe and be happy.

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