Monday, November 24, 2014

Go Behind the Scenes with Our Young Actors

Young actors from A Christmas Carol: (top row) Blogger Sophia Utria, Joshua Myran, Maximos Harris, Bloggers Zoe Hebbard and  Emily McDaniel, Mitchell Huntley, Blogger Benjamin Susskind, London Walston.
(middle row) Alexis Cueva, Bloggers Olivia Drury and William Lynam.
(bottom row) Bloggers Karoline Ribak, Katherine Parrish, Jacqueline Vellandi, Aoife McEvoy and Bella Browne.
Meet Our Bloggers

Olivia Drury (Young Girl About Town), age 13. Olivia has been studying acting at SCR for two years and started performing in plays at age five. She played Troy in High School Musical and Burt in Mary Poppins. “I was a huge tomboy.”

Will Lynam (Turkey Boy), age 11. Will has been studying at SCR for two years. Fun fact: “I am very good with technology and I can fix most computer problems."

Emily McDaniel (Belinda Cratchit), age 11. Emily has been studying acting at SCR for three years. She has two pet bunnies named Toki and Sugar. “I am bananas about bunnies!!”

Aoife McEvoy (Tiny Tim), age 10. Aoife has been studying at SCR for two years. Fun fact: “I’m named after an evil queen who turns children into swans in Irish mythology.”

Zoe Hebbard (Belinda Cratchit), age 11. Fun fact: Zoe is a competitive ballroom dancer.

Katherine Parrish (Martha Cratchit), age 16. She’s been studying acting at SCR for four years and is an avid Broadway musical theatre fan.

Karoline Ribak (Fan), age 17. She has been studying at SCR for nine years and previously played Belinda Cratchit in A Christmas Carol back in 2007.

Sophia Utria (Fan), age 16. She has been studying at SCR for two years. Fun fact: she has a twin sister. “We can sometimes read each others' mind.”

Jacqueline Vellandi (Tiny Tim), age 10. She started in SCR’s Youth Conservatory when she was eight and just finishing third grade. She loves SCR and can’t wait to be a Junior and Teen Player. She likes to write scripts, hold auditions and then run rehearsals and perform shows with her Barbies and Legos.

Every holiday season in SCR's A Christmas Carol, the young characters—from Tiny Tim to the Cratchits—are portrayed by students from SCR's Young Conservatory program. These young actors audition for the chance to be cast in the show, perform with professional actors and in front of thousands of audience members. For many of them, A Christmas Carol will be a new experience and they'll be sharing the experience with us throughout this 35th anniversary season for the show,

What are you most looking forward to from this experience?
Jacqueline: I can’t wait to perform with the whole cast!
Emily: Learning how to act in front of a large audience and also wearing all of the beautiful costumes and making quick changes like a professional actor!
Aoife: I can’t wait to have my friends and family watch the play. I've told them all about it.
Katherine: I'm excited to be experiencing the process of a professional production, including the rehearsals, the actors and the long run of the show. I've never done a show that runs for as long as A Christmas Carol, so it will be fun to learn what that is like and how it affects my performance.

What did you work on in rehearsals? Karoline: We worked on building character relationships and understanding the profundity of our interactions.
Jacqueline: How to commit to our characters. I want you to believe I’m Tiny Tim and not Jacki.
Emily: We worked on all of the party scenes and the dancing.
Olivia: We also learned all the songs that will be in the show.
Sophia: I think my favorite rehearsal moment so far has been "Wassail" from at the top of the show. The whole cast's shout of the final 'wassail!' at the end of the song, it just was a really cool moment.

What has it been like balancing school and rehearsals simultaneously?
Karoline: The rehearsal process forces you to re-shape your schedule and find an effective balance between theatrical and academic obligations. Overall, the adjustment definitely strengthened my sense of time management!
Zoe: It's been hard. I have been trying to hustle through all of my work during the day before rehearsal.
Katherine: Rehearsal doesn't leave a lot of time for me to study for tests and do my homework, but I'm getting it all done even if it does mean some late nights.
Will: The only difficult thing about balancing school and rehearsal is that I have very little free time, but this experience is well worth it.

What is one important thing you've learned so far?
Karoline: With such an extravagant piece, it is imperative that we constantly take risks and make bold choices as actors. Our general rule of thumb is to be flexible and make larger choices with each rehearsal—it is a goal to be asked to "tone down" a choice.
Sophia: That it is okay to make mistakes. No one is going to yell at you, the scene just picks up right up again and it gets better.
Olivia: How to listen and learn. While other people are rehearsing, you have to listen to the notes that they receive, so you can improve your own performance.
Will: How all of the small parts can come together to make a bigger picture.
Emily: I have learned that sometimes you need to make your own decisions and not wait for an adult to give you some advice.
Aoife: In between the lines you say, you still have to listen and react in whatever scene you’re in, so people don’t stop believing the story.
Jacqueline: In acting classes, you hear a lot about making strong choices. Now with the director, John-David, I really understand what that means—and how to make strong choices.
Katherine: My self-confidence has grown because of my experience thus far in A Christmas Carol. Just getting into the show really boosted my confidence, but also working with the adult actors and being a part of this amazing production have helped a lot.
Zoe: I have learned that I have to stay in character even when I am not speaking.

Here's more from our bloggers:

Watch Sophia Utria's personal video blog from rehearsal.

Check out photos from our bloggers Jacqueline Vellandi and Emily McDaniel.

Learn more and buy tickets

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