Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Faces in Summer Players

South Coast Repertory’s production of Mary Poppins (on the Argyros Stage August 8-9 and 14-16) has a cast of 32. An even dozen are new to Summer Players. Daunting for the director? Not if she’s Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa.

“These new faces aren’t really new to me,” Hisa said. “All twelve of them have been in the Conservatory for at least a year. And while they aren’t necessarily seasoned performers, they’ve learned about the process of acting, which is so important to our program.”

And what about the actors themselves? We caught up with five of them during their first week of rehearsal, and here’s what they had to say.

Nicholas Kessler, age 17, has attended the Theatre Conservatory for four years, beginning with the Summer Acting Workshop, but never has been onstage at SCR.

“I thought Summer Players would be a good experience and help me grow as an actor. I was pretty nervous during my audition, but now I’m eager to get to work and be a part of the process.”

Eleven-year-old Aoife McEvoy also got her start in the Summer Acting Program and is in her third year. Last season, she played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.

“I tried out for Summer Players because I wanted to be in a musical, meet new people, learn more about acting and have fun! When I got chosen I tried to play it cool but eventually started dancing around the kitchen.”

Twelve-year-old Zoe Hebbard has been in the Theatre Conservatory since fourth grade and last year played Belinda Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.

“When I saw Peter Pan last year and realized how much my friends loved being in Summer Players, I decided to audition. On the car ride to the theatre for the first day of rehearsal, I was so excited!”

After four years in the Conservatory, Kat Lewis finally had enough free time to audition for Summer Players. This will be her first appearance onstage at SCR—but not her last. Look for her in Teen Players this fall.

“When I got the call that I was chosen, I started running and jumping around my house because I was so ecstatic! I can’t wait to work on this show and see it come together.”

JT Casey is going into the 7th grade and has performed in other plays but never has been in (or even seen) a show at SCR.

“I love plays and wanted to do something more professional with other serious acting students, but I was super nervous because so many were auditioning. We were at Souplantation when the call came, and everyone around me knew I had gotten something really big!”

Be there for “something really big”—a cast of 32 Summer Players, acting, singing and dancing in Mary Poppins, beginning August 8.

Buy tickets and learn more.

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