For this year's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, we have some returning cast members: Drew Harper, Jennifer Rowe, Katie Watkins, Josh Weinstein, and Ashley Williams. Read on for more of their insights into this year's rehearsal process and show:
What is it like doing a remount of a show that you've previously performed?
Ashley Williams: "It's really fun, I'm so enjoying it. It's almost kinda like going on a first date with someone, because half the cast has been there and half the cast hasn't done it before, so doing it is like dating this new cast, and meeting these new people, and it's been a lot of fun. I've been enjoying everybody, all the new discoveries we've made, and certain things we've brought back from last year's show. It's been a really enlightening experience."
Joshua Weinstein: "It is a mind-bending experience. It feels like we just did it! So to come back into it and know all the songs, and have this very clear memory of 'Oh, this is what we did here, and this is what we did there', and all of that gets turned on its head. The space is totally different, the costumes are totally different, the actors are totally different."
Drew Harper: "It doesn't feel like a remount, it's not a remount. It's a whole new experience. It's full of new actors, new staging, new concepts, new direction, and a whole new jungle gym in which to play. The spirit is similar, but it's grown and changed. If you imagine diving from a regular diving board, and then diving from a high diving board, it's kind of like that."
Katie Watkins: "Walking into a play already knowing your lines and harmonies... it's the life!"
What are some surprises, delights, and challenges in this year's process?
JW: "The size of the space, it means that vocally we have a lot more work to do to fill it. Some of the delights though I think I fully expected our entire audience to just be people that saw it last year, but that's not true. People are going to find wonder and amazement in this show whether they saw it last year or not. Whether they're theater goers or not. People are going to find something to enjoy about this show."
DH: "Delights have been the costumes; Ashton's amazing. The challenges have been trying not to compare to last year."
KW: "A challenge and delight for me is to push myself further with the characters I played last year; to find new and deeper ways to connect with them and with my fellow actors and audiences. I am always surprised to see how emotionally affected audience members are towards the end, and how engaged kids (even as young as four!) are. We watch them go from sitting all the way back in their chairs to having their hands on their knees, leaning forward. I love doing the show for them!"
AW: "I love working with Josh as my Bob Cratchit because I had a different person before. Getting to work with Joshua Weinstein, this new relationship with our characters...it's been really cool for my Mrs. Cratchit to have him as my Bob."
What's your favorite moment been so far, whether in rehearsal or during the show?
KW: "My favorite parts of any shows are the parts that make them live theatre. The bumps in the road, the hiccups, the surprises we find on a daily basis. It reminds me to be on my toes and to stay connected with my ensemble. More specifically, last weekend we had these two little girls who were dressed to the nines in the most sparkly dresses sitting in the front row. One of them, when Scrooge realized he had returned home after his night with the spirits, let out the biggest sigh and said, 'You're home!' I couldn't hold back the tears on that one. She got me."
AW: "Well, I thought it was funny when Josh told Bella (Tiny Tim) to take off her hat at the dinner table, and I was like 'What?!' I mean, that was surprising. I'm not sure what he was thinking because she's a girl, and she has hair down her back!!"
JW: "I really love in the pre-show. We have a bunch of different imaginative games with the kids, and that's really a lot of fun. I love that we have been able to do Secret Santa during this rehearsal process because there is a lot of theories about who belongs to who, so that's fun."
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is running right now, through December 28th! Tickets are going quickly (many Christmas week shows are sold out!). Get your tickets now by clicking here.