Jake Simonds, acting apprentice, gives us his thoughts on A CHRISTMAS CAROL:
"This show has presented a lot of firsts for me. Not only is it my first show at The Playhouse, it's my first show in any sort of dialect, first time singing onstage, first time playing multiple characters, first time performing for ALL ages, first bio in a real program, first Front of House duties in character, first time handling fire onstage (only a candle, but still). Come closing on December 28th, it will be the longest run of a show I've ever been a part of, by far, with a whopping twenty-eight performances. Though that's not an unusual run in the professional world, it is quite a world apart from what I grew accustomed to throughout my college theatre program.
"I'm not sure if, in my four years of performance at Lewis & Clark College, I performed 28 times total. That was a world of one- or two-weekend runs. And while Theatre is Theatre, and much remains the same, some things are a little different. Yes, we still can (and we did) go out after Opening Night. But we did so knowing we had our first Sunday Matinee in 12 hours. Yes, our show was there Opening Night. But now we get to watch it tighten, and we are able to dig into the specificity of our choices in a way you can only do by running a show--in front of an audience--five (or more!) times a week. And yes, performing is still a thrill. But now the challenge isn't always harnessing the thrill, but finding it.
"Rule #9 of John Cage's 10 Rules for Teachers and Students is, 'Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.' A teacher of mine shared Cage's rules with me during my last semester of college, and as I'm working at the Playhouse, #9 keeps coming back to me. It is lighter than you'd think to work as hard as we've worked on this show. And being happy is not just a possibility, but a reality. You can't help being happy, getting to share this amazing story night after night. Getting to test each audience, seeing how well they really know this story that everyone seems knows at least something about. This story, too, about an old, miserly, miserable man without family or love in his life, is lighter than you think.
Please do come share it with us."
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is running now, through December 28th. Don't wait -- tickets are going quickly. Get them here!