Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Rehearsal, The Angels of Lemnos

My goodness. I am the only non-School of the Arts person involved with this staged reading! Chance is 4th year, Ryan is 1st year, Amanda is 2nd year, Adam is 4th year and Matt is one of the drama teachers. And that's exactly how they introduced themselves. What was I supposed to say? "Hi, I'm Cheryl Ann. I'm 38th year." Needless to say I was a bit intimated.

The rehearsal time was well spent as we read through the script. Except for Chance, we all play multiple parts. Adam stopped us after each new character was introduced and we talked about characterization. Since this is a staged reading, character differences must be made vocally and physically instead of with costumes. I have two speaking roles. My main role is Ellen, Nathan's mother. I love this character; the love she has for her son is very evident. We are combining the doctor and nurse roles so I'll be playing a nurse. There is also a very poignant scene that I'll be doing with Chance.

I actually read the script yesterday and I absolutely love it. It's a very well written play. I really would like to see a full scale production. As we were reading through today, Adam pointed out so much hidden meaning. I am very impressed with this 4th year director.

Despite being the only one not wanting to "act" for my regular paycheck, I am looking forward to working with the NCSA group. There is no way that I will walk away without having learned something.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Adirondack Chair

I got the call yesterday, informing me that I had won the adirondack chair and footstool. (Unfortunately I didn't win any of the pottery I bid on. Guess I'll have to take a trip to Seagrove soon!)

Mom and I went to pick it up today. The volunteers at Second Harvest were digging my new chair. They all wished that they had bid on it. Cade helped me clean the chair, then we sat in it and I read him one of our favorite books. This will become my new coffee sipping, newspaper reading spot.

Sometimes the simplest things give me the most pleasure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Art for Lunch and the 30 Second Audition

Ken and I had lunch today at the fire station on Marshall Street. Second Harvest Food Bank hosted a fundraising event called "Empty Bowls". For a $25.00 donation, you received soup, salad, dessert, a choice of refreshing beverage and a beautiful piece of pottery. I didn't really care much about the lunch - I was there for the pottery. (Though I did have a wonderful tomato bisque.)

With 6 tables full of various shades, shapes and sizes of "bowls", making a single pottery choice was overwhelming. Some of the pottery was donated by artists from Seagrove and by local "artists" from Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and the Sawtooth Center. Luckily I had an idea of what I wanted; a small soup bowl with a handle, kinda like an oversized coffee cup. After checking and re-checking each table I finally settled on a tan bowl with a blue and green glaze on the inside. I can't read the artist's signature on the bottom, but I know it came from Seagrove.

After eating we took some time to look at all the items that were up for bid. I bid on two pieces of pottery and a beautiful, handcrafted adirondack chair and footstool. There was only about 5 minutes left until the bids closed so I'm bound to win one of them.

When I got back to the office, Norman asked me if I wanted to be in a play. I said sure, then asked if I had to audition. He handed me a script and told me the director would be there in less than 10 minutes. A young man entered my office and we chatted briefly while Norman finished a phone call. Then the young man and Norman returned to my desk. I read 5 lines and the young man stopped me and said, "That was wonderful. You are beautiful. You're perfect. Will you do it?" Well, with that kind of flattery, how could I say no?

I'll be working with the young man, Adam Woolley, and 4 other castmates for the New Horizons Staged Reading of The Angels of Lemnos. I wish every audition were that easy!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

RiverRun: Midnight Shorts

On the way home from Charlotte, I asked Ken if he was up for seeing a midnight showing of several short films at The Garage. He used to go to a lot of the film festivals in New York, so I thought he might like to participate in the RiverRun Film Festival. He was game.

We got to The Garage with plenty of time before the movies. We selected seats in the second row and then we (ok, I) ate popcorn, drank beer and chatted until it was time for the movies.

The first short, Tony vs. Paul, about two guys fighting in stop-motion animation was pretty funny. Ken had seen it before on YouTube. Songbird was ridiculous and gross. One D was about a man and a woman, who live in a one dimensional world, go out to the movies and get attacked by aliens. It was hilarious.

Jane Lloyd was about a woman who grows up and seeks fame and fortune in Hollywood. I thought it was interesting, especially since there was no dialogue. Home Delivery was another animated short. Pregnant lady, zombies. Need I say more? DVD was a Spanish language film. Unfortunately I couldn't read the subtitles. The man sitting in front of me was leaning his arm around his girlfriend.

Dr. Undead's Fright Fest was next, and I was pleasantly surprised that one of my favorite actors, David Joy, was in the film. He played a killer milkman who gets his just desserts. Not only is David nice on the eyes, he's also a very talented actor.

Carlitopolis was just wrong. A funny experiment gone violently bad. Poor little cute furry mouse. The last film, The Caress of the Creature lasted 10 minutes longer than it should have been.

I did have a nice time, and enjoyed most of the shorts. I just wish I had seen them earlier in the day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Christmas Eve

Do you remember how you felt as a kid, full of useless energy and agonizing anticipation on Christmas Eve? I hope you can remember because that feeling best describes my current mood.

I wish 6 o'clock would hurry up and get here. Ken is picking me up at that time and we are headed to Charlotte.

I wish 8 o'clock would hurry up and get here. Ken and I will be sitting in the audience to watch Tony Award Winner Cherry Jones as Sister Aloysius in Doubt, a parable.

I finished reading the script on Monday. Normally I don't (or rather can't) read the shows before I see them. But, since I've heard so many good things about the show, I wanted to read the book so I could sit back and enjoy the performances. And I must say, the book is absolutely wonderfully written.

Stan Bernstein saw the show in Charlotte on Tuesday. He was in my office waiting for his production team to gather. He looked at me and said he just had to talk to somebody about what he had seen the night before. He was in awe over the production. He told me a bit about the set and lighting and talked about how good an actress Cherry Jones is.

I can't wait to see the show. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Less than 4 hours til curtain!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Go, Go, Go Joseph!

Ken and I attended last night's performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Greensboro Coliseum. While I had never seen the show before, I quickly realized I was familiar with some of the music. (Courtesy of several Andrew Lloyd Webber compilation CDs.)

The big musical numbers were wonderful with their crashes of drums and flashes of light. The cast was full of cowboy and cheerleading energy. The show closed with the Joseph Megamix, a rock/disco medley of most of the major numbers. (I believe this number inspired Jamie to dance-up his curtain calls.) I was highly impressed with the music and choreography. The actual story....well, not so much.

I'm no Bible scholar, so on the way home Ken and I discussed what I thought were flaws in the story:
1.) Preferential treatment by Jacob - I mean, who among us can really blame the brothers for their jealousy? It's easy to understand how sibling rivalry could get out of hand, especially since Joseph was the only one to get the "coat of many colors". Jacob could just as easily made 12 coats, each in a different color. (By the way, the word "technicolor" is never uttered in the show.)
2.) Joseph mouths off - Dreams about "my star being bigger than yours" and "you will bow before me". Hello? The brothers roughing Joseph up and throwing him into the pit, totally understandable. (Selling Joseph into slavery, not so much. Claiming Joseph is dead and celebrating, ok, a little extreme.)
3.) The Golden Cup - When Joseph jumps off the throne and secretly places his golden cup in Benjamin's sack, I thought Joseph was making sure his brothers are well taken care of; after the food runs out they could sell the golden cup for more food. Imagine my surprise when Joseph jumps off the throne a second time to accuse someone of stealing his cup! He searches each bag, knowing full well where he placed the cup. Was this really a test for the brothers to display their unselfishness and penitence? Or was it revenge?
We enjoyed the energetic performance and Ken and I had a fun time discussing the show's ambiguous message. And I'm not embarrassed to admit to dancing around my kitchen this morning pretending my (pink) robe was a (techicolor) dreamcoat.

Monday, April 09, 2007

ACT Classes

I will be teaching an ACT class for the advanced high school students! I am sooooo excited!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Don't Miss This!

I've told you once and I'm telling you again. Do not miss The Little Theatre's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. There are still tickets available for the remaining weekend. Call to make your reservations or purchase your tickets online. However you do it, just make sure you do it, and do it now!

Ken, Mallorie and I watched the show tonight. Despite Ken's pre-show discussion of how, in his humble opinion, Disney is ruining Broadway, I was giddy with anticipation. I was not let down.

First things first. The set was beautifully designed by Gio, the Technical Director for LTWS. I remember when he presented a model of the set during a staff meeting. I was very impressed with his small scale model. I can't even begin to tell you how impressive the real set is. (Maybe it would help if you knew that a theatre in Albemarle traveled up specifically to see our set? They are renting it for their production in June.) My favorite set piece is Maurice's crazy invention. It actually chops wood!

If you know Emily Mark and if you've been reading her blog, you know what she's been through, both physically and mentally, in bringing Belle to life. She never needed to worry. She was absolutely outstanding. I know that I've gushed about Emily before, but really, it's hard not to. Her song, "A Change in Me" brought tears to my eyes. Those tears resurfaced when Belle was admitting her love during the Beast's death scene. I can assure you that I wasn't the only one searching for Kleenex during those moments. It takes an extremely talented actor to affect an audience that way.

Gray and I have, in a sense, grown up together. I saw many of his productions with LTWS in the late 80's and early 90's. I've seen several of the shows he's done with Theatre Alliance in the last 3 years. I've counted myself very honored to have even shared the stage with him. While I've known Gray was an extremely talented actor, nothing prepared me for his Beast. He was, in a word, awesome.

I was also impressed with Miriam Davie (Babette), Craig Faircloth (Gaston) and Wells Albritton (LeFou). The Barnhardt sisters truly were Silly Girls.

Please, don't miss this show. If you are a parent of small ones, bring them! If you are a parent of grown ones, bring them! Even if you aren't a parent, come anyway. It's a wonderful story, outstanding set and exceptional cast.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mission Accomplished....Sorta

My audition on Monday night went very well. Stan watched as my partner and I read the scene. Before I even got out the door, Stan invited me to callbacks. (Mission accomplished!)

Kelly Wallace and Gesh Metz were at callbacks as well. There were a couple of other ladies there too, but I felt that Kelly and Gesh were my only competition. And I was correct. Kelly was cast.

I'm not upset or sad that I didn't get the role. I've said before that Kelly is a talented actress. Her daughter, Meghan, was also cast and will be playing mother-daughter in the show. I'm very excited for both of them.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Tonight I'm planning on auditioning for The Little Theatre's production of Over the Tavern.

The show is being directed by Stan Bernstein. Now, I've auditioned for Stan before. During auditions for Arsenic and Old Lace he didn't even pay attention or look up at me. Since then I have met him and spoken to him on a few occasions. Still, my goal for tonight is to make sure he pays attention to me.