Children’s Theatre Company

mandolin & banjo play in bright rhythm (woman) Cinderella cast, the orchestra will be starting on stage in about 10 minutes. Run! Get everything ready now, bring out the hounds! Even though we’re supposed to be ugly stepsisters, he was a little too ugly. When I first started here, I hadn’t done a lot of makeup. Remember how bad I was at it? (man) I do, I recall it all, yeah. I was really bad. Give me shovel, apply makeup generously. I get to highlight my Adam’s apple, so that’s another fun thing for the girl to have a big Adam’s apple– I think that’s kinda funny. (woman) Hot! (woman) You are pretty, in exactly the way the stepmother would. And we got jewelry too; it’s always nice. (man) Am I the only adult who has to have this done for him? (2nd man) Yes. Sorry. And there she is! Very pretty Reed. Thank you. (step-sisters) Cinderella! (stepmother) Cinderella, well, get me my coffee and be quick about it, you wretch! And don’t spill a drop. And bring me my sausage! audience laughs (Peter Brosius) The Children’s Theatre Company has had a company. The reason Company is in the title is that company was core to the entire idea of this theater. It’s rare for two reasons– one is the freedom, because each season I will be casting these now 5 people, and if you look at the history of world theater, Shakespeare, Molire, Brecht, on and on, the history of great theater is the history of companies. And here I was… all set to be the next crying princess. You? I am amazed he didn’t ask for me. Oh yeah, whatever! Your breath is so bad I never know whether to offer you a mint or some toilet paper! Oh is that so! Well I… (Gerald Drake) When you look around America, there’s not that many companies that have full-time seasonal actors. I think it must be like a handful. Right? It’s incredibly rare now, yeah. So it’s unique for us. One thing we always talk about is the shorthand of it, and what I mean by that is, in a rehearsal process, when we’re in the room together and we start, the depth you’re able to get at the material and what it is you’re trying to tell in the story, we can get there a lot quicker it seems like because we have that history with one another to sort of anticipate choices, reactions, things like that. And there’s a comfort not just with each other, which you’re talking about, but there’s a comfort with the director. with British accent And as for the rest of you, I’m sure that the Prince will want to know… all gasp American accent If you’re available in case it doesn’t work out! Because you never know– second marraige… (Peter Brosius) Some directors don’t want any preconditions on who they cast. I feel the opposite; I feel like it gives us wings. There’s kind of that, that tremendous opportunity to take enormous risk without the fear of failure, because your director is somebody who you trust and know that he trusts you, and your fellow actors trust you. And they really enjoy your failures then! And they can throw it back at you down the line! By order of His Majesty, Prince Eric, each and every… lady in the kingdom is to attempt to place upon her foot the glass slipper. keyboard plays a fanfare (Peter Brosius) Mr. Drake is a kind of sage and wizard. He journeys so deep into the metaphors, and he’ll come back, and he’s been up all night making either like biblical or literature connections or spiritual connections that are absolutely extraordinary, and force you to think deeper about the piece. I’ve been at the theater for 42 years. The nature of The Children’s Theatre, the storytelling, where we talk about life and death problems that young people are very interested in, that to me is a compelling thing. Oh, the world awaits you! Now over here, Randy, this is my baby Pearl. Hey Randy, boy it’s a good thing I have a library card, ’cause I am totally checkin’ you out! laughter (Peter Brosius) Dean is an extraordinarily gifted actor. He understands comedy so deeply, you know, the clarity of the setup, the action, the reaction, the specificity of each moment. Can’t you see, I am trying to get into this harness? Now pull! Um-hm. Aaaaahh! Hurry up Cinderella! Breathe in. And there, all finished! How does it feel? in deep voice It’s perfect! laughter (Dean Holt) We’re always searching for the next thing to make it a little bit better, to make the joke work better, to make the dramatic moment land better, to listen to the audience. There was something vaguely familiar about her. Yeah. Cinderella sings a wordless melody OMG! LOL. KFC! laughter (Peter Brosius) Reed is one of the kindest and most generous people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet in my life. His preparation is extraordinary. I mean, he creates full backstory, every single second of every single moment that he’s on that stage. Then when he comes to the table, it is a mix of such extraordinary heart, presence, and unbelievable comic abandon. Alright, let’s get this party started y’all. Catch! Gimme that, whoo! The grill is hot, and the burgers are on! Boy, am I thirsty. (Reed) I’m did 4 shows in college, and one was a comedy. All drama. So it was all drama, that’s all we did, then we started here, it’s like comedy, okay. And then there was like, physical comedy. I think I’ve done that in high school, but I really have no idea what I’m doing, we’ll see what happens. But if you could combine like Gerry’s thoughtfulness and knowledge of story, and like Traci’s truth, and Reed’s heart and Dean’s physical beauty and clarity, you would have like this creature. That is Autumn. laughter You know? That apparently is me. Oh girls, these are our invitations to the ball at the castle tonight! This one’s yours! Oh, it smells like paper. This one’s yours! This one’s mine! (all) Yea!!!!! All the single ladies, all the single ladies, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Mother, is there an invitation for me? Cinderella at the ball, Hashtag, awkward! Oh wait girls, she’s serious. Oh! all laugh (Peter Brosius) Autumn Ness is our Lucille Ball. You know, to combine that kind of extraordinary beauty with that kind of comic abandon and that kind of heart. She’s someone who has a kind of both verbal and comic invention that is just stunning. I mean, watching her improvise with an audience and the quickness of her mind, it’s just like a freight train that has never seen a brake– it just flies. The minute we leave, you are to mend the socks, bake the bread, polish the floors, and then maybe, you can have a little chat with your diary. Oh, no, no! Me, me, me, me, me! Me, me, me, me, me! (Peter Brosius) I was going down to Howard University to audition for performing apprentices, and Traci did an audition for me that just blew me away. I was like, my god, she’s so talented, she’s so present, she’s so funny, she can sing and move and so, invited her up here. So Cinderella is her first show as a company member. It’s been fun watching Traci join this dynamic. (The Prince & Cinderella) This night, tonight, Will never be like any other night, ‘Cause you’re here in my arms, and I’m dancing with you. (Traci) Being a PA, what was it, 6 years ago, a performing apprentice, and watching these four onstage, there’s not a single person that when they’re onstage, you can’t take their eyes off of, so you put all of them onstage together, it’s a feast for all of the senses. (Dean Holt) Autumn, Reed, Traci and I were all performing apprentices here at the Theatre also. It seemed so supportive to find a place where you can feel like you’re at home and you were taken care of. But welcomes everyone into this theater life– kids and other apprentices and young adults. God bless you gentlemen, God bless you If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you. fiddle, tambourine, & drum play (Peter Brosius) We have a theater arts training program, we work with a lot of young actors. And having a company of actors who are committed to making sure that young people are respected, challenged, and treated like professionals, means that these young actors get to be mentored by some of the best actors in this country. Working with the CTC Acting Company has probably been and probably will always be one of the greatest experiences. It was one thing to, to go there and interact as an actor working through that process, but it was another to just see oh wow, you know, this is what these people do when I’m not seeing them as characters, to meet them as real people and to learn from them in the rehearsal room, was really somethin’ else, really cool. Oh, for once in my life I have someone To live for. The Prince and Princess! cheering (Gerald Drake) The thing about Children’s Theatre Company is that the idea is right. It’s been so fabulous for the community I think and nurturing all these other theaters that have sprung up because we create an audience of young people that eventually come and grow and go into all the other theaters in town. We’re making theater for the most important audience in the world, you know, for young people and families. And if we inspire that family, if we inspire those young people with the power of theater, its beauty, you’ve created a lifelong curiosity and hunger for the arts. So the stakes are high, the responsibility is epic, and making sure that we deliver that every day, day in and out, is why we show up. cheers & applause


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