Friday, May 6, 2016

London Stage Debut

If you've asked me recently what I did over the weekend, chances are my response included "had rehearsal" or "made Doug run lines with me."  Though I've been trying not to let it dominate all conversations, I'm pretty excited about getting back into theatre.

My first experience in theatre (outside of the school plays - though I do have vivid memories of singing "Yellow Rose of Texas" with Randy Searson in kindergarten) was as part of the children's chorus in Ohio Northern University's production of Evita. As I remember an email went out to faculty and staff at ONU announcing auditions for children. My parents told me about it and it sounded like fun. I had never auditioned for anything before, and decided to sing my favorite hymn - Pass it On. Despite my lack of theatre knowledge, I got a part and was hooked then and there.

Fortunate to have a facility like the Freed Center for the Performing Arts in my hometown, I took every opportunity to audition when I could.  Over the years I was lucky to be cast in shows such as Annie, Music Man, Holiday Spectacular, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Nutcracker. My parents were incredibly supportive, taking time to drive me to rehearsals when I was cast in out of town shows including Annie Get Your Gun and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

But, as often happens, after high school "real life" took over, and theatre took a backseat to figuring out a career path and general "adulting."  I still considered performing a part of who I was - anyone who's done historical interpretations knows it's just another form of performing - but I stopped seeking out opportunities to be on stage.

Fast-forward a few years - after purchasing my first home my parents brought up all my extra stuff they'd been storing since I moved out.  That was the deal, they'd hold onto it as long I was renting and moving, but once I was settled in a house, they were packing up a trailer and hauling it here!  As I went through all my things I came across my theatre scrapbook and happily reminisced. I didn't realize how much I missed it. It donned on me that London has a vibrant community theatre scene, and nothing was stopping me from auditioning again.

I followed a couple local theatre's on Facebook and started to see calls for auditions.  The second audition I attended was for Maybles' Productions, and a role in a comedic play called 1-900-DEE-LITE by Canadian Playwright Uwe Meyer. I was offered the role of Jennifer and enthusiastically accepted. I've been fortunate to have this opportunity to work with some very talented and professional individuals, and couldn't have asked for a better re-introduction to the stage.  I could attempt to describe the play, but it is summed up best on the event page:

"Dee is not your average grandmother - sure she's witty, kind, compassionate and loving but...she also has a job...a special job which requires her to speak to clients on the phone and, know.

When Dee gets a special man in her life, she is faced with a question - how to tell him she's a phone sex operator.

While Dee struggles with her secret, her son Scott is facing his own questions about love and friendship. With one failed marriage behind him, moving forward and taking a chance on love will not be easy.

Jennifer is the girl next door who has been Scott's close friend (and perhaps his only real friend) since they were children. How long can one wait for love before looking somewhere else?

Tom is Scott's 'Old English Teacher' and has recently reconnected with Dee. How will Scot react when he finds out his mother is dating his 'arch nemesis?'

A story about family, friendship, love and sex.
A crowd pleaser that will leave you giggling 'wee wee wee all the way home.'"

The show opens in two weeks - I'm excited and nervous, but I'm sure it will be a great time!  If you're in the London area, I highly recommend picking up a ticket - if nothing else than to see some of the amazing and talented people with whom I get to work!

Tickets are also available online.

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