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Tri-State Theater
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Children of Eden - Comments from the Cast!

We’ve done quite a few interviews with directors and (individual) actors here at ye olde Tri-State Theatre blog – but here’s our first-ever cast interview. (Well, we couldn't get comments from everyone, so I guess it’s actually a partial cast interview - but still a first!)

We sent a list of questions to the entire cast of Children of Eden (which starts Friday), and here are the answers we received:

Q: Why did you want to be in Children of Eden?

Scott Burner: I wanted to be in Children Of Eden because I had been familiar with the show for a while and loved it. It really hits home for a lot of people. It's very genuine and personal and it portrays relationships in a realistic, yet optimistic way. The characters are so dynamic and relatable that they all seem like people you actually know. Plus the music is fantastic and unlike anything else that's ever been done around here.

Mary Kate Young: I wanted to be in Children of Eden because I wanted to work with Jack, work with my mentor, Mary, be with my friends, and perform (that's the best part).

Andrew Edwards: I’ve tried out for a lot of plays because I’ve always wanted to be a actor. I’ve taken extra measures this year to better my chances like going to acting camp last summer. I wanted to be in Children of Eden because I really just wanted to be in a play.

Emileigh Wilson: When I learned that "Children" was written by Steven Schwartz I was thrilled because I knew he had also written Wicked. I had the opportunity to see Wicked on Broadway in New York while on class trip with the drama club from school. I knew it would be a great opportunity to perform in this amazing show.

Cody Verbage: I wanted to be in Children of Eden because I think theater is such a fun and productive activity to be in. Plus, a lot of my friends auditioned for the show.

Brittany Hazeldine: Not only is this my last show with First Stage Theatre Company, but I also wanted to do it because it's biblically based, and this is sort of my way of thanking God with my love for theatre for all of the things He's provided me with.

Q: What part of the show do you enjoy most?

Josh Meredith: This show has been very different from most shows in that we had the great opportunity to work with Jack Cirillo and the folks at Marshall University. It has given us some insight as to how the professional world of theatre works, which is great for people like me who are planning on going into theatre professionally. I have had a wonderful time working with Jack, as well as Mary, Mark, and Joanna, the other fabulous directors.

Kristin Caviani: I've always thoroughly enjoyed being on stage, no matter what it is I'm doing. It's a crazy awesome thrill that doesn't stop until you fall asleep after the final show.

Elliott Imlay: My favorite part of the show is the final song because it has the most meaning and is amazing.

TJ Thompson: My favorite is getting to do my first death scene. It's way cool.

Q: What would you say to a kid out there who's thinking about trying out for a future show?

Elliott Imlay: I would say that everyone needs to give theater a try at least once because it's a lot of fun and is full of amazing people.

Brittany Hazeldine:
DO IT! It's the most wonderful feeling I could ever imagine! I wasn't cast in the first three shows I auditioned for, so don't let the fear of rejection keep you from auditioning. I've found a passion in performing, not only because of the rush of being on stage, but because of the BEST friends I've made! (It would actually be more appropriate to call them a "family!")

Josh Meredith: Theatre is the greatest tool for a timid child to overcome his or her shyness. It provides children with an outlet for creativity, as well as their emotions. Being on stage, in my opinion, is the greatest feeling in the world. I would advise a child and his or her family to watch the newspaper for upcoming auditions, as well as various audition workshops. (Shameless plug: The First Stage Theatre Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is planning an audition workshop for kids in the coming year.)

Katy Pettit:
I would tell anyone thinking about doing a show that it is the most amazing experience you can have. Even if you only do it once or twice the experience stays with you and can help you later in life.

TJ Thompson: The best part is making new friends and it is just fun.

Cody Verbage: I think any kid that has any thought of trying out for a show should do it. Through plays, you can meet so many friends that you didn't even know existed. Also, it's a great way to work on your oratory skills.

Emileigh Wilson:
I would say go for it! You will have a great time and meet lots of new friends. Be confident, and don't hold anything back!

Scott Burner: The whole thing is such a wonderful experience. All the kids who do the shows are like a big family. It's such a great experience to be able to create a work of art to share with the community and to do it with such an amazing group of people.

Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Andrew Edwards:
I would recommend this show because it has funny parts, sad parts, and it’s telling you about the Bible.

Josh Meredith: The great thing about Children of Eden is it can be enjoyed by any person of any age, religion, gender, race, etc. It has a beautiful message that anyone can take in. It provides us with a moral that we have been given a choice concerning how to live our lives. As the final song proclaims, "Our hands can choose to drop the knife, our hearts can choose to stop the hating. For every moment of our lives is a beginning." Stephen Schwartz has provided us with a message that "In whatever time we have..." we must "seek for our garden [of Eden]" and live our lives to the fullest, showing compassion and making good choices while doing so.

Kristin Caviani: Why would you recommend this show? because it's not just another show. there's some way powerful stuff in the songs and no matter how good the cast and crew, there probably won't be a dry eye in the theatre when the show's over. also, it's about God and creation and all that good stuff and it's just awesome.

Mary Kate Young: It has a great message of how we all have the power to make the right choice, it’s figuring out what is right that’s so hard. Also this show sends this message through children which makes it even more powerful.

Katy Pettit: I would recommend this show because it is not your usual musical. It is about something that people actually believe in and it is amazing to hear that story with the music and the actors.

Brittany Hazeldine:
The entire cast and all of the directors and crew have worked SO hard to make this production possible, and I can guarantee that anyone who sees this show will leave feeling different than when they come in. The show encompasses the reality that life isn't perfect, and it focuses on the human nature of Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and Noah and his family. Again, I'll say that it's incredibly moving and inspirational, and I hope everyone reading this blog comes to see Children of Eden.