Interview With “Pinocchio” Cast Members

As the dates of our preview and opening performances draws nearer, I asked five members of the cast of Pinocchio to share their experiences so far. Here is what Claire, Eden, Kaleigh, Michela and Bianca had to say:

Claire Devlin is playing Geppetta the Woodcarver.

1. Why did you decide to do Theatre at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine this summer?


CLAIRE: I missed the last show due to a school trip and I missed performing!
EDEN: It sounded like a lot of fun.
KALEIGH: I decided to do theatre at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine this summer because I was looking for a new adventure and a fun time, a way to occupy my time this summer.
MICHELA: Because it’s awesome here!  This place is my second home.  I love the atmosphere here and all the people too!
BIANCA:  Because I wanted to keep busy, and it’s really fun. I made the mistake of not doing Tomato Plant Girl last summer due to one week of church summer camp and I regretted it. I didn’t want to make that mistake again!

2. What is your favorite warm-up game?  How do you play it?

Eden Dyer is playing Fox the Count.

CLAIRE: I really love the game What Are You Doing? Someone goes onstage and does a gesture, then the second person asks what they’re doing.  The first player says something different than what they’re doing.  Player B has to do that gesture and then player C enters and repeats the game with different gestures.
EDEN: The Park Bench.  You sit next to somebody waiting for the bus and talk to them in character.
KALEIGH: What Are You Doing?
MICHELA:  I like Bus Stop because it gets your brain working.  One person sits at the bus stop, neutral while another person comes up and starts the scene.  As the scene progresses, the neutral actor must come up with an excuse for leaving. Once they leave the actor left will become neutral and a new scene will start.
BIANCA: What Are You Doing? It’s so much fun!

Kaleigh Colson is playing Master Antonio and The Coachman.

3. What is your favorite moment in the play so far?


CLAIRE: I really like the moment when the blue fairy (Bianca Brown) says “Mastroni thows puppets in the fire!” and she says it in funniest way.  It really cracks me up!
EDEN: When Reed attacks the cabinet.
KALEIGH: My favorite moment was when I had to miss a few rehearsals and when I came back everyone was welcoming and happy to see me.
MICHELA: I think when Pinocchio tells the blue fairy about the silver tree in the field of miracles.
BIANCA: Finding out I got to play the blue fairy.  It was good for me, but bad for the actress originally cast in her role. She got sick and I took her place!

4. What is the craziest thing your character does in the play?

Michela Micalizio is playing Mastroni the Puppet Master.

CLAIRE: At one point in the play, I get swallowed by a giant fish.  I’d probably say the part where I build a fire to make the fish sneeze and let us out is pretty crazy.  I do that part with my cast mate, Reed Foehl, who plays Pinocchio.
EDEN: [picks up some bubblegum off the ground]
KALEIGH: I have two roles.  As Master Antonio I think the craziest thing is finding a talking piece of wood.  As the coachman the craziest thing is turning young boys into donkeys.
MICHELA: Everything!  Well, maybe not everything, but he’s a crazy guy!  I think the craziest thing he does is have the sock puppets on all the time.
BIANCA: Talk in baby talk.  All the time!

5. Why do you think people should come see Pinocchio?  What makes it a great show?
CLAIRE: There are a lot of really talented people in this show, which makes it really fun and interesting.  Also, it’s unpredictable, which makes it a fun show to watch.

Bianca Brown is playing Glissandra the Blue Fairy.

EDEN: We’ve worked hard on it and the plotline is pretty good.
KALEIGH: I think you should come to Pinocchio because it’s funny and very family friendly.  What makes the show great is the fact that there is something for everyone from younger to older.  You can’t help but LOVE it!
MICHELA: I think people should come see Pinocchio because of the fun cast and the great story, which make it a FANTASTIC show!
BIANCA: There’s a surprise around every corner.  There’s a great message for kids and humor for everyone.  The cast works really well together and that makes for a great show.

See Claire, Eden, Kaleigh, Michela, Bianca and the rest of the cast of Pinocchio on opening night, Friday, July 23 at 4pm. For tickets visit our website, call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk!

If you’d like to make new friends and have fun in the theatre like these five girls, audition for Beauty and the Beast! Auditions are Monday, August 30 from 3-5pm. We are also offering a free audition workshop on Wednesday, August 25 at 2:30pm so you can prepare! To register for the workshop call 828-1234 x247 or email reba@kitetails.org.

Interview with “Rabbit” Cast Members

I asked some key questions to 3 very interesting young actors in The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings, Bianca Brown, Erica Glidden and Alysha Alling.

Here’s what the girls had to say:
1.  Why do you do theatre at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine?
BIANCA: Because of all the nice people, and the fun shows that we put on.
ERICA: Ever since I saw my sister in shows I thought it would be really fun, and it is!
ALYSHA: I do theatre at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, because I have friends who do it with me, it’s pretty close to my house, and it’s just a BIG BUCKET OF FUN! Haha!

Bianca Brown is 16 years old. Bianca is playing Mrs. Skunk. This is Bianca’s fifth show with us; she’s also a puppeteer for our Kids on the Block puppet show.

2.  Who in the cast do you admire, why?

BIANCA: Caroline (Duck #2), because I have noticed that she has made the most progress throughout the rehearsal process, and she is really nice to everyone.
ERICA: I personally admire Michela (Little Rabbit) because she is a really great actor and makes everything fun. Also she seems like she is always living life to its fullest.
ALYSHA: I’d have to say I admire Bianca the most, because she always comes to rehearsal happy, even if she is sick with a sore throat (like she was this week). Also because when we’re backstage and some people are talking she’s not afraid to go up to them and tell them to stop.

3.  What makes The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings special?

BIANCA: The story, it has a good message for kids.
ERICA: I think The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings is a good way to tell people to love themselves.
ALYSHA: I think what makes The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings a special play is how we all work together. Also how we complement each other while acting, like how me and Michaela (Little Rabbit) make each other’s scenes better with our animal actions/moves.

Erica Glidden is 9 years old. Erica is playing Duck #3. This is Erica’s first show with us.

4.  What was your favorite moment in the rehearsal process?

BIANCA: Being told to talk in a southern accent.
ERICA: I liked all the games like gesture circle and freeze.
ALYSHA: This is a tough one… I guess my favorite moment in the rehearsal process was watching all of our characters develop.

5.  What’s your favorite moment in the play?

BIANCA: Sheena’s song. It’s so cute.
ERICA: My favorite part is when Mama Rabbit doesn’t know who Little Rabbit is because it is a really big part in the story.
ALYSHA: My favorite moment in the play is when me and Bianca have our first scene together and we act like spies! It’s REALLY fun!

Alysha Alling is 12 years old. Alysha is playing Mr. Squirrel. This is Alysha’s seventh show with us.

6.  What do you want the audience to leave the theatre thinking about / take away with them?

BIANCA: That they should be who they are, not any one else. Also, that skunks are nice animals, and don’t always spray people.
ERICA: That you should just be yourself.
ALYSHA: I want the audience to leave thinking… “That was a great play!” or “What a good life lesson for my kids!” Or just thinking they wanna come for the next play.

Come see Bianca, Erica, Alysha, and the rest of the cast perform in the final weekend of The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings! Click here to buy tickets!

Auditions for our next play, Pinocchio, are on June 5 from 10am-12pm. If you want to have fun, make new friends and learn a lot about theatre, visit our website for more information on how to prepare for the audition!

Introducing…Theatre Camps!

Summertime is coming up, and I am really excited that our theatre is going to stay alive and active all summer long!

A lot of theatres go black in the summertime and don’t offer any productions for audiences or opportunities for actors.  Not us!  Summertime is maybe our busiest time at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine and I’m hoping to get a lot of kids involved in the production and see our biggest audiences yet! Fresh air, warm weather – it’s a great time to see a play!

The cast of The Emperor's New Clothes share a hilarious moment on stage. Theatre is a great way to make new friends and memories!

We’re taking on Pinocchio!  This is a play I’ve always wanted to direct.  It’s full of really interesting and magical characters. We have to make a puppet come to life, a nose grow onstage, boys transform into donkeys, and of course, stage a dramatic scene inside the belly of a giant ocean creature!  All that will be easy—I see the real challenge for the director to be involving the audience in each of Pinocchio’s decisions.  I see this as a play about learning right from wrong, and that when we make bad choices we must face the consequences.  Pinocchio has the courage to face his mistakes, which is what makes him human in the end of the story.

If you’re between the ages of 4 and 10 and you’d like to be part of the Pinocchio, no need to audition! Just sign up for a theatre summer camp! All the theatre summer camps we offer in July will have an opportunity to be part of the show.  Four and five year olds can sign up for either the Magical Myths or Under the Deep Blue Sea and be a special guest star in the show!  Six to eight year olds can sign up for Puppets and More, and make a puppet to be part of Stromboli’s Carnival!  Eight to ten year olds in the three week intensive camp The Play’s the Thing will take on the ensemble roles in the show.

On June 5, we’ll hold auditions for Pinocchio for a few older actors to play key parts in the play (ages ten and up).  I love seeing older actors mentor and act as role models for younger actors.  The older actors who audition will be helpers with the summer camps, and will act as mentors to the younger members of the ensemble.  If you’d like to play a principal part in Pinocchio, and you think you’d enjoy being a leader for younger children, you should definitely come in and audition!

Rehearsal for The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings. Rehearsals are fun and exciting opportunities to be creative and explore all aspects of theatre!

Pinocchio will run for two weekends starting July 22 and running through August 1, Thursday through Sunday. All performances are at 4:00pm in the Dress Up Theatre.

But wait – summer’s not over yet! August is for Improvisation! Improvisation is the practice of acting spontaneously, in the moment.  This is a key concept for all young actors as they develop their acting toolkit!  In the That’s Comedy camp for ages eight to ten, we will be learning new games everyday to develop our skills as improvisers, and playing them in front of an audience everyday!

I have a busy summer ahead of me, full of puppets, stage lights and wacky off the cuff scenes… I can’t wait to get started!

Don’t forget! The Buy One, Get One Half Off early bird special ends May 1! This is the last week to take advantage of this great offer. Click here for more information and to register for any of our theatre, science or cultural camps!

Let your child take the stage!

Whether your child is a natural actor or a wallflower, creative play and theatre activities will inspire your whole family to play together.  The benefits of introducing your child to dramatic play at an early age are numerous.  Dramatic play improves cognitive development, social skills, communication, motor skills and emotional development. Young children have vibrant and  active imaginations;  do you play a role in your child’s imagination games?  You can!

Begin with your favorite book.  Read it out loud a few times over the period of a week to get a feel for the story.  Younger children will learn key dialogue moments just from repetition.  Older kids might enjoy the task of adapting the story, and writing out the dialogue.  Ask the question, how can we act this out?  Brainstorm ideas together.

The next step is to act it out.  Pick characters.  Parents should definitely play roles too. If there are too many characters, have each actor play multiple roles.  If there aren’t enough characters in the story for your family, add some more.  Theatre teaches us to be team players and problem solvers.  How can everyone take part in the story?  Make sure to listen to your child’s ideas, and try them out.  You may have a budding director on your hands. Rehearse your story a few times.  Like anything else, the sillier you are by changing your voice, exaggerating your movements, the freer and exaggerated your child will be.  Theatre can teach us communication skills.  Ask questions like, “How can you use your voice to tell the audience about your character?” “How can we use your body to tell the audience what happened next?”

Now for the flourishes; dig though your closet to find something that signifies the character.  You don’t need to go overboard, use common items you can find around the house!  Set the stage.  How can you transform your living room rug into a duck pond?  You could even invite your friends and extended family to come watch the play in your living room!  Make posters and tickets!  Imagine how confident your child would be after putting on their own show for family, friends or neighbors.  After bowing to that applause they’re sure to be a few inches taller!

Cinderella Audience Reviews!

I had the pleasure of interviewing some young audience members as they were leaving Cinderella last Thursday.  The Dress Up Theatre was packed, but both Leo and Jai had front row seats on the bolsters!  Jai even got to go up on the stage when the Fairy God Mother (played by 11-year-old Bridget Fehrs) did magic tricks at the beginning of the play!

Jai sitting in the Emperor's throne.

Leo watched the play with his brother Sam and his Mom Eden. Jai watched the play with his Grandmother.  They were both eager to talk to me afterward and tell me what they thought!

You can listen to the full interview here.  Here are a few of my favorite parts:

Reba:  What did you think of the play?
Jai & Leo:  Good!!!!

Reba:  What was your favorite part?
Jai:  In the end.
Leo:  The end!

Reba:  Why the end?
Leo:  Because they married each other.

Leo enjoying a snack after the play.
Leo getting into the royal mood with a bag of jewels!

Reba:  What was your favorite costume?
Jai:  The Prince’s
Leo:  Cinderella’s!

Reba:  Why Cinderella’s?
Leo:  Because it was pretty.

I’ve seen Jai and his Grandmother at several plays and Leo and his brother Sam have even taken a Teensy Weensy Theatre Class with me.  It’s exciting to see young people engage with and enjoy theatre at an early age, a sign that they’ll value the arts for life!

Update: Cinderella & The Emperor’s New Clothes

Cinderella opened this weekend to sold out crowds! It was great to see so many girls coming to the shows dressed as Cinderella.

Cinderella (Christian Rowe), Stepmother Calvina (Alexandra Neudek) and Stepsisters Clio & Claudette (Julia Swett & Lilly Walker)

I think there might be some confusion about our Cinderella and The Emperor’s New Clothes show dates! Sunday was not the final performance of Cinderella, there is still a chance to catch it again March 11-14. The Emperor’s New Clothes opens this week and again March 18-21. Below are all the performance dates:

The Emperor’s New Clothes

  • Thursday, March 4 at 4pm
  • Friday, March 5 at 4pm
  • Saturday, March 6 at 1pm & 4pm
  • Sunday, March 7 at 1pm & 4pm
  • Thursday, March 18 at 4pm
  • Friday, March 19 at 4pm
  • Saturday, March 20 at 1pm & 4pm
  • Sunday, March 21 at 1pm & 4pm

Cinderella

  • Thursday, March 11 at 4pm
  • Friday, March 12 at 4pm
  • Saturday, March 13 at 1pm & 4pm
  • Sunday, March 14 at 1pm & 4pm

Click here to buy tickets  to both shows!

Continue reading “Update: Cinderella & The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Meet Claire, an actor in The Emperor’s New Clothes!

Claire has been acting in our plays since 2008 and she is so fun to work with. Seeing her grow through the years has been amazing and I asked her to share a little about her acting experience. Here’s what she had to say:

Claire, an actor in our Theatre productions

“Joining back in autumn of 2008, I acted in Raggedy Anne and Andy and Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s summer show, Tomato Plant Girl. Raggedy Anne and Andy was my first real theatre experience. I was, of course, very nervous when I went in to my audition. I was soothed by Reba’s calming manner and my audition began immediately. My mother met us after, and, my nerves returning, Reba led me upstairs. She saw my mom and broke into a jabber about scheduling, rehearsals, and show times. My mom looked at me. “Does this mean she’s in?” Beaming at me, Reba stated, “She’s in like Flynn.” I broke into a wide grin. Continue reading “Meet Claire, an actor in The Emperor’s New Clothes!”

Meet Allison, a Theatre volunteer!

I love working with enthusiastic volunteers and I want to share one of them with you. Allison acted and volunteered with the Children’s Theatre of Maine for years and I am so lucky that she has continued her volunteer work here at the Museum & Theatre. The kids love her and she is so helpful during rehearsals! Here is what Allison had to say about her experiences volunteering with the theatre program:

Allison outside the Dress-Up Theatre

“My first memories of the Children’s Theatre of Maine are from when it was still located on Marginal Way, where I participated in several of the summer musical-intensive camps. It was an opportunity to gain theatre experience outside of my school, work with new kids, and make new friends. I had so much fun undergoing our intense rehearsal schedules; we had the chance to spend every day singing and dancing for 8 hours! By high school, I was completely immersed in our drama program and am currently majoring in Theatre and Art History at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. I became re-immersed into the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine as I was searching for summer jobs and keeping my fingers crossed for something within my field of study. Continue reading “Meet Allison, a Theatre volunteer!”