Well, folks, a setback or two has delayed progress on today’s blog but as its nothing we haven’t dealt with before, it’s full steam ahead here with you!
This afternoon’s first full company gathering for A Christmas Story is what really has me stoked, so darn excited to see everyone together in one room! I’ve caught a bit of rehearsals last week and marvel at the family dynamic among the play’s narrator Jean Shepherd played by Phillip Earl Johnson, who tells the thinly veiled tale of his own childhood in the story of the Parker Family portrayed by Danni Smith as the mother, Mike Accardo as “the old man” and their sons “Ralphie” played by young Michael Harp and his little brother “Randy,” Theo Moss.
Out of a very real play about their Christmas circa 1940, this cast brings so much honest work observing the way it was, the result is by turns heartwarming and hilarious. It’s like they are actually living it! Already! And they’ve just begun! I loved watching Director Nick Bowling work with the kids, so smartly leading them, getting to their own impulses and answers to his carefully posed questions, without in most cases ever having to tell them what to do. They discover it for themselves. Nick guides them to the right choice by having them find it on their own. I realize that this way, it’s not that they have to remember what they are told, they’ll own it simply, easily, as what they came up with themselves. I have preached to actors and designers, “you are not here to take orders, you are here to create” but to have this method work on kids is something I’ve never quite seen to this extent before. It takes a lot of trust in your actors to work this way. And Nick trusts. It has to make them feel so good, so accomplished to realize the work is getting done by this process of self-discovery. And of course, the adults relish it, as actors, live for this. They are making the part their own. They have a good director.
Love & thanks,