Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Up with Ralph Redpath

Ralph Redpath has a career in the theatre that spans decades. Over the years at ACT, he’s directed everything from Inherit the Wind to Miss Evers’ Boys; most recently, he directed the acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He has appeared in or directed over 100 shows during his 44 year history as a member of the acting/directing company at Flat Rock Playhouse. Ralph holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he trained alongside Meryl Streep. Up next at ACT, he’ll direct Not Now, Darling which opens in August 2015.

Ralph is also teaching our Adult Acting Class this spring, and we caught up with him to talk characters, collaboration, and critique.

ACT: What can students expect to work on in the class? 

RR: We do monologues and scene studies, with the scenes usually between two people. We work on character development. Usually, I will pick something for each student, but we also have people bring things in that they’d like to work on, that they’d like feedback on. In my class, everyone participates in honest and respectful critique. It’s very collaborative in that sense.

ACT: What do you want people to know about your class?

RR: It’s a kind class. No one yells, no one screams. It’s a safe space to experiment and to try new things. Trying something new is so important, and in this class, the pressure is off so that you can. It’s a great way to learn, to get help, and also to really increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself.

At the same time, there’s outside work that you have to do. You do have to learn your lines. That’s expected.

ACT: What’s most exciting for you as a teacher?

RR: You get to watch people open, watch people as they find parts of themselves. And if you’re a theatre junkie like I am, it’s pretty exciting to spend time exploring the text. I love hearing students’ interpretations of a script and thinking, “I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

I had a student last year whose native language was not English and she had never taken an acting class before. She did a scene from The Glass Menagerie; she was totally unfamiliar with the script or with the characters. The innocence and the openness she brought to the scene were just beautiful.

I also love to see someone really surprise themselves. Someone will have a comedic scene, someone who’s never really done comedy before, and they’ll do the scene and get a laugh, and they are totally not expecting it. That’s wonderful to see.

ACT: Why should someone take this class?

RR: Dancers practice. Musicians practice. You want to get better at something, you practice. Taking an acting class is keeping the gears going. Plus, you get to walk away with experience that you can take with you into an audition.

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Many thanks to Ralph for spending a great afternoon with us! Now it's your turn! Want to take Ralph's class? Click here to register!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cast List: A Chorus Line

Though we cast A Chorus Line several weeks ago, the cast list never made it to our blog! So without further ado, here it is!

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Diana … Taylor Aldrich
Al … Charlie Burchill
Greg … Bradshaw Call
Larry … Marcos Cunha
Maggie … Alexa Edelman
Paul … Andrew Espenshade
Mike … Ben Falcon
Mark … Carson Fox
Connie … Rachel Gordon
Don … Ben Harrison
Francis … Kristen Hipps
Chorus … Zac Landolt
Judy … Reeni Lindblum
Richie … Corey Link
Sheila … Alex Likens
Bebe … Fleming Lomax
Zach … Badi Micheli
Cassie … Rebecca O'Quinn
Val … Candice Owen
Tricia … Karyn Panek
Vicki … Jessica Savitt
Kristine … Sam Stewart
Butch … Katie Turner
Lois … Madeline Wadley

Bobby … Jacob Walas

A Chorus Line opens February 6, 2015 and runs through March 1, 2015.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Study Guide: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Busloads of students are joining us on Tuesday, December 16 for our student matinees of A Charlie Brown Christmas. We love giving students and teachers a little more information before they come - and also things to do after the show! Feel free to download our study guide!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Getting into the "Charlie Brown Christmas" Spirit!

Yes, I could literally look at this all afternoon!

We open A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 5 and the preparations for the show are spinning us all into the holiday spirit. From life-sized paper-mache' snowmen to the iconic colorful Christmas trees, and from Snoopy's decorated doghouse to Lucy's booth, perfect pieces from A Charlie Brown Christmas are in every room in the building!

And it's not just the inside ... check out what we've done to the windows!

We'll have more pictures coming throughout the week; Schroeder's piano is especially cute! It's going to be a great show!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This Weekend: "Charlotte's Web"

This weekend, our Youth Production Class presents Charlotte's Web, a play based on the book that the Children’s Literature Association named “the best American children’s book of the past two hundred years."

One of our favorite parts of presenting shows that star 6-9 year olds is reading the actor bios. We are positively swept away by the amazing-ness of these young actors - and just in case you're not able to make it to one of the shows (and thus receive a playbill), we thought we'd share a few examples.

Elizabeth (Edith Zuckerman/Spider #1) is 7 years old and in the 2nd grade at Evergreen. Last summer, Liz drew on her dad’s face and thought it was really funny until he woke up. She also went to Soak City and rode H2O. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite animal is a zebra.

Elijah (Homer Zuckerman) is in the 5th grade at Isaac Dickson. If he had a super power, he would not want to be Aquaman because he would want to have both the ability to breathe underwater and shoot lightning. Once while doing a backflip, he fell in the mud and found a $50 bill. He likes pepperoni pizza.

Cora (Avery Arable/Spider #3) is 7 and is the oldest child in her family. She enjoys watching movies with her family because her baby brother laughs really hard. Once when she was vacationing on Hunting Island, she found a dead baby shark on the beach. Her favorite animal is a horse and she loves mushrooms.

We're so excited to see the whole cast onstage this weekend! Break legs and webs!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cast List: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Thank you to everyone who auditioned for A Charlie Brown Christmas! We're excited about this show and we're excited about this cast!

Charlie Brown: Craig Justus
Linus: Kyle Fitzsimmons*
Lucy: Tara Theodossis
Snoopy: Candice Owen
Sally: Karen Covington
Schroeder: Daniel Hensley
Pigpen: Zachary Ryan*
Freida: Cary Nichols
Violet: Katie Turner
Patty: Susan Lawrence*
Shermy: Zac Ball*

*Asterisk denotes actor's first time performing in an ACT Mainstage production.

Study Guide: The Addams Family

We have busloads of middle and high school students joining us for our student matinees of The Addams Family. We thought it would be great to share some behind-the-scenes information before they see the show and as well as some fun activities to do after seeing the show, so we created a new study guide just for this show!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Costume Sale! Costume Sale!

ACT's Awesome Costume Sale! 
Saturday, August 30 
9:00 am - 12:00 pm 

It's back! The rummage event that's starred on every vintage dress-lovin', thrift store treasure huntin', crazy funky hat wearin' person's calendar!

The pieces featured at the sale are not necessarily full blown costumes - for instance, you will probably not find a complete 1920s three piece suit with watch fob and spats, but you will find an eclectic assortment of pieces with which to build an ensemble like none other seen in Asheville - and you know THAT'S saying something!

We'll be downstairs in 35below for the sale. That's around the back of the Asheville Community Theatre building. See you then - and don't be late!