With rehearsal well underway and tickets on sale for Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, publicity committee member Rebecca Hetzell took some time to learn more about our cast, including their opinions on their characters and their thoughts on the show.
Rebecca Hetzell: So, tell us a little bit about yourself, as well as who you play in Blithe Spirit and how you relate to the character.
Jennifer Andrada: I'm thrilled to be back on stage for my third show with the Bobcat Players once again under the skilled direction of Shelly Cary. I'm local to Beaver County and enjoy acting for stage, commercials and films. My passion, though, is voice-over, because from my professional home studio, I can act and stay close to my two amazing sons. I'm very excited to play Ruth Condomine because I love her modern attitude toward relationships, her dry sense of humor, and I can especially relate to her superhuman-incredible calmness and reserved dignified grace when faced with stress (and I can relate to her sarcasm too).
Joshua Antoon: I am board member with the Bobcat Players and most recently directed our season special, The Drawer Boy. I play Charles Condomine, who is really at the center of the chaos in Blithe Spirit. What I related to most would be Charles' love of drink. No, but seriously, I think I relate well to how overwhelmed and frantic he gets within the play--even if the situation is nothing like anything I've experienced.
Paul Brenner: I was last seen onstage with the Bobcats in the 2016 production of The Good Doctor. I play Dr. George Bradman and I relate most to his skepticism. I am an engineer, so like the Doctor, I need to see tangible proof that something exists or is true before I believe it.
Carrie Knopp: I was born and raised in Freedom, and still find myself there. This is my debut with the Bobcat Players for I am new to the world of theater. In the past I have done improv, comedy and standup, but this experience is completely new, different, and exciting. I will be playing Edith, the maid. Aside from being used to waiting on people, Edith and I both share the reminder from others to tone things down and also being accident-prone.
Jane Lyons: I've appeared onstage and offstage for the Bobcat Players before, but I am particularly excited to appear in this role. I play Madame Arcati, the medium who is brought in to provide a séance for the amusement of her hosts. Little did they know their plan would backfire in a spectacular way! I find it easy to understand Madame Arcati because my grandmother was a Spiritualist and would sometimes stop in the middle of meals to talk to people that weren't there. Since I was so close to her, the behavior it didn't seem odd to me at all--well, maybe a little...
Casey Novak: I've been a board member with the Bobcat Players for three years now. I just finished serving a two-year term as their Corresponding Secretary and have performed in five mainstage productions here. I play Elvira, the deceased wife who comes back to see her husband. I relate most to Elvira's playful nature--she's sarcastic and mischievous and unapologetic, and it's terribly fun to play.
Mace Porac: I, too, am no stranger to the Bobcats, most recently having played Marina in last summer's Foolish Fishgirls and the Pearl by Barbara Pease Weber. This November, I am playing Violet Bradman; my husband and I are neighbors of Ruth and Charles Condomine. They have invited us to participate in their evening with Madame Arcati, a medium. Mrs. Bradman lives the quiet life of a country doctor’s wife. The chance to participate in a séance, an event so far out of her comfort zone, is thrilling to her even if she is not quite sure she believes in the supernatural. I identify with her conflicting emotions about the opportunity.
Rebecca: What was your first impression of the script? Has it changed since we have begun rehearsals?
Jennifer: When I first read the script, I was laughing out loud and couldn't wait to audition. Casey and I had the good fortune to audition together and it was instant sparkly fun magic. I couldn't wait to bring in front of an audience! Luckily, Shelly must have felt the same because here we are preparing to share the laughs and mischief with our Bobcat audience family. During rehearsals, the cast has had so much fun working and creating together - we want everyone who comes to watch it to enjoy it as much as we have!
Josh: I immediately liked how fast-paced the script was, although I particularly enjoy the balancing act for Charles between Ruth and Elvira. After reviewing and putting the show on its feet, I've found even more comedy in it.
Carrie: I found the script quite funny and entertaining throughout. Like, Josh said, that impression hasn't really changed, so much as grown after each practice.
Jane: I have been aware of this play since I was a child through the movie version with Margaret Rutherford. The first play that I saw on Broadway as a child was the musical version of Blithe Spirit called "High Spirits". When I was in drama class in high school, one of the first acting scenes that I did was as Madame Arcati in the final scene--so you could say I have been preparing for this role my whole life!
Casey: My first impression was "I'm surprised I've not heard of this before." I find the script so hilarious that I'm shocked there hasn't been a modern movie remake! My opinion of the show hasn't really changed in that it still makes me laugh out loud, which is particularly problematic during rehearsals. However, I have come to appreciate how difficult this show really is--I wasn't phased at all when I read it, but now I'm getting the nervous jitters about pulling everything off each night. It's really going to be exciting!
Mace: I agree with everyone; my first impression was that it was very British – clever, smart, sassy.
Rebecca: What are you most looking forward to with this show and what would you say to encourage audiences to attend?
Jennifer: I'm most looking forward to bringing the audience along on a fun and light-hearted ride, giving them a night where they can relax and enjoy a good laugh with us. To those looking to attend I'd encourage them to buy their tickets early. The energy of this show and the talent of my fellow cast-mates and our amazing director and crew will make you want to come back for seconds!
Josh: My favorite part of the show is both the séance scene and the one that follows immediately after, when Charles realizes it's not over--so sharing that with our audience is what I'm looking forward to in particular. I also just love how we'll have the opportunity to showcase fun special effects and integral technical aspects with this play.
Paul: I am looking forward firstly to just being in a show, since it’s been a couple of years for me. I am also looking forward to working with so many super talented and experienced actors; some I’ve worked with before (Casey, Josh and Mace in The Good Doctor) and others I have not (Jennifer, Jane and Carrie). I want everyone to come out to see this production, not only for the great Noel Coward plot and Shelly Cary’s direction, but also for the fantastic acting and character development. And hey, 'tis the season where apparitions are about, so why not extend Halloween into November by checking us out?
Carrie: The show will keep you laughing, intrigued, and wondering what will happen next. You can never go wrong with comedy that has a twist ending.
Jane: I am looking forward to finally sinking my teeth into a role that I have wanted to play for years. I think that audiences will be amused by the story, charmed by the exquisite language that Noel Coward uses, and hopefully not be too alarmed by the things that go bump in the night!
Casey: I'm truly looking forward to showing our audiences a witty comedy with a lot of visual stimulation. I don't think most people will be familiar with the show and, in my opinion, that's a good thing--it gives us the chance to blow their socks off while we introduce them to a wonderful classic! Audiences should certainly rush to get their tickets because I can guarantee they'll have a good time and will definitely be in for a surprise. And while the show deals with the supernatural, it's not scary in any way, so don't let that keep you from joining us!
Mace: Any member of the public who has not seen this classic should try to do so because he or she will enjoy it. I look forward to listening to the audience laughter during the show!
Blithe Spirit has been hailed a "world-class comedy" and it will be playing in a theater near you for only $10! Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible, as we expect this show will have many coming back for seconds. Blithe Spirit runs November 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17, with all performances beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online, in person at the Hostess Gift Shoppe, or can be reserved through our box office by calling (724) 494-1680. And don't forget to check out our Facebook page for fun trivia along the way!