We are just EIGHT DAYS away from opening night of Matthew Barber's Enchanted April. Though rehearsals are obviously in full swing, I was fortunate enough to have some valuable time with a few of the cast members, who so graciously agreed to an interview. Check out their thoughts below and don't forget to purchase your tickets before it's too late!
Casey: First of all, let me just thank the four of you for taking time out of your busy rehearsal schedule to promote your show. Would you mind briefly introducing yourselves and telling us about your experience with the Bobcat Players so far?
Jennifer: My name is Jennifer Kopach and this is my second show with the Bobcat Players! Last year, I played the role of Karen Holt in Something to Hide. I was excited to open the season last year, and I am blessed and thrilled to be opening the 2019 season as well! You know, I am always so impressed with the Bobcat Players--from the board to the casts and crews, to the works chosen and prepared.
Barbara: I'm Barbara Trehar and I have been performing in community theater for more than 50 years. It is a part of who I am, and the Bobcat Players have been a pleasant addition to my contacts in theater. Everyone has been very welcoming and I am impressed with the talent--and experience--of everyone involved!
Shelly: My name is Shelly Cary and I have been with the Bobcat Players for a long time--my first show with the group was in 2004! Since then, I have ran tech for 1 show, stage managed 2, assistant directed 3, directed 4, and this show will be my 7th as an actor. I am also currently on the Board of Directors as Secretary and I am serving as the lead of the Board's publicity committee.
David: And I'm David Cary. I’ve been a member of the Bobcat Players since 2004, when I appeared in California Suite. It feels good to be back on stage with this amazing group who is clearly dedicated to bringing quality theater to Beaver County.
Casey: So tell us about your character and what you like most about her--or him!
Shelly: Rose is a complex character; at her core, she's trying to figure out how to move forward with her life after a traumatic event that has driven a wedge between herself and her husband. She is currently going through the motions, trying to convince everyone--but mostly herself--that she is content. Still, there is that desire for blissful peace and beautiful love that keeps nagging at her. She's seeking true peace and happiness, while also trying to deal with her husband's questionable career choices. Playing her is a definite challenge, but I am enjoying the process of pulling back the many layers of her personality and learning what a truly beautiful person she is, both inside and out.
Jennifer: My character, Lotty Wilton, is a true gem, and she also pushes me as an actor. In some ways, she is exactly like me and in other ways, we are very opposite. I'm working to find a good balance between the dreamer--the incredibly optimistic and lovable person Lotty is--while also keeping her both real and truthful. This is a challenging, yet wonderful, role and I hope the audiences enjoy Lotty's positivity and hopefulness as much as I do.
David: I am playing Lotty's husband, Mellersh Wilton. Mellersh is what one typically thinks of as a proper Englishman. He’s not very affectionate, yet he does love his wife. He likes his life and home to run in an orderly fashion. Well, basically, he and I are not really alike at all. I’m a very emotional person, so this has been a challenge to play such a reserved character who doesn’t really show emotion--until something disrupts his orderly life.
Barbara: Mrs. Graves, too, is a complex character who has had a wonderful life. She's had relationships with some of England's greatest artists, married in high society, and enjoyed all the perks that come with it. However, there is a dark side to Mrs. Graves, who continues to mourn for her dead father and husband while the rest of Britain is recovering from the First World War. She has a bit of resentment for other women who haven't suffered the losses she has, and she's not sure there is anything more to look forward to. But her experience in Italy shows her that a sense of love and compassion can be renewed, and that there's still time to enjoy life and the company of others.
Casey: What was your first impression of the script and has it changed? If so, how?
David: Honestly, I didn’t really have a chance to read the script before diving into rehearsals because I took over the part when another actor left the show. When I finally read the script all the way through, I thought it was a charming show--but not necessarily comedic. However, after seeing it staged and some of the characterizations from this amazing cast, I’ve realized that yes, the show is very charming--but it is also very funny!
Barbara: I agree. When I first read the script, I didn't readily recognize all the humor involved, but as I see the director and my fellow actors plumbing its depths, I realize the play is not only a little melancholy about life's losses, but it also looks at daily challenges with gentle humor, a true sense of optimism and very deep wisdom.
Jennifer: I was familiar with the script before I read it in detail and with a close lens. Before I was cast as this role, I knew the play as a sweet and charming show, more on the drama end then comedy. But after getting into the script and what each individual character brings to the table, it is SO much more than that! There are serious, teary moments, and funny laugh-out-loud moments, and there are both deep emotions and fun emotions. This script makes you smile and think and wonder. Under Jessica’s direction, it truly is one of a kind and will be one you won’t want to miss!
Shelly: I can only echo the sentiments of my fellow cast-mates. My first reaction after I read Enchanted April the first time was, "Well, that was a sweet story of finding love and friendship." But as we get deeper into rehearsals, and the words are given a voice, the humor is coming out--and so much more.
Casey: What would you say to encourage audience members to attend?
Barbara: Come and see us! The cast is first-rate, the play is funny and thought-provoking, and you'll come away with a smile in your heart.
Shelly: This show really has everything: sorrow, laughter, fear, happiness, you name it! I think everyone will find at least one character that they can relate to on a personal level. This show, much like spring, is about stepping away from the dreariness and into beauty and new beginnings!
David: This show has an adorable story of the rediscovery of love and self, featuring a talented group of people, both on and behind the stage. The cast is composed of a wonderful group of actors, committed to the hard work of bringing this story to life. The directors are so creative, not only with actors but with every aspect of the production to make this beautiful story come to life.
Jennifer: Well, for one reason, I am not a murderer this year--as I was in Something to Hide! For real though, don’t miss this show - great cast, great crew, great director and the level of complexity will entertain all theatre-goers. We are inviting you to a charming and enchanted evening and, to quote my character, “who could resist an invitation to heaven?"
Enchanted April runs April 5-6 and 11-13 with all performances beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale at the Hostess Gift Shoppe and online. You can also reserve by calling our box office at (724) 494-1680. We can't wait to see you there!