Pickle Planet Moncton likes to touch base with some of the great organizations operating in our community. Today we highlight the Capitol Theatre with the help of Melannie Eldridge, Manager of Partnerships and Special Projects.
This month it has been all things Oliver! at the Capitol Theatre!
Opening weekend brought in hundreds of spectators, rave reviews, and a great deal of excitement and pride. More than 100 people worked tirelessly for weeks on end to create a show I can only describe as epic in scale.
Some of the hardest working and most unsung heroes in this production are the parents supporting the incredible 25 young actors making up our youth cast. (The full cast also includes 30 adults, including several professionals from across the country.) I’ve been thinking a lot about these parents as I watch them endlessly dropping off, picking up, delivering materials, helping their kids learn their parts, balancing work, school and home, promoting them like a well paid agent, and on and on and on. Why do they do it? More appropriately, how do they do it? It never ceases to amaze me how much a parent will give for their child.
I thought back to my own childhood and the incredible support my parents gave me as a young performer. For years, they spent their time, money, and effort on giving me experiences they would surely have zero interest in themselves. I can’t imagine either of my parents having the slightest desire to perform on stage under any circumstance. Regardless, they recognized the joy it brought me and put everything they had into giving me access to that joy.
So how do the parents feel about performance and the experiences that come along with it? I became curious about where the similarities and differences lie in opinions between them and their children. I decided to ask a few questions to our youngest cast member, Lily Lowe, who is 7 – just about the age I was when I started loving theatre. I asked the very same questions to her very supportive and surely exhausted mother, Katie.
Q & A with Oliver! youth cast member, Lily, and her mom, Katie
Melannie: On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a snooze fest and 10 being completely thrilling, where do you rate live stage performance?
What is your favorite thing about seeing a live show?
Katie: The “goosebumps” moments.
What was the first stage performance you ever saw? What do you remember about it?
Lily: Wicked in London UK; I remember how Elphaba levitated!
Katie: Cats in the 1980s in Toronto and I have only vague memories as I was very young.
Have you ever performed in front of an audience? How old were you when you first performed? How much time have you spent in your life doing it?
Lily: Dance shows starting at 3.
Katie: Grade 4 choir.
What is the biggest group of people you’ve ever been in front of before?
Lily: Suessical audience last year (about 450).
Katie: I try not to speak in front of people! Ha!
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being fully comfortable and 10 being terrifying, how scary do you think it is to perform in front of an audience?
Katie: 10 (I have my reservations about Lily’s answer but she won’t let me change it!)
If you be in any show, what would it be? If you could play any character, which one would it be?
Lily: Annie, then Matilda.
Katie: I’d be Michael in Matilda because he just sits there playing dumb.
Why do you perform? Why do you work to support your child performing?
Katie: Same answer: her joy!
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the hardest work ever and 10 being the most fun ever, where do you rate your experience on this show?
Katie: 1 (it’s a lot of driving)
Whose work impresses you the most on this production?
Lily: Costume guy (Michael McArdle and his costuming team)
Katie: Lily; but unbiased answer, Nancy.
What has been the biggest challenge of this experience for you? What have you learned from it?
Lily: I didn’t know what blocking was but when I learned about blocking then I felt much better
Katie: Having two other kids to keep alive and worrying about weather doesn’t help keep the skies clear!
What has been the most fun you’ve had so far on this performance?
Lily: Dance numbers
Katie: Watching it all come together
How long do you think you’ll clearly remember this experience?
If you had to pick three words to best describe your experience and feelings on this production, what would they be?
Lily: amazing, marvelous, tiring
Katie: I think Lily nailed this one, now can I take a nap??
The Capitol Theatre is one of Moncton’s greatest heritage buildings and has been promoting local, national, and international talent in our region for almost a century. Don’t miss any updates on events; follow The Capitol on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram today. And watch for more guest posts here on Pickle Planet!