CHARM by Kathleen Cahill. 'Strawberries' by David J. Bohnet, Under Study for Ralph Waldo Emerson/Nathaniel Hawthorne/Count O.
The date is March 1st. I enter the not-so-unfamiliar chapel theatre
for the first read thru with the entire cast. Executive Producer Keven
Myhre shakes my hand welcomes me in, I choose a seat next to a
familiar face, Understudy Heidi Hackney. The room is bustling with
people, Kathleen Cahill the playwright is here! An amazingly confident
stage manager; John Geertsen stands counting the minutes before
liftoff. There's Meg Gibson! You would have to be dead not be warmed
and charmed by her amazing energy. One by one I am introduced to these
amazingly creative working actors, artistic minds poise and ready to
begin this wonderful journey. I become incredibly overwhelmed at the
magnitude of this job I was undertaking. I should be more prepared...
Everyone here is so....professional! I look around, I begin to panic.
How am I not memorized???! I bet all the actors are off book, they've
had there scripts for months, I just got my copy!-- AND suddenly I am
passed a container.
And in this container some of the biggest juiciest strawberries I have
probably ever seen in my life stared back at me. I look up. Meg smiles
and introductions begin. Slowly we begin to reveal the incredible
journey CHARM has had; from work shopping in Orlando, to stage
readings here at SLAC, the addition of extra work weeks for the
rehearsal process, and everything right down to the inception of CHARM
right from the playwrights mouth. What do I do? How do I proceed??
This is not something that happens everyday. To be on the front lines
of such an amazing story and to delve into so many great characters
with artists, I have grown to respect and admire, is a once in a
lifetime opportunity. I am beaming with excitement.
I am a recently graduated acting student from the University of Utah.
I have done numerous College performances, even some professional work
here in Salt Lake. But this chance to understudy at a theater like
SLAC, to be exposed to the world of professional theatre with such
grace and positive cohesive creative energy is something I can only
dream my newly budding career will produce again. SLAC and this entire
process of CHARM was an amazing stepping stone in my career as an
actor and my process as an artist. I thank everyone right down to my
fellow understudies for there insight, conversations, thoughts and
creative drive. I know another first day table read equipped with
heavenly strawberries is unlikely, but wouldn't it be great?