This week’s snapshot takes focus on the Archibald-Abbott family. Holly, Allan, and Gretchen are all a part of Music Man in some way. I was first introduced to Holly when she inquired about photos I had taken form the first rehearsal I attended. Holly is our fantastic producer for the show, Allan is acting as Charlie Cowell, and Gretchen is role-sharing the position of Winthrop. I was able to have a few moments with each of them during the our most recent rehearsal and ask them what they love about the show and why they love it.
Holly was initially drawn to the show because of our director Thea (who was interviewed last week). Holly said that working with Thea is great because she has fun when she is leading a show and make for a positive space, which is almost essential to a volunteer production.
“There are many hours of work we all put into a show and having an environment that you want to be in makes all the difference.” - Holly
When I asked Holly why she took on the responsibility of being our producer, she said that she wanted to take on the challenges associated with the job. Tracking down a few dozen people constantly is definitely a challenge I will leave to her, and she does it admirably. Holly stated she likes being in the theatre group because she doesn’t feel out of place here due to the openness of the people she is working with.
Allan has a role on stage for this show, as mentioned earlier. This isn’t his first time on stage either as he was a part of the show The Little Mermaid last year at Quick as a Wink playing a sailor and a manta ray. In this show he has a more substantial role where he is really getting in on the action of dancing and singing. When I asked about any other experience he has had in the theatre, he told me that he and Holly both assisted backstage during the scheduled run of Annie, also at Quick as a Wink. When asked about how he felt rehearsals were going so far, he stated that the pace felt easygoing.
When I first joined the cast of Music Man, I was confused as to why there were two children playing the role of Winthrop. I was later told that the role was being shared; one of the children playing Winthrop is Gretchen. Gretchen’s first role was in Annie, as part of the ensemble, and this is her first time taking on a larger role. She says that she enjoys sharing the role because it feels like less pressure for her first time as a main character, and she enjoys being able to practice her lines with her partner. When I asked her if acting is something she wants to do when she gets older, her face lit up. She loves singing and dancing so working onstage is the perfect marriage of the two. One show that she wishes she could be in is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
When I asked the whole family what they enjoyed most when working together I received almost the same answer from each of them. They like the feeling of being together as a family, working on a project together. They also like how their family is able to join into the collective cast and crew creating a larger family. Coming to a rehearsal feels like going to see old friends, which for a larger cast can sometimes be difficult. Watching the three of them work together and is heartening because how well they all play off one another. I am happy to have them as part of the show, and to have the chance to work with them.