Monthly Archives: February 2017

We’ve Got Two Babes

DreamWrights has had a long history of double casting. Twenty years of it, in fact. This has provided for more involvement and educational opportunities. And more fun. Traditionally, the two actors cast for the same role were very similar. Comparable in size, shape, look, and style. Hilary Adams, Director for Babe the Sheep-Pig, decided to mix things up and choose two very contrasting young actors to play the lead character of Babe. Ten year old Natalie Doran and twelve year old Noah Youcheff are distinctive in many ways: height, gender, style, but both had something that caught director, Hilary Adams’ attention. She explains, “I looked for poise, confidence, and natural ability to interpret text and find meaning. She also had the sense that they would be able to carry the show since they are on stage for practically the entire production. “That’s a lot of stage time to handle effectively for any age.”

Hilary is anticipating the uniqueness that each Babe brings to his/her show. “They both have wonderfully unique, inventive versions of the character of Babe. They are very different actors, and thus their “Babes” are both quite different from each other. That’s one of the really fun things to witness: two very different, equally effective, interpretations of a character in action!”

Both Noah and Natalie were eager to be chosen to be Babe, and even more thrilling for them was that their friend was chosen to be their “other.” The two had become pals while working together on The Wizard of Oz. Natalie remembers, “When I found out I was chosen to be Babe, I was super excited because this is only my second show at DreamWrights and I thought I wasn’t going to get a part this big. I was really happy for Noah and excited to find out he was chosen as the other Babe. I thought it was crazy…” Noah interrupts, “…because we were just joking about it during auditions! I was really happy too.”

Even at their young ages, these two are learning more than the challenging blocking. They are learning the life lesson woven through the story of Babe. Natalie explains, “The show itself has taught me that it really doesn’t matter what you are, you can be whatever you really want to be if you try hard enough.” Noah agrees, “Yes, you can be anything you want. That’s a strong lesson that people need to know. Babe is very realistic story, other than animals talking. A pig could actually herd sheep… It could!” Natalie laughs in agreement, “Yeah, it could happen with them talking animal language. But yeah, it could.”

Come to the DreamWrights farm show, Babe the Sheep-Pig, which opens Friday, February 10 and runs February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 6:30 pm and February 11, 12, 19, and 26 at 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-848-8623. Advance seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved. General admission seats at the door cost $12.

 

Putting the polish on PSM

Jessica Crowe makes her living as a free-lance performance artist. She is used to performing in unique venues, from underwater-style theatres to big stages.  But Jessica has made a place for herself right here at DreamWrights. “The funny thing is, as a performance artist, I travel all over the country but DreamWrights is my favorite place to be. It’s really cool traveling but this is feels very much like home for me and it has helped York feel like home.”

In only her third production at DreamWrights, Jessica has found her passion behind the scenes. “I love the acting aspect of working on a production but as a Stage Manager you really get to work with the whole cast and the crew and you get to know everyone in the production. Whereas, as an actor, you’re really more involved with the people you’re specifically on stage with. I love being able to work with everybody.”

Jessica Crowe with Jaci Keagy

During The Wizard of Oz, Jessica became quite invaluable to director, Jaci Keagy. Jaci explains, “The most effective stage managers are those people who can see what needs to be done and just jump in and do it.  That was Jessica to a T.  She was especially strong during tech and when the show was running.  She was a good leader and kept her cool.  I felt fortunate to have her.”

This time around, Jessica is the Production Stage Manager (PSM) for Babe, the Sheep-Pig.  At DreamWrights, the PSM is the right hand to the director in a production. With her professional performance experience, and the lessons she’s learned at DreamWrights, Jessica shares her best advice for what makes an effective PSM:

  • Be Organized. “You have to be really organized with paperwork, be able to handle blocking, and be able to instruct your stage managers. Being PSM has helped to strengthen my organization skills.”
  • Listen. “Being able to listen and take direction really well are important because you have to pay attention to everything the director wants and make sure he/she has everything he/she needs to make the production a success.”
  • Be Flexible. “As the production grows, you have to be able to fit in where you’re needed and be able to make it a success. I’ve learned to take each moment for what it is and help out where I can.”

So as Babe opens this weekend and audiences sit back and enjoy the show, they’ll never know about the last minute mishaps or emergencies that may or may not be happening behind the scenes.  The show must go on, and Jessica Crowe will be there to make sure it does… successfully!

Babe Reminds Us that Anything is Possible

Left to right: Mark Evans, Andi Cooper, Sierra Noll, Makaela Cooper, Noah Youcheff, and Maddie Trimmer
Left to right: Mark Evans, Andi Cooper, Sierra Noll, Makaela Cooper, Noah Youcheff, and Maddie Trimmer

As Hilary Adams, Director of Artistic Programming prepares to stage, Babe, the Sheep-Pig, her very first show at DreamWrights, she reflects on the theme of the show and what she would like audiences to take away from it. Adams says, “I’d like people to feel uplifted by the central message of the show that you should not be limited by what the world thinks you can do. Trying new things, no matter your age, even if other people at first laugh at your attempts, is essential to continuing to grow as a person. Maybe, like Babe, you’ll discover a new talent or skill, or maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way.”

Discovering a new talent or skill? Making new friends along the way? Doing something you didn’t think was possible? This is what happens to people who enter the doors of DreamWrights. Babe, the Sheep-Pig reflects so many of the organization’s values.  Even the young actors recognize the life lessons that Babe teaches.  Thirteen year old Makaela Cooper and eleven year old Maddie Trimmer both play the part of sheep in the play. Makaela shares, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. You can be whoever you want and say it however you want and do whatever you want.  It is a message that both Babe and DreamWrights has taught me.”  Maddie agrees, “DreamWrights gives you opportunities that you never thought you could have. You can be a sheep one play and a princess the next one.” Noah Youcheff, 12, who plays the part of Babe says, “The show has taught me that you can be whatever you want to be if you try hard enough.”

People of all ages will find humor, excitement, and poignancy in the show. Adams invites audiences to come along on the adventure, “There are a lot of fun action scenes combined with touching moments of connection between the characters as we go with Babe on his journey from a new arrival on the farm, to his big day as the first pig to participate in the Grand Challenge Sheep-dog Trials.”

dw-pigsdyna-and-opal-with-names

As a special event, audiences are invited to visit with micro pigs, Dyna and Opal prior to many of the Babe performances.  Dyna is micro mini pig. At around 30lbs., she is on the smaller side as some of these pigs grow to be 150lbs. She loves kids and attention and snuggling with her humans. Opal is an 8 month old Juliana micro pig. She knows her name, walks on a leash, and knows some basic commands (sit, come , spin).

Come to the DreamWrights farm show, Babe the Sheep-Pig, which opens Friday, February 10 and runs February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 6:30 pm and February 11, 12, 19, and 26 at 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-848-8623. Advance seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved. General admission seats at the door cost $12.