An Interview with Kacy Smith

I sat down with Kacy Smith who is playing the role of Roberta in Zanna, Don’t!

Becky: How did you get connected to the Young Artists’ Program?

Kacy: I had actually child wrangled for TMTC’s last mainstage show, PIPPIN, because my roommate assistant directed it. Funny enough, my involvement with YAP was not at all related to that first experience with TMTC. About a week or two before rehearsals started, the girl originally cast as Roberta dropped out and Jess asked a mutual friend of ours if he knew of any actresses who might be free to step in. He suggested me, I came in and sang for her, and she decided that I would be a good fit! It was a very roundabout way of getting cast and I feel very fortunate that it happened and that I was able to have this awesome learning experience.

B: Do you relate to your character, Roberta?

K: I relate very strongly to Roberta. Jess put it best during rehearsal one day — Roberta instantly sees the beat qualities of those around her, which is why she falls in love so quickly and often and why she gets her heart broken so often. Hearing that was a very strange moment, because I have heard nearly the exact same thing said about myself more than once. Roberta feels things very deeply and very immediately. That makes her exciting to be around and I definitely hope that I could say I am that way, too. We both have very strong, specific ideals of what love is and should be, but she does have a tendency to be slightly more aggressive and violent than I do. I think…!

B: What is most important thing Roberta contributes to the story of Zanna, Don’t!?

K: This is actually a tricky question for me. She is Kate’s first girlfriend, which means she leads to some of the first clues that Kate and the audience get about Kate’s sexuality, which of course becomes a major plot point. Other than what she bring to the plot, I’d say she is an important character in the story because of the immediate strength and passion she brings into the scenes she is in. She is one character with very strong points of view. I just hope I am doing my job of bringing those things that I see on the page to life in my portrayal of her.

B: Can you share a random fun fact about yourself?

K: A random fun fact about me is that I am obsessed with Chipotle — ask any cast member. Having one right across the street from the theatre throughout the rehearsal process has been a serious test of my self control! I have probably failed!

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An Interview with Danny Kapinos

Becky: How did you get connected to The Music Theatre Company?

Danny: I found out about this program through the company’s website, and so I sent in a video audition for this show and was cast, so here I am now!

B: Do you relate to your character(s)?

D: I play several different characters in the show, but I completely relate to Chip, my main role. Chip is a Sondheim-obsessed, somewhat egotistical theatre geek, which is exactly who I am. Using these facts, I’ve created a backstory for Chip that I very closely relate to.

B: How does Zanna compare to others shows you have done?

D: Zanna, Don’t! is very upbeat and fun, but it also requires a lot of energy and vocal stamina. The space is challenging to work in because it is a deep thrust with a small audience, and most of the shows I have done were in proscenium spaces that seat at least four times as many people as this space does. Performing in such an intimate theatre is an exciting challenge from which I have learned a lot!

An Interview with Elias Wygodny

An interview with Elias Wygodny, who plays Mike in Zanna, Don’t!

Becky: How did you get involved with The Music Theatre Company?

Elias: When I heard that there was an opportunity to perform at TMTC in last year’s Young Artists’ Program I immediately auditioned. The program was such a learning experience with its professionalism and community that it didn’t seem like a question to do it again this summer.

B: How would you describe Zanna, Don’t!?

E:  Zanna, Don’t! is a show about an alternative world in which our truths behind love and acceptance are shown in a hilarious, yet slightly jarring fashion.

B: What is the most important thing about Mike that everyone should know?

E: Mike is a boy who represents what is deemed to be “cool,” or “popular” in this other world. This is an interesting specificity to note because of how stereotypically this type of character would be considered an outcast. Mike is also a character who is filled with honesty and outward emotion.

B: Are you a great chess champion like Mike?

E: I WISH I could play chess that well! Once, during a performance, I didn’t have time to pre-set some of the pieces on the board to make the game exactly the same as it usually was. My chess rival (Danny Kapinos) and I had to actually play a live chess match to keep up with what the announcer said was happening in the scene! We did it… but it was extremely stressful!

An Interview with Zach Walsh

An interview with Zach Walsh, who plays Steve.

Becky: How did you get involved with The Music Theatre Company?

Zach: I was involved in the Young Artists’ Program last year. I had a great time. I talked it over with Elias [Wygodny] and we decided that we would do it again.

B: What makes the show unique?

Z: It is a very clever show. It consists of comedy as well as drama. The audience seems to catch on to the story and enjoy it.

B: Can you give me a quick characterization of Steve?

Z: Steve is a teenager who is just trying to fit in. He is an army child, so he moves around the country a lot. This makes it very hard for him to make friends.

B: What do you think the main idea of the show is?

Z: I think the main idea of the show is: “Nothing done out of love can ever do us harm.”

An Interview with Office Manager Jared Grebner

Becky: How did you get involved with The Music Theatre Company?

Jared: I was hired by TMTC as the Box Office Manager for Merrily We Roll Along in March of 2011. In June of 2011, my title changed to Office Manager and in September I became a full-time employee. I’ve been with the Company for a little over a year now. Working with TMTC has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

B: What is the most exciting part about being a member of the TMTC team?

J: There is never a dull moment here at TMTC! I enjoy all aspects of the position, but the most exciting has to be when we are in production and I get to see all of our patrons. The Music Theatre Company’s patrons are some of the most passionate and caring theatre goers you will ever meet. They are always excited about our work and anxious to see more. Highland Park and the North Shore are very supportive of the arts, and it thrills me to see this compassion and excitement in our patrons.

B: What has been your favorite show at TMTC?

J: That’s a tough question. Each one is so different. If I have to choose though, I would say Zanna, Don’t! is my favorite right now. It tugs on the heartstrings and reminds me of the challenges we go through in our everyday lives. After coming out in high school, I can relate to the show firsthand. The end moment – you’ll see what I mean – touches me very much and I hope  everyone joins us to experience it!

An Interview with Erin Helgeland

I sat down with Erin Helgeland who plays Candi in Zanna, Don’t!

Becky: How did you get connected with The Music Theatre Company?

Erin: My high school theater director told me about the young artists; program last year at TMTC, so I auditioned for the show.

B: What made you come back?

E: I had a wonderful experience last year with the production staff, directors, as well as the other young artists – I was really excited that tue program was a full musical, so I wanted to do it again.

B: Do you relate to Candi? How do you differ?

E: I do relate to her a little. Candi is really committed and she has strong opinions like me, but we differ in many other ways. She’s super organized and on top of everything and she really runs Heartsville High, and if anyone who knows me knows I’m disorganized and very relaxed about everything. Candi is all about getting everything perfect the way she wants it.

B: Can you please share a random fun fact about something you do in the show?

E: Candi and Arvin’s planner and clipboard have actual notes written on them. We write jokes and things on each others stuff to make each other laugh during the show!

Interview with Livvie Goble

Take a look at what Zanna, Don’t! ensemble member Livvie Goble has to say!

Becky:  How did you get involved with TMTC?

Livvie: My mom found an audition for the season generals and my sister received a part inErika’s Wall. She had a great experience and it inspired me to look further into the Young Artists’ Program the TMTC offers.

B: How do you relate to your characters in the show?

L: I really relate to how enthusiastic my character is about theater and musicals!

B: What do you love most about being a part of the show?

L: I love how close we all are! It may sound cliche but we are truly a family!