Meet Mrs. Teavee!

10967037_10153016735963965_1890791299_nSam Barlow High School junior, Nicole Hulet will soon take to the stage as Mrs. Teavee, one of the four indulgent parents in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  As a parent, Mrs. Teavee gives Mike free reign to do whatever he wants and say whatever he wants, and according to Nicole, “Mrs. Teavee is a terrible mother and doesn’t seem to care that much about Mike until he gets shrunk. She is also scared by the unusual events at Wonka’s factory, even though she is more excited than Mike for the opportunity to go on the tour. “

For anyone who has meet Nicole, seeing her in the role of the frazzled and clueless Mrs. Teavee might be a bit of a surprise because of her quiet demeanour. “ I wanted to audition for this play not only because I love acting, but to show everyone that  I’m just not the quiet girl at school.” This will be Nicole’s third play at Black Swan but her first larger supporting role. “ I am so excited and love this role because I get to exaggerate all my feelings by acting really angry or really scared, which is a lot of fun, especially in the scene where Mike gets shrunk and Mrs. Teavee shows her true colors, ” says Nicole.

Nicole (in the green dress and apron) in Black Swan's 2013 production of Romeo and Juliet.

Nicole (in the green dress and apron) in Black Swan’s 2013 production of Romeo and Juliet.

Nicole read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to prepare for her role and loves the 1971 film version of the story because she prefers Gene Wilder’s Wonka and “Mrs. Teavee is in it!”.  Anyone who has read the book, will be happy to know that Charlie’s character in this play stays true to the original story, and the actors will bring Roald Dahl’s story to life in a way to please even the serious readers of the book.

Come see Nicole Hulet and the rest of the cast in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Mt. Hood Community College Theatre, March 19-21. Tickets go on sale February 18th.

Andrew Schroeder on Mike Teavee

10966884_10153016735763965_1623966624_n Almost 11 year old, Andrew Schroeder took to the stage for the first time as a five year old in Centennial High School’s musical, HONK!  Since then, he’s acted in productions at East Hill Church, CYT and Corbett Children’s Theater.  With Andrew’s father as a director, and most recently as the theatre director at Sam Barlow High School, Andrew has been around a bit of theatre. “ It’s fun being a director’s kid, as I love hanging out with the actors in my dad’s plays and seeing lots of performances, even if I get home late, “ says Andrew.

Black Swan is delighted to have Andrew a part of the 46 member strong cast of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.  Andrew will play the role of the gun-obsessed and TV addict, Mike Teavee.  “He’s a really cool character to play and I’m really grateful to get that role, says Andrew, adding, “ It’s fun because Mike gets to be all, BAM, BAM with his guns and he likes TV, and we have that in common.”

In this production, Mike Teavee is given his own song called, I’ve Seen It All on TV, and it’s Andrew’s favorite scene in the play.  “I’ve had to work really hard at learning my song, lines and cues for this play,” says Andrew. Not only does Andrew need to nail down the Mike Teavee role but had to learn additional  songs and choreography as he’s also one the school kid friends of Charlie Bucket in early scenes in the play.

Even though this production is set in 1971, children and adults will easily recognize how a child like Mike Teavee is just a  taste of the modern day technology epidemic of our day. Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop and Mike Teavee and their parents were created in 1964 by the genius child author, Roald Dahl, and although at first glance a bit far-fetched, Dahl created characters that mirrored our day quite accurately. But thankfully, he did it with humour, imagination and the light-hearted chastening of Oompa Loompas.

Come see Andrew and the rest of the wonderfully talented Wonka cast at MHCC Theatre, March 19-21st. Tickets go on sale February 18th.

Look Who Is Back On Stage at Black Swan..

DSCN8053It’s been nearly three years since Deanna Fitzwater Waney appeared on stage at Black Swan or anywhere else.  Since then, she started college, married and had a baby.  Director, Susan Scott asked Deanna, other alumni and young adult actors to help fill the adult character roles In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory so to create more of a child-adult relationship with the actors.

“It’s really exciting to be in a show again after so long, but it’s also slightly intimidating because I’m feeling a bit rusty”, but she adds,  “you can take  Deanna out of  the theatre, but you can’t take the theatre out of  Deanna.”  “Deanna has been one of the stronger female actors to come out of Black Swan”, says director, Susan Scott. “She’s a character driven actor who has incredible comedic timing and is so directable.”

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The cast of The Importance of Being Earnest in Santa Monica, Ca during The Hollywood Fringe Festival- 2012

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Deanna as “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “A Christmas Carol.”

In her years at Black Swan, her favorite play was Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, The Importance of being Earnest, where she played the role of Gwendolyn Cardew. Not only did the cast get to perform the play in two venues in Gresham but were fortunate enough to perform the play at The Hollywood Fringe Festival in Hollywood, Ca in 2012. “The character of Gwendolyn is probably the complete opposite of me personality wise (Well mostly…) but she  was very fun to play. Although, in the future I would love to play Lady Bracknell,” says Deanna.

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Different faces of Deanna- Scenes from “Twelfth Night”, “A Christmas Carol” and “Mulan”.

In Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Deanna will be seen as two distinct and very fun characters; the feisty Grandma Josephine, and the indulgent mother of Augustus Gloop.  From Mrs. Gloop, she’s learned by bad example of what not to do as a parent.  “Bad things happen when you give into your child’s gluttonous greed.He will end up an oaf who nearly drowns in a river of chocolate… So that’s great to know”, adds Deanna.

Deanna says she loves playing Grandma Josephine as she’s sweet and a little feisty. She and the other grandparents are a great example of how to be kind and positive even in the worst of circumstances. Of all characters in the play, Grandpa Joe is her favourite because he’s “always so encouraging and kind to Charlie. I wish I had a Grandpa Joe!”

Black Swan audiences are in for a treat seeing Deanna and other past actors back on stage March 19-21st, so be sure not to miss it!

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Deanna, Feb. 2013 at The UK Trip Benefit with friends and fellow actors, Blake Dunbar and Erik Scott.

Meet new Black Swan Actor, Adam Carsner

DSCN805613 year old, Adam Carsner came home from school the week of Black Swan auditions for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to hear his mom had signed him up for an audition. Adam hadn’t heard about Black Swan Youth Theatre but was excited for the opportunity to be in a play.

Adam was cast as the chocolate river glutton and all around, overeater, Augustus Gloop and says he’s learning to act the part of Augustus to the point “where I can switch into fat boy mode and act silly and obnoxious, and all with a German accent.” He thinks Augustus Gloop ‘is an excellent example of what not to do when raising a child, as he’s rude, a glutton, MORBIDLY obese, and never listens to directions.”

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The Gloops- Adam with Deanna Fitzwater Waney, who will play Mrs. Gloop.

The new actor is looking forward to opening night, saying,  “ I have my German accent down but I am a bit nervous about last long note in my song , I Eat More where I sing “MORE” for three measures. This new comedic song, added to this play will be a favorite with audiences as the Gloops know how bring on the laughs.

Of all the characters from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory,  Augustus is not Adam’s favorite but instead finds Charlie Bucket’s adorable and funny Grandma Josephine the  most endearing,  “I especially loves her line in the 2005 movie, “you smell like grapes”, adds Adam.

In six weeks time, audiences will be introduced to the imaginative, magical and slightly dark world of Charlie Bucket and all the interesting and odd characters  that he meets along the way. Adam’s version of Augustus Gloop will most certainly be one to enjoy and to wish the champion eater didn’t fall in the chocolate river quite so soon.

Long Time Black Swan Actor, Jason Rathone Takes On Leadership Role:

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Jason as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol-2011.

As a 13 year old newcomer to Black Swan Youth Theatre four years ago, Jason Rathbone not only showed great potential as a young actor but thrived in the strong male actors environment of Black Swan. It was at this time as well, that a nine year old, Kaden Moss (to be Charlie in Wonka) joined Black Swan and worked alongside Jason as Tiny Tim to Jason’s Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.  Jason says  that, “working with Kaden is always an exciting experience that I thoroughly enjoy being a part of. He brings so much energy and excitement to the stage.”

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Jason in 2011 with other male Black Swan actors. From 1st row L- Lucas Buchanan, London Christiansen, Kaden Moss, Jason, Erik Scott. 2nd row- Clarke Anderson, Ian Scott, Blake Dunbar,Jared Koch.

Now that Jason is a junior at Barlow High School, and all the older male actors he looked up to are off to college and other adventures, it’s Jason’s turn to be a leader.  “It’s forced me to step into a leadership role for sure, which is very challenging knowing that everybody is looking to you for guidance.  If they’re confused or lost and you’re a role model for everybody who is a younger actor, it’s tough but definitely fulfilling to do, ” says Jason.

In Jason’s upcoming role in the musical, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Jason is once again teamed up with Kaden Moss, this time as his grandfather, the loveable, Grandpa Joe. “The main thing that I learned about Grandpa Joe is how he’s still youthful even though he’s old.  He’s always full of wonder and excitement especially if it has to do with chocolate, “ says Jason, adding that the hardest part of preparing for the role is learning the Yorkshire (English) accent and trying to play a 96 1/2 year old man.

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Jason with the cast of Noises Off! in 2013. Playing Tim in Noises Off! has been his favourite role.

After high school, Jason hopes to pursue acting even further, although his career goal is a job in the medical field.  Jason’s favorite Roald Dahl book is, James and The Giant Peach  since he enjoys the darker tone to the whole book. Although there are tinges of darkness in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Jason’s role of Grandpa Joe plays a part in lightening things up a bit. For anyone who knows Jason, he has the same exuberance and enthusiasm to brighten any room (or stage).

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory plays March19-21st at MHCC Theatre. Tickets will go on sale by mid February.

If you wish to support Jason, and the rest of the cast, feel free to make a donation at : http://www.gofundme.com/kpqm1g

Introducing Lindsay Wells as Veruca Salt

IMG_2655Eleven year old, Lindsay Wells is getting ready this week to run through Black Swan’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the first time with lines,songs and choreography all memorized. It’s the testing week to see how hard actors have been working on their own time but director, Susan Scott feels the new Black Swan actor is up for the challenge. “ Veruca Salt was the the most desired role for most girls who auditioned, so to come out of auditions with the role of Veruca was no easy feat. Lindsay’s fairly new to theatre but shows so much potential and drive that the role of Veruca is in good hands,” says Scott.

Lindsay has participated in a few summer acting camps and was in her school’s (Oregon Trail Academy) production of The Wizard of Oz. Lindsay saw a flier for Black Swan’s The Sound of Music last spring and knew she wanted to be involved. She’s very excited to play the spoiled, rich girl Veruca Salt.  “It’s so fun to play a girl with sass and attitude,” says Lindsay, “and I’m so excited to get up on stage to sing and act. My dream has come true! I’m also excited for all my friends and family to see all the hard work we’ve done to put this play together”

Lindsay says she’s learned from the book, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory that all actions have a consequence, good or bad. And, in this story good choices made by Charlie eventually win in the end. Another favorite Roald Dahl book of Lindsay’s is The Witches because “it’s so suspenseful and the characters are exaggerated, especially the witches.”

Audiences will also be excited to know Veruca’s song, I Want It NOW! is in this adaption, but unlike the 1971 movie, she wants a trained squirrel, just like in the book. This means ten little squirrels actors ages 4-7, will push Veruca into place (or shall we say, the chute?). It’s a scene not to be missed, so be sure to catch one of the four shows March 19-21st at MHCC Theatre.

To support Black Swan’s production of Willy Wonka, you can make a donation in any $ amount, by going here. Thank you! http://www.gofundme.com/kpqm1g