Ready for a production that will put a smile on your face as you get lost in the romantic language spoken by witty performers? I had the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal of the newest production the Factory Theatre is hosting, Charley’s Aunt. Uniquely, this production comes with a twist: Dr. Brian Reinhard and Dr. Rich Beans, who were in the performance when they attended Greenville College, will be acting in this newest production of Charley’s Aunt. I had the opportunity ask Dr. Reinhard a couple of questions about the upcoming show and his character, Mr. Stephen Spettigue. Since Dr. Reinhard was in a previous production of Charley’s Aunt, I was curious to know how this production was going to bring something new to the stage. He said, “Ah, one of the great things about the theater…even if the script is essentially the same, every different cast of a show gives it a different vibe. I am still excited to see our actors as they learn lines more and bring their interpretation of the roles.”
After watching any performance, many of us find it difficult to establish the line between actor and character. I had the opportunity to sit down with two actors, Will Sunderland and Victoria Fisher, who commented on how they relate to the characters, and an aspect they dislike about the characters they play. Will stated, “I play Jack Chesney, a character who is a charismatic instigator who likes to be in control. I picture him as a guy who can’t talk without his hands, with so much energy he is always moving around.” Will elaborated in saying, “It is difficult for me as an actor to differentiate from Jack, when I walk on stage I think, ‘now I’m going to be Jack’. I would like to think I do not possess some of the characteristics of Jack, like his selfishness. This character tries to orient his plans so they best benefit him, but he is charismatic and I would like to say that we both attribute that to ourselves, as well as talking with our hands.”
Alternately, when asked how she relates to her character and an aspect she dislikes about the character she plays, Victoria commented, “I play Kitty, the typical ditzy blonde in Charlie’s Aunt. Kitty is nothing like me, she is very off in her own head and oblivious to everything. If I had to choose one thing Kitty had in common with me though, I would say her determinedness. She knows what she wants and she wants it now.”
Charley’s Aunt is a production for everyone, according to Victoria, who stated, “Everyone is going to love this show. Whether it be kids laughing at the facial expressions and awkwardness, or adults laughing at the sarcasm, there’s something for everyone, and that something is just straight up comedy.” On top of enjoyment, this play will have a surprising aspects many would not expect, “More than anything, the audience will be surprised by the situational humor. A lot of times comedies try to throw in funny lines but in this situation it is just one compromise after another.” Will continues to say, “The physical humor between Charlie, Jack and Babbs will be one of the best surprises Charley’s Aunt has to offer.”
Rehearsal was simply a taste of this witty performance. Once you mix in costumes and the set, the experience will be transporting. Charley’s Aunt will be showing at the Factory Theatre on October 25th, 26th, and 27th and November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 7:30 pm each night. Other actors include Nathaniel Weave, Dylan Triplett, Chasity Cook, Anastasia Baird, Tom Varner
Media by Justin Cross.