We are half way through our run of Hansle and Gretel!! We have had some great houses. This time around we bring you a brief Q&A with Hansel and Gretel Director Caitlin Stewart-Swift.
Q & A with Director Caitlin Stewart-Swift
There’s no one better to tell you about this production than our fantastic director, Caitlin Stewart-Swift. We sat down with Caitlin and asked her a few questions about Hansel & Gretel and theatre in general.
Q: For Makeshift's production of the classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, we're using another wonderful adaptation from local playwright Jack Neary. What is different about this version of the play than what people are used to?
Well I would have to say that Jack does not back away from the dark side of this fairy tale which I feel is keeping very true to the original. But I really enjoy how Jack balances out the dark side of this story with a crazy Granny (aka the Witch!) and her equally zany henchmen Rollo and Stench!
Q: What made you want to direct this particular show?
I really fell in love with the darker side of this play and how well it was balanced by the crazy and colorful bad guys. It also, to me, had qualities very similar to that of British Panto and that peaked my imagination and made me want to stage it.
Q: Children's theatre requires a lot of energy. What are you and the cast doing to keep energy up at rehearsals and to keep it fun?
Well the cast and I are making sure we always start rehearsals off on a fun note, lots of high energy warm ups and some laughter! We are also really playing up Granny, Rollo and Stench, to balance out the scary circumstances that the children and father are facing in the play. We are also keeping the pacing of the show up! This is not a show that drags so hold onto your hats, folks!
Q: What's your favorite thing about doing children's theatre and about working with Makeshift?
My favorite thing about doing children's theatre is two fold: firstly I love bringing fantastical characters to life. It is so much fun to play with these characters who are truly characters, and yet are also old friends from our childhood stories and fairy tales. Secondly, I love introducing young audiences to theatre and how magical and engaging it is. And when it comes to Makeshift I don't think you can beat the great groups of people and artist who make up this super duper awesome community of artists.
Q: You've been an actor, dancer, choreographer and director. What keeps you coming back to working in the theatre?
Theatre, all aspects of it, are my passion. Whether it is acting, dancing, choreographing, or directing I love it plain and simple, and I am happiest when I am working on something theatrical and artistic. I was once told by a very wise teacher, "that work in this field is hard to come by, so if you’re lucky enough to get work, work as hard as you can and give it 100%." This has come to be my motto, slightly corny I know, but I find it to be pretty spot on.
Q: Can you share a funny story about something that has happened to you in the theatre, either working on this show or another one?
Well since you ask... There was this one time I was doing "Li'll Abner- The musical" and three other characters and I were ready to make our entrance, and the guy on stage completely goes up on his lines and jumps to our next entrance, which is on the other side of the stage! So we dash to the other side to enter for the next scene, and he regains his lines and flips back to our original entrance, back where we came from! We were dashing about like ping pong balls in a tournament of really skilled ping-pong players! No one in the audience knew but "boy oh boy" were our heads spinning by the time we finally made it on stage....
This show does have its funny moments, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for our audience...
We hope to see you at the show!!