Q1: David, how did you become involved with Rome Little Theatre (RLT)?
DC: My dad was in the military, and we moved back to Rome when I was 10 years old. My first experience with this building [the Desoto Theatre] was in 1970 when I came to see 101 Dalmations [when it was a movie theatre.] And we raised our kids here; from the time they were tiny they were in shows. And my wife stage manages. And I got started building sets. Then I started directing. So it turned out that my kids landed here because of their love for the performing arts. So we’ve been here for 15 years. I’ve directed a number of shows: Grease the Musical, A Christmas Carol; I adapted a script for that. I’ve done a lot of shows; it’s a lot of fun!
Q2: What has the rehearsal process for Scrooge been like up to this point?
DC: In a musical, you start out doing table reads, getting the feel for the flow and the timing. Then you have musical rehearsal after musical rehearsal, because this particular show is with Leslie Bricusse’s music. His music is kind of like Sondheim; it’s very complex with lots of harmonizing parts. It’s very difficult music to learn. We have a musical director, Jessica Kennedy; she’s actually the choir teacher at Rome Middle School. So we practice every night. And then once you get the blocking down and the set elements in place, you can begin to go and start running the show. We are very fortunate to have a lighting technician here to get our lights in place. And we have most of our set built, but a lot of painting still to do. They’ll be lots of late night rehearsals right at the end. But we’ll be ready. We open on November 30th.
Q3: What makes this production special and different from anything we’ve seen at RLT before?
DC: Scrooge is a an incredible story about an old guy that helps us reflect on our own lives; we all have regrets, we can all look back on life and say, “I wish I would have done that differently.” Maybe we have losts loves, or we worked to much, or maybe we didn’t spend enough time with our family. It really is a story about relationships. And the gentleman who is performing [the character] Scrooge has done it a number of times professionally. And we have a super cast; a lot of veterans of RLT and a lot of newcomers as well.
Q4: What can the audience expect from this musical? Is it very different from the play version?
DC: It’s almost two dozen songs. So lots of singing, a little bit of dancing. There is a lot more of what I call “special moments,” where you empathize with Scrooge and want to say “no, don’t do that!” Those are captured in music in a very special wey. In particular, when Scrooge has these moments where he kind of understands the error of his ways, but he goes back to his bitterness. I think the musical does a very good job of presenting that in song. And you know, we connect with music. There is also some Christmassy things. We have some snowfall and some special effects. We have these chandeliers that fly in and fly out. And they’re part of the waltzing scenes and those kind of love story moments that are so impactful to help move the story forward.
Q5: How can people who are interested in RLT get involved?
DC: Well that’s easy! There’s acting opportunities, technical opportunities, and administrative opportunities. We hold classes all the time; we even have a director’s class going on right now. You can just join a class if you want to come learn more about theatre. Or come and audition for a show. And we have a lot of our actors who go on. As a matter of fact, one of the young ladies that I directed when we did A Christmas Carol in 2013, she was just in Clint Eastwood’s movie. We’ve had a number of dancers in New York City, and a number of folks who’ve gone on to act professionally. So it’s wonderful that we can provide these kind of opportunities for people.