A Christmas Story and Kudzu’s final days.

After 3 weekends, A Christmas Story is finally getting light and sound tech whipped into shape. We are over halfway though with the run. The problem with tech has been that so many different people have been doing it and we have not had a consistent crew.  There is nothing more frustrating to an actor than to be standing in light or darkness waiting for the lights to go down or up. During the first couple of weekends there were times when I had to give lines in complete darkness. I had no choice.
Of course A Christmas Story is a very complicated script. Lots of lights up and down with indoor, outdoor and fantasy scenes which take place all over the stage. The techs really have to pay attention and be ready with the next light and sound queues.
This is the second time I have done this show. The first was in 2007 at Act1 Theater in Alpharetta. I think I would like to do this every year but unlike A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story is not done every year in Atlanta.
A Christmas Story and A Christmas Carol will be the last shows Kudzu will produce. Due to financial troubles (and who doesn’t have them), Kudzu is having to close their doors after 20 years.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Kudzu will be closing after our Christmas shows this year. We have to be out of our current location by January 14. We have survived a lot over the twenty four years we have been doing theatre in Georgia (20 years in Roswell in 4 locations) but this time, the economy has just been too tough for too long and we are unable to keep our doors open past the end of the year. We wish to thank the many patrons, season ticket holders, actors, directors, donors, volunteers, and many others who have become part of the Kudzu family through out the years. It has been a great run and we have loved every minute of it. It saddens our hearts to have this happen, but there are many great and happy memories that will live on in our hearts and we hope in yours also. And knowing that we have added to the arts and the hearts of so many gives us great happiness. But we want all of you to know we have truly been blessed to have had the wonderful relationships with all of you. Many of you are more like our family than friends. Thank you to everyone who has ever crossed our doors, and may we see each other in the times to come. Your outpouring of good wishes and love is the only thing that is keeping us going right now. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
We love you all,
Wally & Jeannie Hinds

Auditioned for Driving Miss Daisy

I was able to audition for Driving Miss Daisy last night at Act1 Theater. There were a total of 3 people who auditioned for DAISY, 2 who auditioned for HOKE and only me for BOOLIE. That’s pretty good for me.

The director Rebecca Coffee, who also directed A Christmas Story, admitted that she has already additions “some” people already who could not make it to the two scheduled audition times. And she may already have someone she wants for BOOLIE.

And there is still Thursday’s audition.

Still, if there is no one else, I got a pretty good shot at having the role. There is never a guarantee until you receive the call. Rebecca could actually not want me at all.

After the audition, I had a discussion with one of the actresses about character development. Her thought is to “steal from the best” and by that she meant, look at what has already been done and use it. I have only seen bits-and-pieces of the movie but after watching this actress for a few moments, I realized she was, I believe, doing exactly what Jessica Tandy did in the movie. Her thought was that it is still her doing the acting and herself will be part of the role to make it unique.

I try to avoid watching some movies for this very reason. I want to be Jay Croft as BOOLIE, not Jay Croft as Dan Aykroyd as BOOLIE. I want to find my own character, feel the character for who he is. That does not mean that I won’t add little things from what other actors have done, little mannerisms etc, as it feels right.

I am not saying ether way is right or wrong, just that it is not what I want to do. Besides NO ONE can do themselves as Jimmy Stewart as GEORGE BAILEY in It’s a Wonderful Life and be taken seriously.

What I Did On 2008-12-15

  • Co-worker said I look fresh today. Asked what I did this weekend. Sleep till noon on Sunday and watch TV till bedtime. OH and shave my beard #
  • @wcdarling My kind of Sunday. in reply to wcdarling #
  • Headache. Hope it goes away before I need to leave for an audition. #
  • This time last year, I was performing as Ralph(Narrator) in A Christmas Story. I should have done that again this year. #
  • Trying to decide if I want to audition for Our Town at Lionheart Theatre tonight. #
  • Adrianna Warner is direction The Lion in Winter at Lionheart Theatre in October-November. I would love to work for her sometime-anytime. #
  • She is directing even. #
  • heading out for my auditon at Theatre in the Square. #

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Did not win a MAT award

The Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards ceremony last night was a lot of fun, despite not winning. Got to see a lot of people I had been in other plays with. Still, I am very please to have been nominated. There were, I think, 27 productions reviewed and over 500 people involved with those productions.

Of the two plays that I was in that were judged, Breaking Legs and A Christmas Story, there we 10 nominations and the winners were:

Wally Hinds – Best Set Design for a Play – Breaking Legs

Murray Mann – Best Sound Design for a Play – A Christmas Story

Martha Kennedy – Best Minor Supporting Actress in a Play – Miss Shields – A Christmas Story

People I have been with in other plays who won:

Barbara McFann – Major Supporting Actress in a Play – Mrs. Baker – Come Blow Your Horn at ACT1 Theater.

David Shelton with Rob Roy Hardie and Kelly Lane – Best Sound Design for a Musical – Little Shop of Horrors at Kudzu Playhouse.

Nominated for a MAT Award

The 2008 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards nominations were announced yesterday. The two plays that I was in and reviewed were Breaking Legs and A Christmas Story.

Breaking Legs at Kudzu Playhouse
Best Major Supporting Actor in a Play – Chris Arapoglou –  “Mike Francisco”
Best Minor Supporting Actor in a Play – Jay Croft –  “Frankie Salvucci”
Best Set Design in a Play – Wally Hinds

A Christmas Story at ACT1 Theater
Best Minor Supporting Actress in a Play – Martha Kennedy –  “Miss Shields”
Youth Award in a Play – Bobby Cookson –  “Ralphie Parker”
Youth Award in a Play – Andrew Hudson –  “Randy Parker”
Best Costume Design in a Play – Anne Voller
Best Set Design in a Play – Rich Vandever & Gayley Crockett
Best Lighting Design in a Play – Murray Mann
Best Sound Design in a Play – Murray Mann