Next Up!

Hello Readers!

I would like you to meet Jasmine Radetski. She is our Scene Shop intern this year. Here is her interview.

JasmineR

Where did you grow up?
I was born in North Carolina, but moved around a ton. My family settled in Colorado when I was in Sixth grade, but otherwise, I lived in Nevada and New York.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska with my degree in Theatre and a minor in studio art.

Favorite snack food?
My guilty pleasure is uncomfortable amounts of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or Sour Cream & Cheddar Ruffles.

Favorite actor?
Rachel McAdams… Because of Mean Girls & About Time…

Favorite movie?
About Time… It’s a totally sappy movie, but it tugs my heart strings.

Dream vacation?
I have always wanted to go to Italy. I would love for that to finally happen.

Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Well… There is not solid evidence to prove he does or doesn’t, but if a 200+ foot anaconda exists, it could be possible.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The conversation in figuring out the answers to this questionnaire… Some interesting things were said.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
Blood moon red

Which super power would you like to have?
The ability to fly.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world living or dead who would it be and why?
Julia Child because that would probably be the best dinner I will ever have.

If you were trapped on a desert island and you could only take three things, what would they be?
Practically, a motorboat, fresh water, and potatoes for food… Realistically, some good company, a super multi tool to build and catch food, and a tent for shelter.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment…

Casey S. Hibbert©

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This week…

Hello everyone!

So how about his weather! Wow. It is January and it feels a little like spring. What is going on? Anyway, today we are going to meet another intern, this week it is Theresa McKenzie.

What is your name? What department are you interning in?

Theresa McKenzie, Prop intern

Are you from the area? If not, where?

I’m from Virginia

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)

I grew up in Virginia where I also went to school, Lynchburg College. There I gained a degree in technical theatre with a minor in elementary ed. After graduation, I spent a year in Memphis, TN as the scenic charge intern for Playhouse on the Square where we did 21 in one season. When my contract ended, I came to Michigan to work for Meadow Brook Theatre to be the prop intern.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?

Buddy’s pizza. It’s possibly some the best pizza I’ve ever had and the people are really nice and attentive.

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.

I like to watch movies, knit different projects, and read.

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?

I found out about the job through Backstagejobs.com and sent an email with my resume and digital portfolio to the company.

What was the interview like?

The interview was two parts, first with Sarah Warren and then with Kristen Gribbin. The asked my about my interest in the company, told me what I could expect if I was to be hired, and then asked me about me experience and history. I told them about the different tools and techniques I’d worked with. The rest is history.

What has been your favorite part about this season so far?

I’m going to have to say running Christmas Carol because it was nice to be able to see all the other interns every day. I work in a different building so I only see them for meetings and special projects.

What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?

Getting to make the new Christmas goose for a Christmas Carol. It was something I got to make by myself and it’s neat to know that it will be in the show for the next 10-15 years.

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?

So far I’ve learned how to work a patch board during light focus, been exposed to different adhesives, and have learned how to gold leaf. I’m looking forward to this week because I’m getting the chance to work with a finish carpenter on making some fine furniture, which will be a new experience for me.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

Getting to learn and be exposed to different skills.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?

In 5 years I would like to be established enough to start my own children’s theatre both financially and in my career. After my internship is over I want to go on tour with either a national or international touring company.

Thanks Theresa! Don’t forget to get tickets to see Nunset Boulevard by Dan Goggin! It is a great show! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

A New Year!!

Hello all you readers!

Wow..can you believe it another year has gone by! Here we are in 2012. 2011 went by so fast, there were many good thing in 2011, but also some not so good. I know that I am looking forward to a whole new year! How about you? What are you looking forward to in 2012? Well to start off the new year I thought I would do something that is a little different from the other blogs I have done. There are certain individuals that work behind the scenes and on stage to help keep this theatre going. Those would be our wonderful interns! They work very hard and many people don’t know who they are. Well I am going introduce them to you one by one over the next few weeks. I will have an intern of the week for the next 8 weeks. Our first intern of the week is Meredith Gifford and I will let her tell you a little bit more about herself.

What is your name? What department are you interning in?

Meredith Gifford, acting/administrative intern

Are you from the area? If not, where?

Yes, I am from Rochester, MI. I went to school at Notre Dame Prep High School, just down the road from here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)

I didn’t start singing or acting till I was 16 and played Ado Annie in Oklahoma at my high school. I went to Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI and got my BFA in Music Theatre Performance. I have performed with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, Timber Lake Playhouse, Santa’s Village Theme Park, Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train, and the Granbury Opera House. I have taught acting and dance at Gyeonggi English Village and at the New York Kid’s Club. I also have a teaching certification through Harvard University’s “Teaching for Understanding”. I just moved back to Michigan after 3 years at Gyeonggi English Village in South Korea. I worked as a Edutrainer creating and performing original musicals that taught Korean kids English. I was also the General Manager of the department for almost 2 years.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?

Kruse and Muer at the Village shopping center. Their bread is to die for!!

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.

I love to play with my shih tzu pup, Frankie. I take him on lots of walks. I love taking Zumba classes at the gym and going to different bars or restaurants with my friends.

When I lived abroad I traveled a lot. I have been to 8 counties in Southeast Asia!

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?

I am good friends with Renee Turner, the acting intern last year. I came to see her in Dracula and talked to her about the internship. She was having such a great time that I decided to apply for it. Then I chickened out because I was busy with work and didn’t think it was a very good season for me. When I was visiting home in May, I happened to be home for the cattle call auditions. It was my 1st time auditioning for them. I am non-equity and had to wait around all day to get an audition slot. During those 6 hours I was talking to the interns and friends that had worked at MBT. When I walked into my audition, I asked Travis and Terry if they still had a slot open for an acting intern. They said yes, I sang and did my monologue, had an interview a few days later, and got a call 10 days later that I was hired!

What was the interview like?

Very relaxed. I was shocked. I had practiced for hours what I was going to say!! Sarah Warren took me to her office and she asked me what I had been doing since graduating from college. We talked about the internship (the good, the bad, and the cleaning). She was very honest. At the time, they were wanting 2 male acting interns because the season was very guy heavy. Guess they liked me enough to have 1 guy and 1 girl!

What has been your favorite part about this season so far?

Cleaning the bathrooms and hallways every 3 weeks is definitely my favorite. Hehehe

What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?

Being on an Equity stage for the 1st time in Something Wicked This Way Comes. It really hit me during our 1st preview performance. During the curtain call, I almost started tearing up. It was such an honor to be on this stage!

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?

I have learned lots about lights. As an intern, we are all required to do the light hangs for each show. When I started directing a few years ago, I knew nothing about lights. It was very frustrating for me. I’m still pretty new but I know so much more now. I’d like to learn more about directing and creating a vision. I should probably start picking Travis Walter’s brain more while I am here.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

I love working in a theatre community. Everyone is so supportive of one another. The interns and staff at MBT have become another family to me. Actually, I see them much more than my family that I live with!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?

I am an older intern. I graduated from college almost 6 years ago so my answers might be a little different. I am currently applying to grad schools for a masters in theatre education. My top choice is Emerson College in Boston. In 5 years, I would be done with my masters and be a liscensced teacher. I would like to have a full time teaching job at a high school with a growing performing arts department. I would teach theatre, acting, dance, and maybe a theatre lit class. I would also be the head director/choreographer doing 2-4 shows a year. I would still be performing when I could, I would be married or close to it, and live in a metropolitan city. Of course, my dog Frankie would come with and he would have a little pug sister.

What can I say, I am a planner 🙂

So there you have it..thanks Meredith! I hope that you got to know her a little bit more and don’t forget to come see her in some of the shows this season. Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Celebrating 30 Years of A Christmas Carol!

Hello Readers!

Wow! It is almost Thanksgiving, and soon it will be Christmas! Where did the time go? I think it is crazy that every time I walk into Meijer or Walmart, or pretty much any other store for that matter, they have had Christmas things on the shelves since before Halloween. Anyway here we are at yet another Christmas Carol. The season has come upon us, the leaves are falling, the smell of frost in the air and snow soon to fall. Well this is the 30th year of our popular show. Families come from all over Michigan to see this show, it is family fun for everyone! I have with me a cast list from the very first production of this famous tale. I am going to share that with you. See how many people you remember.

Who do you remember as the very first miser? If you guessed Booth Colman you are correct!
Bob Cratchit was played by Thom Haneline
Fred was played by Andrew Barnicle
First Charity Man was played by Phillip Locker
Second Charity Man was played by Henson Keys
Jacob Marley was played by Wil Love
Spirit of Christmas Past was played by Grace Aiello
Scrooge as a Boy was played by Raphael Aiello
Fan was played by Mary Bruin
Fezziwig was played by  Phillip Locker
Mrs. Fezziwig was played by Jane MacIver
Scrooge as a Young Man was played by Terrence Sherman
Belle was played by Sara Morrison
Belle’s Husband was played by Carl Schurr
Spirit of Christmas Present was played by Graham Pollock
Mrs Cratchit was played by  Jane MacIver
Peter Cratchit was played by Eric Bruggemann
Martha Cratchit was played by Grace Aiello
Tiny Tim was played by Kevin Skiles
Belinda Cratchit was played by Mary Bruin
Matthew Cratchit was played by Raphael Aiello
Fred’s Wife was played by Sara Morrison
Spirit of Christmas Future was played by Carl Schurr
Old Joe was played by Henson Keys
Char Woman was played by Sara Morrison
Laundress was played by Grace Aiello
Undertaker was played by Phillip Locker
Turkey Boy was played by Joshua Dawson
Londoners were Judi Ammar-Parker, George Bufford, J. Luke Huber, Sarah Jayne Huber, Jane Shaffmaster, Jan Semelroth Elliott, Rebecca Watts.

The Director was Carl Schurr
Set Designer was Barry Griffith
Lighting Designer was and is currently Reid G. Johnson
Costumes Designed by Mary Lynn Crum
Musical Direction by Terrence Sherman
Stage Managers were (and one of them still is) Thomas Spence & Terry W. Carpenter.

So there you have it. The cast and crew of the 1982 production of A Christmas Carol. How many people do you remember? Were you in the cast that year? Please tell us your stories of the times you had backstage. On behalf of MBT I would like to thank the first cast and crew for making this production a holiday favorite! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger



Check Out Spotlights

Hey everyone!

This weekend is the 21st annual juried outdoor fine art & gifts Spotlights Market in downtown Rochester. Spotlights is hosted by the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild and features more than 125 Fine Artists and Artisans from around the country. Friday, September 9 from 4:00-7:30pm, Saturday the 10th 10:00-7:30, and Sunday the 11th 10:00-5:00 at Walnut and fourth streets.

These wonderful art & gifts are from all over Michigan!! This was started by the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild. They have helped us immensely over the years and this event is one you shouldn’t miss.
Stay tuned next week for my first video blog!

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

“I”, I Don’t See It.

Have you walked into a theatre and noticed that the rows go from H to J? Have you wondered why there is no I? Well simply put, I looks like the number one.

Many theatres across the country have no row I, however some do have row I. In the Broadway and the Jacobs theatres there is a Row I in the orchestra section, but Row I is skipped in the mezzanine.

There are some theatres that skip other rows as well. Some skip Row Q and Row O. Due to the fact that Row O can be confused for a zero and Row Q can be confused for Row O. There are some that skip not just Row I, but they skip Row O, Q and I. For example, The Neil Simon theatre in New York skips Row I and Row Q.

Now in London theatres things get a little more confusing. Some skip Rows I, Q and N. Probably because N sound and looks like M. Some also skip Rows I, Q and V. Others have Row I, but skips Rows Q and U. Due to the fact that Row V and U look much alike. Now not only do theatres skip these rows, but Sports stadiums also skip rows. For example, the Yankees Stadium skips Rows I, O and Q.

So there you have it! Many of the letters look alike so simply theatres just leave them out. Who knows what other kinds of quirks happen with the theatres that go to the far ends of the alphabet to include AA-ZZ rows!

Stay tuned next week for…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Feet for Seats: A Reminder

With the 3rd annual ‘Feet for Seats 5K Fun Run/Walk‘ just a couple days away, I thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know where this idea came from!

Let’s start at the very beginning… (Julie Andrews taught me that this is always a good idea)  A few years ago when the economic downturn started to affect the whole nation, money became tight for families, businesses and Non-Profit Organizations.  While the theatre continued to produce Broadway quality productions under tight budgets, the audience was finding it hard to afford theatre.  We knew we needed to act quickly and to rethink our fundraising efforts as we knew that contributions would also be affected by the economy.  What was there to do?

Feet for Seats Chair Krista Reszewski with her sons Ethan and Alex

The administration of the theatre turned to the Board of Directors for guidance through what we knew would be a hard time and started brainstorming new ways to fundraise…  It was then that Krista Reszewski stepped up to the plate with a great idea…  an idea that had never been tried by the theatre…  an idea that just might work… a 5K fun run/walk.

Krista was not new to the theatre by any means.  She visited the theatre when she was a student in high school thanks to her long-time subscriber parents.  She again went to the theatre when she was in college attending Oakland University… AND she is the daughter of one of our Board Members.  She knew the power of the theatre to educate, entertain and to inspire all that comes through its doors.  What a great way to introduce people to the theatre by hosting a 5K and get the whole community involved… and that’s just what happened.

A committee was formed immediately to plan the first ever Feet for Seats event and volunteers started lining up to help.  Many long days/nights went into the planning and we could start to see by the community’s excitement that this was going to be a great event.  We knew that we needed to make this event something special… we needed to show of the arts and have a great time doing it.

Jill Jack performs at the first Feet for Seats and invites the children on stage

Well Jill Jack came to the rescue. For those of you not familiar with Jill, she is one of the foremost singer/songwriters that Michigan has to offer (click her name in the previous sentence to visit her website).   She donated a live performance and entertained all of the participants when they crossed the finish lines.  Tables were set up by the entertainment stage so that people would encouraged to spend sometime watching the concert and enjoy the community experience.  The Lion’s Club of Rochester donated a vending truck, GFS donated food and we served FREE food for the afternoon to all participants/volunteers.  Also as a perk on the day of the event… participants could purchase tickets to the new season that day (one month before they went on sale to the general public).

The Event Site

After all was said and done, the first ever Feet for Seats was a qualified success!  With approximately 80 volunteers and 300 Participants, corporate sponsorships and pledges from participants… the theatre raised around $18,000.

We were all very excited with the success of this new event and vowed that we would make it annual.  We have made some fabulous changes this year that we know you will love! The Mike Duncan Band will perform as well as

The Start of the Race

the Peanut Gallery Players.

The race this year will also be TIMED thanks to our friends at Hanson’s Running Shop

The committee is working feverishly to make this year’s event even better than last year’s…  Now all we need is YOU!!!

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE OR VOLUNTEER YET???

There is still time. The 2nd annual Feet for Seats 5k Fun Run/Walk will be held, rain or shine, on August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am. Registration begins at 8:00 am.  Come out and run/walk for the cause.  Pre -register online to participate or volunteer at our website www.mbtheatre.com today!  We want to make this year’s event even bigger than last year so tell all of your friends about it!

A donation of $25 will get you a commemorative race day  shirt and even better… as Meadow Brook Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization… your donation is tax-deductible!  Participants can also gather pledges for the race day by downloading your pledge form here.  There are also prize levels for participants who gather pledges. Free Tickets, Back Stage Tours, a Walk on Role in Christmas Carol and more can be yours.  (See all Prize Levels) Remember that while gathering pledges, you are an ambassabor of Meadow Brook Theatre. Be sure to thank them and tell everyone who donates that their donation is tax-deductible and that they are helping to ensure that Meadow Brook Theatre remains the cultural gem of Oakland County… most importantly thank YOU for helping us to remain Michigan’s largest producing professional theatre.

This year we are also proud to announce that Feet for Seats has also been endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.  We can’t think of a better way to kick off our 45th Anniversary Season than a great community building event.

Bring the whole family and we’ll see you there!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

Preparing THE 39 STEPS workout

The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild prepares for THE 39 STEPS meet and greet

If you’ve already seen THE 39 STEPS at Meadow Brook Theatre, then you know what kind of exhilarating workout performing and running the show must be.  However, before the show makes it to the stage, before rehearsals begin, we hold what is called a Meet and Greet, hosted by The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild.

The 39 Steps Meet and Greet

A meet and greet generally begins with a festive spread of show themed food and beverages.  For The 39 Steps, the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild (a group of volunteers that help support the theatre) prepared Scottish sandwiches, chesse plates, Scottish eggs and awesome cider.  As there is a Scottish theme in The 39 Steps, the Guild dressed up in their best Scottish attire to make the event extremely festive.

The 39 Steps Meet and Greet

The cast and crew of The 39 Steps was invited to attend and partake in the delicious goodies along with the staff of the theatre.  This is always a good opportunity to welcome newcomers and get to know the ‘who’s who’ of the show, the staff and the guild.   After we partake of the food we gather in a circle and introduce ourselves to everyone else.

 

Staff, cast and crew enjoying the meet and greet

Once the festivities die down, it is time for the first rehearsal to begin.  The Guild is always invited to stay and watch design presentations and the first read-through of the show.

Design presentations consist of the designers of the show presenting the audience with renderings/models of what their finished designs will look like.  Kristen Gribbin, our scenic designer for The 39 Steps showed off her wonderful set model for example.

 

 

Kristen Gribbin talks about her set design
Liz Moore describes The 39 Steps costumes

Liz Moore, the costume designer, showed colored renderings while she explained her designs.

After the design presentations are finished, we have a read-through of the show with the cast.  This is always my favorite part of starting rehearsals, because although the cast has been chosen though a rigorous audition process, this is the first time that I get to hear the show come to life.  It is a very exciting first step because all of the actors come in with their own ideas of the characters… who they are… what they want… how they will get it… etc.  For this production in particular it was extremely fun because many of the actors play several characters and it was fun listening to them change so quickly from one voice to another.

The whole rehearsal process was amazing for this show… but it all starts with the Meet and Greet hosted by that wonderful group of volunteers, The Meadow Brook Theatre Guild!  The guild is always looking for new members… if you like volunteering for a good cause and meeting the actors of upcoming Meadow Brook Theatre productions, consider joining this awesome group!  For more information on the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild, please visit their website at www.meadowbrooktheatreguild.com

DON’T FORGET TO SEE THE 39 STEPS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

Opening weekend we had almost 500 people in the Sunday matinee and tickets are selling quickly.  Don’t be left out of the “Must-See” event of the season.  Call the box office for tickets today at 248.377.3300 or for groups of 8 or more contact group sales at 248.370.3316.  For more information on this and all shows at Meadow Brook Theatre visit our website at www.mbtheatre.com

See you at the theatre!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

The cast of The 39 Steps gather around for a first read-through of the show.

A Cup of Cheer with Judy Dery of A Christmas Carol

Today Judy Dery joined me for A Cup of Cheer.  She is playing Mrs. Fezziwig and other roles in A Christmas Carol. Judy was in the cast the first year that I joined the A Christmas Carol family.  She has a wonderful smile and such a warm heart that it draws you in.  I am so pleased that she continues to share the holidays with us.  Please come see her in the show… she is truly something special!

A Christmas Carol is open to the public now!!!  Get tickets by calling the box office at 248-377-3300 and remember to check our website at www.mbtheatre.com for more information!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

 

Judy Dery portrays Mrs. Fezziwig and others in A Christmas Carol

 

A Cup of Cheer with Judy Dery

 

How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol?

This is my 10th year.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas!  I’ve had 5 Mr. Fezziwigs (4 “1 or 2-nighters” with understudies), and 8 Fezziwig daughters.  I have so enjoyed watching the young actors grow up in the cast.  I’d love to see one of them who “graduated” at 14 (per our agreement with Actors’ Equity) come back at 18 and be a caroler.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

The lights.  I go a little crazy at my house – something different in front every year.  I start them on Thanksgiving and keep them up till January 6 for Epiphany/Twelfth Night.  I like to drive through neighborhoods looking at what others do.  They just make me feel good.

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol?

The happy ending.  “God bless us, every one.”

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children?

Their reactions are so honest.  Many of them are happy to be coming to see the show.  Some of them are just happy to be out of school for the morning.

Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge for “one more piece of coal” do you prefer your house to be “warm as toast”, “just right”, or “cold enough to hang meat”?

“Just right” for me; which might be “warm as toast” to someone else.

Scrooge promises to find Peter Cratchit a job and Martha almost misses Christmas dinner because she has to work … what kind of jobs did you have when you were young like Peter and Martha?

Mostly I babysat.  Living in a neighborhood where there was an elementary school and a public park with a swimming pool, there were lots of children.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail?

Wassail.  I have a great recipe.

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift?

I like a gift – preferably something small, personal and inexpensive.

Scrooge is visited by two charity men early in the show… have you done any charity work or are there charity organizations that you support?

Let’s see…  I’ve answered phones at, and donated to, public television.  I was chair of our local fund-raising group, Equity & Friends Fight AIDS.  And I’m a member of the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild.

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts?

Yes.  (insert sly smile)

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life?

I’d love it!  Memory Lane is one of my favorite places to stroll.  I’ve been blessed.  There are so many times I’d like to recollect; and people.  I’d love to see my high-school drama and music teachers; my first audition for Terry Kilburn (I got the part!  Guys and Dolls – my first Equity contract.)…  And my grandmother.  I think I miss her most at Christmas.

Next project after A Christmas Carol?

Costuming at Detroit Repertory Theatre.  I’ve been doing costumes there for about eight years.

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share?

Oh, my!  I used to throw a Fezziwig-worthy party on the Sunday after New Year’s – sorta the last party of the holiday season.  Did it for years.  Took the tradition with me when I moved to California (1978-83).  They went away when I started getting acting work around the holidays, sometimes, even, out of town.

The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food?

Mom’s kielbasa and chrzan (horseradish with beets) served with her fried onions and potatoes and two kinds of kapusta.

Other favorite Charles Dickens novels?

A Tale of Two Cities.  “’Tis a far, far better thing I do….”

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year?

Tradition.  Ours is so faithful to the novel in Charles Nolte’s script and the set and costume designs.  I like to tell people our show looks like a Victorian pop-up book.

What is your favorite holiday?

Oh…   Christmas!

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake?

I don’t.  But I enjoy what others bake.

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol?

Kindness wins.  We need more kindness in the world.

Finish this sentence: “My favorite gift that I ever received during the holiday season was_________”

“… my first typewriter.  I was 11 and wanted a toy typewriter like the one my best friend had.  You turned a wheel to the desired letter, pressed down on it and the letter was printed on the paper in the roller.  Santa brought me a Remington Rand.  I cried happy tears.  I still have it.”

A Cup of Cheer with Tobin Hissong of A Christmas Carol

In today’s Cup of Cheer I have the distinct pleasure of chatting with Tobin Hissong.  Audiences will remember him as the loveable jokester Harvey from Breaking Up is Hard to Do last season as well as playing the title role in Murder by Poe. Tobin is a wonderfully honest actor.  His portrayal of Bob Chratchit in A Christmas Carol has almost brought me to tears on several occasions.  We are so lucky to have him back with us celebrating his 3rd year in A Christmas Carol. Many thanks to his wife Chris, the sweetest woman on earth, for allowing us to share him during the holiday season.

Come see Tobin’s performance.  Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now and going quickly!  Get yours today!  Call the box office at 248-377-3300 or purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com or through our website at www.mbtheatre.com

See you at the theatre!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director


Tobin Hissong returns to the role of Bob Cratchit for his 3rd year!

A Cup of Cheer with Tobin Hissong


How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This will be my 3rd year as  Bob Cratchit.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Seeing all of  the lights and decorations!

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? All of it!  It is such a spectacular adaptation and it’s just a pleasure to see it all come together again!

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? Seeing and hearing the kids react to all of the great scenes in the show!

Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge for “one more piece of coal” do you prefer your house to be “warm as toast”, “just right”, or “cold enough to hang meat”? I like it “as warm as toast!”  (with a little egg nog thrown in for good measure!)

Scrooge promises to find Peter Cratchit a job and Martha almost misses Christmas dinner because she has to work … what kind of jobs did you have when you were young like Peter and Martha? I delivered paper for a while, but I really didn’t work until after I graduated from high school.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Egg Nog!

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? I like being surprised, so either works for me!

Scrooge is visited by two charity men early in the show… have you done any charity work or are there charity organizations that you support? The two charities that I regularly support are Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and WEMU Public Radio  at Eastern Michigan University .

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? Not in the traditional sense of the word, but I do believe that what some people call “spirit” remains with us  or with a place for many years.

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I’d like to hope that most of my Christmas memories would be happy!

Next project after A Christmas Carol? REUNION, here at Meadow Brook in February!

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? We have a family tradition where we all meet at my Mom’s house on the Sunday between Christmas and New Years.  It’s always packed, hot, and noisy, and invariably a euchre game breaks out!

The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food? Turkey with stuffing!

Other favorite Charles Dickens novels? A Tale of Two Cities

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? It’s become a tradition!

What is your favorite holiday? New Year’s Eve, because it’s also my wedding anniversary!

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake? I’ve been relegated to Deviled Eggs – my wife is the baker of the family!

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? The hope that the story is filled with!

Finish this sentence: “My favorite gift that I ever received during the holiday season was_________”

…Seeing my son’s smile on Christmas morning!”