Posts Tagged ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Sweet Treats

February 15, 2012

This is the best fed cast out there. And that’s not a fat joke.

I worry that we’re all going to die of a diabetic coma before we manage to open Thursday night.

Every night Allison and Heather bring delicious food to rehearsals. As I type this, I’m enjoying a scone from Allison’s bakery, and I’m thinking of my Valentine candy Heather gave me as it waits for me in the tech booth.

Allison Froh


Allison Froh plays Mayella Ewell in the production. Her time on the stage is limited, but every moment is just luminous. We had a discussion about her character back at the first rehearsal, and ever since then I just sit and eat her scones and smile while she does her magic. When she walks in the room, everyone brightens. I don’t know if it’s because of her baked goods or because everyone has a secret crush on her. (Don’t shake your head! You know I’m right!)


Miss Heather is a dear friend from high school. When I found out I was directing To Kill A Mockingbird, I immediately asked her to be the dramaturg since she studied the play and book in college. She has offered me great insights that have really contributed to the show. It’s so nice to have a second pair of eyes, especially when you know she cares so much about the actors and the story. And I swear, every night she brings something tasty for the cast. She’s incredibly generous and I couldn’t have directed the show without her help.

Well, I think I managed to introduce our friendly readers to the entire cast of To Kill A Mockingbird. And just in time! The show opens tomorrow night!

Tickets are only $10. We only play for 6 nights. Thursday, Friday, Saturday Feb 16-18 and 23-35. At 7pm.

Visit for information on how to get your tickets.

Posted by Eve Speer




Repeat Offenders Are Not So Offensive OR Blasts from the Pasts

February 13, 2012

New talent is the lifeblood of any good community theatre. But old friends are like tasty comfort food. When you see each other, it’s like coming home for both actor and director.


Marcella Borrowman


Marcella played Ouiser in Midvale Main Street Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias last year. When I first saw her at auditions, I was so excited to work with her! She is a pro. She is a director’s dream. She is playing Scout’s neighbor, Miss Maudie Atkinson. She is on time, memorized, amiable, interesting, and engaging. From my place in the lighting booth, I watch her smile encouragingly at the kids. She is the storyteller and her down to earth portrayal draws me in every time.

Stone Kalisa


Stone Kalisa was in Hairspray! and All Shook Up! And since knowing him, he just gets taller and taller. He is playing Tom Robinson. I am so impressed with the way he understands the character. He is respectful and you can see that he and Atticus both have faith that the law and the truth are on their side. He just tells the truth. I love seeing this guy who was a kid play a mature man. (He’s still a kid, but he’s tall enough that he can PLAY a mature man…) He’s a talented actor and I’m happy he’s in the play.


Sterling Young


Sterling Young played the lead in last year’s production of All Shook Up! He has a fantastic voice and he can charm the pants off audiences. He’s hilarious back stage, but it’s been wonderful to see him find his serious chops with the role of Sheriff Heck Tate. Another director’s dream, he’s always there and willing to do anything that we need. I love working with him, and it’s not just because he’s sporting a handsome mustache. (I lie. It’s totally the mustache.)

Come and see us this week!! Get your tickets at the door for only $10. We’ll save you a drink and some delicious nachos!

7711 South Main (700 West) Midvale, Utah

Show starts at 7pm! Thursday, Friday and Saturday!


Why You Have to See This Show

February 10, 2012

London Flynn as Jem Finch


Since you get to see his talent on stage, let me introduce you to London backstage. He is driven and intelligent. He is always energetically engaged in his playtime. And everything is playtime, whether that be working on a scene or playing video games backstage. He is so much fun to watch because you know he is having so much fun. He has an intelligent mind and enjoys a constant challenge. I take for granted how much London brings to rehearsal. He has taught me so much about the character. He has found the balance between Jem’s affection for his father and his wishes that he could have more from him. I can’t wait for you to see him.

Nathan Klingonsmith as Dill

Nathan Klingonsmith called me a few weeks after being cast because he was scared he wouldn’t be able to memorize his lines in time for the show. (We were opening in 2 months..) He is still a kid, but he wants so much to do well. And he is the best person for the part of Dill. He understands what it is to be at that pivotal age where you still want to imagine and play, but you start to realize that life isn’t always going to be fun or easy. He has a light in his eyes, but in one moment he can convey the heart break of what it is to be a child in an imperfect world.

Raven Flynn as Scout


This girl has so many lines! She has to be funny, imaginative, clever, thoughtful, smart, and poignant. And I feel so lucky to have Raven in the cast. She comes in with ideas and a clear understanding of the character and the story, and then when I ask her to try something new, she immediately dives right in. She is a joy to work with. She’s professional, but she’s also still a kid. She has a purse with candy that she likes to carry around and it’s hilarious to watch her sneak a piece of candy, or try to crawl around the stage with her purse. I am perpetually entertained by her antics, and I can’t wait for audiences to see her perform!

Please visit to purchase tickets if you haven’t already.

To Kill A Mockingbird opens Thursday, Feb 16th and plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm through Feb 25th. That’s only 2 weekends!

Tickets are only $10.

Posted by: Eve Speer

Call 801-566-0596

7711 S Main Street (700 W)

Midvale, Ut

The Paycheck

February 7, 2012

Anyone who has worked in theatre knows that the best thing about it is the experience you get to have with the people. For years, I worked with a more professional type of actor. I say professional because they got paid. But whether you’re getting paid or not, you never get paid enough. There is never enough money to compensate you for the late nights, the memorization, the time…Among the more professional set, there is a sense of mission. A sense that, despite the low wages, we were all doing something meaningful. And you got the sense that everyone felt a call to the work. But because jobs in the theatre are sparse, there was always a competitive undercurrent.

While there is a nobility and a generosity among professional theatre artists–(some of you are openly guffawing at my use of the word “nobility”)–there is an undefinable magic in community theatre volunteers. They volunteer their time, gas money, ideas, talents, all to creating a great show! And they all do it because of love. Some people might consider this naive. But I think they understand better than most what is truly valuable in life.

As I was perusing the cast member’s online pics for crazy pics I could use in these introductory blogs, I kept coming across the cast members with loved ones. Their expressions are of genuine joy and affection. They understand what it is to be a truly happy human being.

I love that I get to spend my nights (and some Saturdays) with these magical people.


This is Marc Reading and his beautiful wife. I’ve been friends with Marc since we were both at Bear River High School. He has always been the first one to volunteer to help. He would go from show to show, often doing two shows at the same time because everyone understood that if Marc was in your show, he would make it better than it ever could have been. When you come to see the show, you’ll note a very important scene. I had decided to direct this scene one way, but Marc kindly made a brilliant suggestion that would make it better. And it was!

This is Mike and Mindy Hardy with their niece on her wedding day. I love this pic because you can see Mindy’s beautiful smile–and I love that in the caption their niece said that these two were her favorite Aunt and Uncle. After working with Mike and Mindy, it is easy to see how they are her favorites.  Mindy comes to rehearsal with a warm smile for everyone. I love that she’s playing the mean old lady Mrs. Dubose. It’s just so funny to see this warm open person play this cantankerous biddy.

This is David Bowe with his little sister. I love this picture because in almost every picture you see of David, he’s got a grouchy smirk on his face. And in this picture, with his hand rested on his sister’s shoulder, he is open and smiling. David is a talented actor and it makes me happy that he volunteers his time to come and play with us at Midvale Main Street Theatre, though when I see this picture, I’m not surprised. He gets it.

And last but not least, here’s a picture of two of my favorite people. Annie Giardinelli and Kathryn Mungin. These two have been bright lights flitting around Midvale Main Street Theatre for as long as I have been there. It isn’t just the smile they bring to others’ outside of the theatre, but this is picture of the two of them in Hairspray! and it’s clear they’ve figured it out as well.

So maybe volunteer actors don’t make much money, but there is some intangible pay off that these volunteers embrace. And then share with loved ones and friends.

And unlike money, this love, this magic, this generosity–it never seems to run out. Or if it ever feels like it might, you can just come back to the theatre and get a refill.

For your own refill, come and see To Kill A Mockingbird at 7711 S. Main (700 W), Midvale. Visit for tickets. Tickets are only $10. The show opens next Thursday, Feb 16th. Remember our showtimes are earlier than most (7pm)–because we have Qwik Wits every Friday and Saturday night at 10pm.

Posted by: Eve Speer

My Search For the Perfect Cast

February 2, 2012

When it comes to casting, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right group of people. I had to go to some exotic places to find these guys.

Joe Puente was touring as a roadie with the famous Garfunkel and Oats Comedy Duo. He and Miss Garfunkel had decided to open an amusement park for lamas when I swooped in and asked him to come and play the Judge in To Kill A Mockingbird. Of course, he agreed. Their dream of an amusement park where a furry animal can spit and ride on the ferris wheel at the same time is currently on hold.

I discovered Terence playing in a revival of Charlie’s Angels. He’s the good looking one.  When I asked him to come and play with us at Midvale Main Street Theatre, he was relieved to play something that had a little more substance and where people would appreciate him for more than just his pretty face. (In reality, my first introduction to Terence was when he played Martin Luther King Jr. with the above gentlemen in a production of The Meeting at The Grand–but it’s fun to imagine these three fighting crime together.)


Mike Hardy will be playing Boo Radley. At the beginning of the play, we discover that there’s nothing worse than killing a mockingbird because they’re innocent birds that just make music. And the character of Boo Radley needs to embody that idea. So when I saw Mike Hardy playing Tweety Bird in the latest Tyler Perry movie I Know I Saw That Putty Tat, I knew he would be the perfect Boo Radley.

Remember–the show opens in just two weeks! You can get your tickets online now. Visit to purchase your tickets online, or pick them up at the door. They are only $10.

The show starts at 7pm. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 7711 S Main Street (700 West), Midvale, Utah.

It opens Feb 16th and closes Feb. 25th.

Posted by Eve Speer



Famous Collaboration

January 30, 2012

As the director of To Kill A Mockingbird, I spent my weekend pondering how to introduce different cast members to our upcoming audiences–the show opens in just two weeks!! ACK!!! So exciting!!

I discovered that some of our cast members have worked with some really amazing people!

Here’s Lyn Dudley singing a duet with Stevie Wonder!

Lyn is playing Calpurnia in our production. She has an amazing voice and will also be singing and playing the guitar during different musical sequences we decided to put into the show. (Mainly because we have such talented musicians!)

Lyn was the choir director of the famous Genesis Group in Salt Lake City. She has performed in numerous productions throughout Utah…. mainly because she’s fun to hang out with. There are probably other reasons, (like talent…and work ethic…) But that just makes it really convenient for those of us using her for her personality.



This is Taylor Lawrence singing with Elvis Presley.  With Taylor’s singing chops and Elvis’s awesome moves, they make a good partnership. It’s sad that Elvis had to die a good decade before Taylor was born… Sad…

By day Taylor is a super hip barber, by night she is a super hero bringing smiles to all who meet her. She’s really pretty. She has an amazing voice. And she is playing our very own pretty little racist–Miss Stephanie.

  I tried to find a picture of Josh Hilst with someone famous. He is playing Atticus Finch… you know… the character that Gregory Peck made famous… (No pressure Josh)

But all I could find was this picture of his wife and daughter with Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse is the the most famous person in the the world… (obviously)… And I think Josh took this picture. So that counts.

Josh’s talents include picture taking, having a beautiful family, knowing Mickey Mouse, and acting, singing, playing the banjo, and teaching English at UVU.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet–they’re only $10! This is a classic American story. You will love it! Or at least you can enjoy Holly’s Sliders! Visit for tickets today. The show plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7pm from Feb 16th thru Feb 25th. That’s only 6 nights! Yikes!

Posted by: Eve Speer


Introducing Mr. Tom Drury as Bob Ewell

January 26, 2012

With To Kill a Mockingbird opening in just 3 weeks, I want to introduce our readers to some of the talented players they will see performing.

We’ll start by introducing Mr. Tom Drury.

He submitted his bio the other day for the program and he listed some boring stuff. He was in some movie about Daniel Boone, he performed on a USO Tour, he played Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, blah blah blah blah… I mean who hasn’t performed in SE Asia on a USO tour?  And Tevya? Really? He wishes he was a rich man–but he’s not! So why should we pay attention to him. Poor people aren’t interesting!

No… the best part about Mr. Tom Drury?  (Wait for it… )


He plays the BANJO!!


And the guitar… but the BANJO!! It’s like the pretty skinny cousin of the fat guitar. Guitars are fine, but because banjos are skinny, they’re clearly better.*



Come and see the show opening Thursday, Feb 16th and you’ll see Mr. Drury play both the guitar and the banjo. We realize that To Kill a Mockingbird  isn’t a musical, but when you’ve got talented musicians in a cast, it would be a tragic waste to not have them play for audiences.

Stay tuned for more cast introductions!

*As a fat girl, I can make fun of fat people or instruments all I want. If you’re skinny, it’s offensive. But because I’m pleasantly plump, I can make these kinds of jokes.

Posted by Eve Speer

The Space

January 25, 2012

Right now, the theatre is empty.

I love looking at the empty stage and imagining the shows before they come to life.

In this space, audiences and players will come together and create beautiful worlds.

In just a couple of weeks, audiences will join players in Maycomb County, Alabama.

The empty chairs, the empty stage . . .

The theatre is a magical place. Soon we’ll come together as artists and audience members and the whole space will transform into a whole new world filled with life and beauty.

Join us when we open Thursday, Feb. 16th at 7pm. You can get your tickets by visiting

Posted by Eve Speer


January 21, 2012

I’m supposed to be leaving for the theatre to teach Trisha a voice lesson. I’m sitting on my bed listening to the rain, imagining the poor people who flew to Utah to watch movies and ski at the Sundance Film Festival as they watch the rain wash away their precious powder… chuckling a little bit to myself.  I was born and bred in Utah but sliding towards my death in cold wet snow just never really appealed to me.

I’m thinking about how I am going to talk to set builder extraordinaire Johnny about Cassidy Ross’s set design for To Kill A Mockingbird today while I’m at the theatre.

And I’m smiling inside remembering the warm beautiful feeling I felt while I was at the theatre last night waiting for Qwik Wits to begin.

I was out in the lobby. People were pouring into see the show. Taylor was at the counter. Holly and Daxx were working away in the kitchen. And Taylor said these magical words that changed everything for me:

“Do you want to try Holly’s sliders? They’re only $3 for two.”

Something inside me compelled me to say, “Yes. Please.”

Taylor: “With cheese and onions?”

Again, led by a mysterious power I cannot explain, I nodded.

Taylor: “There’s cheddar cheese, but I like nacho–”

Me: “Cheddar! I hate nacho cheese!”

Holly called from the kitchen, “Do you want ketchup, mustard, and mayo?”

The question overwhelmed me. I was trying to imagine each flavor in my mouth and I couldn’t figure out what to say. Finally she rescued me and just promised to do all three. Again, I nodded.

Five minutes later I bit into the most delicious little slider. So fresh, flavorful. So warm and savory.

I know that you come to the theatre to see the shows…. but think about it… isn’t there a little part of you that PRETENDS to come to the theatre for the show because you’re too afraid to admit that the real reason you’re there is to eat Holly’s famous sliders?

You’ve got a great excuse to enjoy the sliders tonight at the Midvale Main Street Theatre! Showtime starts at 10pm! The comedians at Qwik Wits are in top form. Audiences were rolling last night. Come and see the show and enjoy some delicious food at the same time.

Posted by: Eve Speer

Phillip the Acting Dog

January 21, 2012

I’m directing To Kill a Mockingbird at Midvale Main Street Theatre. The show goes up Feb 16th. Come and see it!

These are the talented kids playing Dill (the future Truman Capote), Scout (young Harper Lee) and Jem… (who is someone wonderful too, I’m sure.)  The kids playing Scout and Jem are brother and sister in real life. I have funny stories about these three, but I’ll save those for later.

This is a picture of some of the gentlemen in the cast. The guy playing Atticus is a rhetoric professor at UVU. Bob Ewell is played by Tom Drury, a great old actor and banjo player!

But this entry is about a dog.

One of the guys in the cast, Joe Puente, has a little dog that is 13 years old. The dog’s name is Phil. Phil is old, wise, and near deaf. Joe brings him to rehearsal every night. The dog wanders across the stage at will, which I frankly love! The play is about a little southern town and most of the scenes take place outside, so watching a dog walk across the stage at random moments just cracks me up.

There’s a scene where the kids tell Calpurnia about a mad dog coming down the street. Calpurnia goes up to the Boo Radley house and says, “Mad dog! Mad dog’s coming!”

And like clockwork, Phil comes trotting onto the stage EVERY TIME she says this line. He enters from the right entrance and everything. It cracks me up! And the kids and Calpurnia all react appropriately running from the dog and screaming “Mad dog!” and so Phil, who is generally perfectly quiet, picks up his head and barks.

It’s a riot.

And that is generally how rehearsals go.

There are serious moments, but most of the time, we’re just having a wonderful time laughing and working.

If you can make it, I’d love to have you see this show!

Posted by: Eve Speer