This is the second of four interviews with the young cast members of Olney Theatre Center’s Over the Tavern. Today, Corrieanne Stein tells us about playing the young sister in the Pazinski family.
Joel: Introduce yourself to the DCMTA readers.
Corrieanne: Hi, I’m Corrieanne Stein,16 years old. I’ve been performing since I was 5. I have trained at the Musical Theater Center, Linda Townsend workshops (including Tom Logan’s very helpful seminars), U.S. Performing Arts, Broadway Artists Alliance, Peabody Preparatory at Peabody Conservatory, and spent many years dancing at the Dawn Crafton Dance Center.
My first lead in a musical was with MTC’s production of Annie Warbucks (a sequel to Annie) at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville. I was 9 years old and just LOVED it! Since then I’ve performed at Signature Theater where I played Roberta in Kathy Lee Gifford’s musical Saving Aimee, starring Broadway’s Carolee Carmello. I spent an entire year in NYC on Broadway as a member of the original Broadway cast of Billy Elliott: The Musical playing Ballet Girl, Margaret Gormley; I understudied the role of Debbie Wilkinson and filled in for Tracy Atkinson. Performing 300 times that year was a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
My acting coach is Carl Randolph here in the DC area, and he is an amazingly gifted and talented actor, dancer, and teacher.
Why did you want to appear in this production of Over the Tavern?
I was really looking forward to working with John (Jack) Going – an accomplished and experienced director who really understands every nuance in creating a powerful production. I wanted to continue to act regionally while I complete high school – so this was perfect. The whole cast and crew is wonderful to work with.
Tell us about your character you play.
In Over the Tavern, I play Rudy’s older sister, Annie Pazinski, who is a typical teenage girl who struggles in dealing with boys – she works through her anxiety by eating Twinkies!! But her emotional range is all over the map, and the character takes some real understanding.
What is Over the Tavern about from the point of view of Annie?
For my character, Over the Tavern is the story of becoming a woman; it’s about facing the challenges every young woman faces in reconciling her own grownup impulses with how her parents would like her to behave.
How do you personally relate to Annie?
Being a teenager the same age as my character means I understand how she feels and appreciate her struggles and emotions.
Annie, according to Jack, is innocent and is trying to understand herself as she goes through the rapid changes that occur when a girl is on the brink of adulthood.
What was your audition like, and where were you when you were notified that you got the role?
When I auditioned for the role, I was rehearsing for the The Wizard of Oz at my high school where I was Glinda. I remember being worried that I would be late for rehearsal and I had big Glinda-like curls and thought…”I wonder if this is what they are looking for in Over the Tavern? We read sides in the audition and then I raced back to rehearsal as Glinda. About a month later I learned I got the part and was thrilled; I was in class – I got a text. It’s a really fun role!
What have you learned about being an actor working on this production?
I have learned that I have a tendency to become the character I play…I adopt their mannerisms and thought process and I become that character for a while…. This has really helped me grow as an actor.
What is the most difficult scene to play?
The hardest scene in this play for me is the scene which relates to “Undressing in front of the window.” It is a quiet scene where I have to express a wide range of emotions in a short time.
What do you enjoy the most about being in the Over the Tavern cast?
I love watching the other actors work in every scene. It is a magnificent cast and each character pulls you in…
How have you juggled performing in the show and school?
Since I performed for a year on Broadway, rehearsed, took dancing lessons, and juggled school work, at the same time, I have learned to be efficient with my time…and I only need a few hours of sleep a night…being in a show keeps me energized! Also, I have incredible friends and teachers who help support me.
How have your parents helped you with your career?
My parents are the most supportive parents ever. They drive me everywhere (I do have a learners permit), deal with my crazy schedule, and laugh through it all.
You are the ‘Queen of Annies” and have played the role of Annie in several productions. How many times have you played the role of Annie?
Four times! We laugh at my house because Annie seems to be a lucky character for me. I have played Annie, Annie Warbucks (the sequel), Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, and now Annie Pazinski.
What are you doing after the show closes?
Auditioning, keeping up school, and working hard every day…
Why should theatregoers comes to Olney Theatre Center to see you perform in Over the Tavern?
There’s something in Over the Tavern for everyone – moms, dads, kids – something we can all relate too. And it is very funny. I hope audiences enjoy the feeling of family and fun that we create as members of the Pazinski family. It’s a true joy to be a part of this production.
Over the Tavern plays through October 21, 2012 at Olney Theatre Center – 2001 Olney Sandy Spring Road, in Olney, MD. For tickets, call the box office (301) 924-3400.