Meet the Cast of ‘Ghost The Musical’–Lauren Alberg, Shannon Taylor, and Aly Murphy and The Production Team-Erin MacDonald, Amy Rawe Weimer, & Iris Shih at Drama Learning Center

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TYA Teen Professionals at Drama Learning Center closes its area premiere of Ghost the Musical today at 2 PM.  After getting special permission from Theatrical Rights Worldwide to present this title prior to its availability for regional productions, the cast and production team are brimming with excitement over the opportunity to tell the story of this show in a new way.  Meet the talented teens in the cast!

(L-R) Lauren Alberg, Aly Murphy, and Shannon Taylor.
(L-R) Lauren Alberg, Aly Murphy, and Shannon Taylor.

Lauren Alberg, a rising sophomore at Catonsville High, plays Clara/Ensemble. 

Shannon Taylor, a rising sophomore at Catonsville High, plays Hospital Ghost.

Aly Murphy, a rising junior at Towson High, plays Minister/Ensemble.

What is the most exciting thing about performing in Ghost?

Lauren: The most exciting thing about performing in Ghost is getting to work with other talented actors to put on an amazing show! The most exciting thing for any show is to be able to convey a story to an audience and watch them laugh and cry for the characters on stage.

Shannon: The most exciting thing about being in Ghost is bringing the movie so many have loved and cherished onto the stage. I’ve spoken to so many people who have grown up with the movie and it’s fun to get to be bring it to them in a new way, as a musical.

Aly: GHOST is still a new show that isn’t done much, so it’s really exciting to have the chance to perform in this iconic piece. 

What is your favorite song or moment in the show?

Lauren: My favorite song is the opening of the second act. We do an incredible dance with umbrellas and it looks awesome! I also enjoy all of the Oda Mae Brown numbers, since [guest artist] Ms. Felicia, who plays Oda Mae, is an incredible actress and singer and I love watching her perform.

Shannon: My favorite moments in the show are all the fight scenes. I’m personally not in any of them, but seeing them getting all worked out and put together is amazing.

Aly: I love the Act I finale. The music is great, and there are a lot of unexpected plot twists that happen during the song.

What have you learned during this process?

Lauren: I’ve learned new techniques for acting and developing a character, and how to convey my character to the audience. I’ve also learned how to get into character by watching the older kids. I’ve definitely grown as an actor by being a part of TYA.

Shannon During this process I have learned that it takes a lot to put a good production together. We have had multiple fundraisers to help us offset the cost of sets and lights, and we even raised money to bring in an illusionist to help us with all the “ghostly” effects.

Aly: Learn your music and choreography! The ensemble is onstage a lot in this show, so there’s a lot to memorize.

What is it like being a member of TYA?

Lauren: It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s super fun! It gives kids an outlet to perform with other talented people who share their love of theatre. I’ve learned a lot from the older kids and everyone is so nice and supportive of each other. It’s a great environment for people who want to perform and learn about pursuing a career in theatre.

Shannon: Being a member of TYA is amazing! You get to work with a group of all your very talented peers, under the direction of a pair of very talented directors to put on of a show in a very professional atmosphere, while all the time becoming very close friends with all your cast mates. It couldn’t be better!

Aly: TYA is a lot of fun while still having a professional atmosphere. We learn a lot about acting and singing, while also making friends and putting together a professional-quality show.

What is your favorite past role and why?

Lauren: My favorite past role was Olive’s Mom in Spelling Bee. My favorite song in the show even before I was cast was the “I Love You Song,” which was sung by Olive, her father, and her mother. The harmonies in that song were so beautiful and I loved being a part of creating them.

Shannon: My favorite past role and show was being an ensemble Speller in our fall show
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! We were able to create our own persona for an ensemble speller and have turns spelling as them during the show.

Aly: Beth March in Little Women. It was my first real lead role, and I loved my onstage “family.” I liked being able to do a show that focused on straight acting.

What is your favorite past show and why?

Lauren: My favorite past show was The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, not only because that was my only other TYA show besides GHOST, but because it was such a fun show to be in! It was comedic and, because of our blocking, I got to sit and watch the older kids perform when there weren’t ensemble numbers. It was an amazing learning experience; perfect for my first TYA show.

Aly: Charm City Players’ production of Annie. That production did extremely well and ran for almost four months, and I made a lot of friends as one of the orphans.

What is your most challenging moment in the show?

Lauren: My most challenging moment in the show is all the set changes. I have to remember which set pieces I’m in charge of taking off or on and when. It gets very confusing since there are a lot of set changes in the show. It’s definitely taken me more time to memorize my set changes than my lines and blocking.

Shannon: The most challenging moment of the show is having to remember all of our set changes. Since no crew is involved with the show we have to set everything ourselves, and make sure everything is where it needs to be for each scene.

Meet the Production Team

Erin MacDonald, Fight Choreographer

Amy Rawe Weimer, Costume Designer

Iris Shih, Stage Manager

What is the biggest challenge you have faced working on Ghost?

Erin: Well mainly that Sam is a ghost, but he still has to fight. Working on a safe fight that still has supernatural elements is a little tricky. We could have just had some actors throw themselves around the stage, but I really think that Stephanie made the right choice to have Sam physically interact with the other actors. That presents different challenges, like how much eye contact can we avoid before something becomes unsafe. Yet these kids are really talented and they listen well so we haven’t run into anything becoming scary unsafe.

Iris: I think the biggest challenge to working on Ghost is that the story has so many supernatural elements and the script is written like a screenplay rather than a theatre play.  It has fluid scenes in multiple locations which would require fairly high-tech equipment to accurately carry out so as a smaller theatre, we’ve had to make adjustments for the technical aspects.  More importantly, I think we’ve had to be careful not to let the special effects overshadow the story itself.

What are you most excited about seeing in the show?

Erin: I am really excited to see all of the illusions are going to be really interesting. I want to see how they add to the fights.

Amy: I am most excited about seeing the ways in which the lights, set, and sound will work together to create the illusions present in this show. Knowing the team that we have in place, I have no doubt that it will present itself as sheer magic on the stage.

Iris: I also look forward to seeing the large ensemble numbers in full costume; the songs are in so many different styles and include multi-generational ghosts and a daydream so they should be very interesting and alive visually.

"I'm Outta Here" with Felicia Akunwafor (Oda Mae Brown) and the ensemble of 'Ghost.'
“I’m Outta Here” with Felicia Akunwafor (Oda Mae Brown) and the ensemble of ‘Ghost.’

What is your favorite design from a past show and why?

Erin:  I am actually working on a production of Macbeth currently. Macbeth is going up at the Capital Fringe Festival. There concept is Instrument of Darkness, so most of the lighting is done with flashlights.  Also Lady MacBeth is blind so while she is a fierce women she has to rely on her other senses to get things done.  There is also a really epic Mag-light fight that happens in that show.

Amy:  My favorite design from a past show would have to be from my senior thesis The Rocky Horror Show in college. The idea was to pay respect to the cult classic portion of the film, much like we are paying homage to the iconic images of the film Ghost. With Rocky Horror, there were stereotypes that needed to be met, but I wanted to put my own twist on them.

Iris: My favorite design from a past show is The Good Times Are Killing Me with City Lights Youth Theatre in New York City. The entire set was done in shades of grey which reflected the introspective nature of the piece and highlighted the racial tensions in the story. The show ended with the two lead characters, one white and one African-American, seated in separate chairs lit by spotlights and the sound of a clock ticking.

What is your impression thus far of TYA teen professional actors?

Erin: I am really impressed with all of the students and how professional they are. All of them are people I would want to work with again. Also the DLC staff is so nice; everyone is very respectful and you feel that you are in a nurturing environment. I would want to work TYA Teens and the DLC again.

Amy: I have had the privilege of working work the TYA professional actors for three shows now, and have never been more impressed.  Often times in theatre, you find a few individuals with arrogant and overly large personalities or attitudes.  These attributes will not be found in any of the TYA kids. They know to trust and respect their designers, director, music director, and the entirety of the process.  In addition to that, each teenager understands that in theatre there is a big picture that the director is working towards.  To help with this, the teenagers always assist in working towards that goal.  I hope to work with TYA in the future on other projects not just because of the the great shows that DLC picks for them, but for the experience and professionalism that I find in these kids. They truly inspire me to do my best with my designs.  I hope that I can only do the same and inspire them to go into achieve their dreams of working in theatre after their time in this program.

Iris: I think TYA is an extremely talented group of students; they are also so close-knit–many of them have known each other and been with Drama Learning Center for years but newcomers are also quickly embraced. When I first joined the staff I had the chance to read the students’ entrance applications and I was struck by how many described the company as a family.  Now that I’ve met and worked with them, I know how true that is.

What do you like to do in your non-theatre life?

Erin: Ha, what non-theatre life. I actually work professionally in theatre. I do a little bit of everything. I work at Toby’s Dinner Theatre on their run crew, I work as a freelance fight choreographer, and I am in the Fight Corps at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I am also in school working towards becoming a drama teacher. And while that is still a few years off I still eat, breathe, and sweat theatre, for me there is no such thing as a non-theatre life.

Amy: This is a funny question, as working in theatre seems to be with me day in and day out these last few weeks.  So to try and remember back to a time before tech weeks, I would say that I truly enjoy reading, painting, sewing creative projects for myself and my etsy store, traveling to see family, and spending time with my husband.

Iris: As I know many of my colleagues have responded, it sometimes feels like I don’t have a non-theatre life.  In what spare time I have I enjoy running and reading historical fiction.

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 Ghost ends its run today at 2 PM has two performances remaining.

Tickets at www.dramalearningcenter.com, or (410) 997-9352.

LINKS:

Meet the Cast of ‘Ghost The Musical’ at Drama Learning Center Opening This Friday 6/13-Seth Fallon, Claire Cerand, and Josh Altenburg.

Review of Ghost The Musical by John Harding.

 

Ghost the Musical

Book and Lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin

Music & Lyrics by Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard

Presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide