13 is a hilarious, coming-of-age rock musical with music and lyrics by Tony-Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and a book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn. The story centers around Evan Goldman, who must quickly establish his popularity and avoid an un-cool label amongst his middle school classmates after moving from New York City to a small town in Indiana. The cast of MCP’s production features 17 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16, and this show will be the entire cast’s MCP debut. Part 1 of the “Meet the Cast” series introduces the cast members playing Lucy, Evan, Kendra, Archie, and Patrice.
Introduce yourself, and let readers know where they may have seen you on local stages recently.
Bailey Drew: Hi, I’m Bailey, and the last show I did was at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland. We did Grease, and I played Marty. I’ve also done some Toby’s Dinner Theatre shows.
Cuinn Casey: Hi, my name is Cuinn Casey, and I am new to the DC area. I have been active in the CT theater since the 4th grade.
Izzy Gaskill: Hi, I’m Izzy!! I play Kendra in 13, and you might have seen me recently in Pippi Longstocking as Constable Cling.
John Ray: My name is John Ray, and I am a 7th grade student at the Metropolitan School of the Arts Academy in Lorton, VA. Most recently, I was seen as Puglsey in The Addams Family at Kensington Arts Theatre. Last year, I was in Crossing and Gypsy at Signature Theatre.
Tori Garcia: My name is Tori Garcia. I’m 16 years old and just three years late of getting started. I’ve been in a Washington DC’s Theatre Lab performance as well as McLean High School productions.
How would you describe 13?
Bailey: Extremely accurate. Thinking back to when I was 13, I just remember all the drama, friendships, pettiness, and social hierarchy. 13 is a really relatable show not just to 13 year olds, but to all ages, because I think we can all look back on that age and go, “yup”.
Cuinn: I look at 13 as a journey. A new beginning, kind of similar to what I am doing in my life now. Not only the move to a new city, but growing up and moving into adulthood.
Izzy: 13 is a fun, energetic show. The characters are so fun and really reflect the life a 13 year old.
John: 13 is really about being 13! It’s about friendships, crushes, fitting in and being okay with not fitting in.
Tori: A blast! Our cast has a wonderful time at rehearsals and on stage.
Why did you want to be a part of 13?
Bailey: I love musical theatre. I love being a part of a cast and getting to know new people. Being on stage surrounded by my friends always felt right, and that’s why I wanted to be a part of 13. Not only do you gain stage experience, but you also develop friendships that can last a lifetime, and that’s really special.
Cuinn: I had heard really good things about the McLean Community Players since moving to this area. When I heard they were doing 13, it seemed like a perfect fit, being a kid in a new city. Plus, I love the music.
Izzy: 13 seemed like a really fun show to be in. The show is absolutely hilarious.
John: The music! I love the score, every single song.
Tori: It was my first chance and opportunity of getting out into the community!
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character?
Bailey: I play Lucy, who is the villain of the show. It’s pretty hard to play her because I’m a pretty positive person, so I have to try really hard in order to be this character. The reason I think it’s so hard to play a villain is because you have to show a side of you that you don’t exactly want the world to see. However, we all have a dark side, and Lucy is my dark side.
Cuinn: I play Evan, and I have lot in common with my character.
John: I play Archie. He has muscular dystrophy and is on crutches for the entire performance. However, I can relate to his sense of humor and loyalty to his friends.
Tori: I play Patrice, and I can really relate to her book smarts and experiences with friends.
Which character in 13 is most like you and why?
Bailey: Probably Evan. I remember when I was in middle school, I tried so hard to be popular and fit in, and I lost so many great friendships because of that. When I hear Cuinn singing “Being a Geek”, it brings back memories from middle school.
Cuinn: Evan is most like me. My parents are divorced, we just moved to a new state, and I am also new to my school.
John: I am gonna say Archie. Really! Because he doesn’t get too caught up in what other people think and he’s really funny. I’m really funny, JUST ASK ME!
Tori: Patrice because she understands what it means to be a friend.
What is your favorite song in 13 and why?
Bailey: As much as I love the “Being a Geek”, I think my favorite has to be either “What It Means to Be a Friend” or “A Little More Homework”.
Cuinn: “Getting Ready”. I love that the music really wows.
Izzy: “Brand New You” because it creates a perfect ending. It describes getting over the terrible parts of being 13 and learning to be yourself and become the person you want to be.
John: “What It Means to Be a Friend”. I sing that all the time in the car.
Tori: “Bad Bad News”. It’s an amazing number with four boys in 13 who really show their potential; it’s overall an amazing time.
What is your favorite scene in 13 that you are not on stage for?
Bailey: “Terminal Illness” is hilarious.
Izzy: Probably Evan and Patrice’s scene when Patrice sings “The Lamest Place in the World”.
John: “Opportunity”. It looks like a blast to perform.
Tori: “It Can’t Be True”, a number full of twists and turns as well as rumors and secrets.
What have you learned about yourself as a performer during this experience?
Bailey: If you really want to be your character, then you have to be yourself because your character is a part of you, and you can’t fake that.
Cuinn: I have learned a lot from this performance. I have met new friends and experienced new things. This play has taught me that you are always learning.
Izzy: It is really hard to do a show like 13 because it is something that relates to me and is kind of a describing something I’ve been through. It’s really hard to act like someone when there reaction and experiences are similar to yours.
John: The physical part of playing Archie has been a great learning experience for me. Playing someone that has a physical limitation and making sure I carry that through every second I am on stage.
Tori: Keep things professional while having a good time doing so!
What do you think the message of 13 is?
Bailey: Be yourself, and you’ll eventually find your way. Having a few good friends is better than having a ton of fake ones.
Cuinn: Change is not all bad. New beginnings lead to new adventures. The show highlights what it means to be a friend and how to keep learning even when things don’t seem to be everything you want or need.
Izzy: Don’t care what others think and just be yourself.
John: I think it is about growing up, being a good friend and being okay with who you are…and that no matter how much you know, “we all have a little more homework to do!”
Tori: Once you grow up, you’re still always learning. Turning 13 is starting your adult life, where we all truly do have a little more “homework” to do!
Why should theatregoers come see this production, and what makes it so unique and special?
Bailey: We’ve all worked so hard on the show, and it really is such a good production. The talent within the show is tremendous. We’ve poured our heart and soul into this production, and I think it shows. Come see 13!
Cuinn: 13 is full of great music and dancing about coming-of-age. It’s great for all ages.
Izzy: Someone would want to come see this show because it is fun, and it really does have a good message. It’s also a very unique musical because it’s not your traditional musical. It’s a contemporary musical.
John: What makes it special is that the cast is made up of teenagers. NOT ONE ADULT!! People should come because everyone was 13 once, so everyone can relate to something in this show!
Tori: This cast has a chemistry like I’ve never seen. Everyone gets along so well, and it truly shows on stage. It’s what you would call a magical performance.
13 plays from January 30- February 15, 2015 at McLean Community Players performing at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre – 1234 Ingleside Avenue in McLean, VA. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.