In Part 2 of a series of interviews with the cast of Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre’s production of Side Show, meet Jehan Silva.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell us what other shows and roles you have performed at Montgomery College and elsewhere on our local stages.
Jehan: I have been in the ensemble in Seussical and Legally Blonde at Summer Dinner Theatre. At McDaniel College I have played Chip in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Ash in Evil Dead the Musical.
When did you audition for your role, what did you perform at your audition, and how long after you auditioned did you receive ‘the call’ that you had the role?
I sang “What Kind of Fool Am I” from Stop the World I Want to Get Off. The callback process took about a week, as I remember, so a week later I got the call that I had been cast.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character? Are there any personal experiences that you brought with you that helped you develop your performance?
I play Terry Connor, a talent scout that essentially exploits the twins for their talent. This character is pretty far from myself personally, but I saw that as a challenge to overcome.
What were some of the challenges you have had in fine-tuning your performance? What has changed in your performance since auditions? And how has Director Walter Ware III and Musical Director John Henderson helped you to resolve these challenges and to improve your performance?
I am a generally awkward, introverted person whereas Terry needs to exude confidence. Walter helped me portray Terry with a new physicality and identify some moments where a more introverted, self-loathing Terry was appropriate. I am not very trained vocally, but John Henderson and Lisa Carrier Baker helped me refine my voice.
How would you describe Henry Krieger and Bill Russell’s score? What song that you are not singing moves you the most and why?
I have mixed feelings about the music in this show…I think that all the songs (basically what they would put on the cast album) are beautiful, but I’m not so much a fan of the dialogue. My favorite song is definitely “You Should Be Loved” because of the powerful racial themes, beautiful music, and fantastic choreography. But I’m also touched by “Say Goodbye to the Freakshow.”
Talk about your solos. What do we learn about your character that we didn’t know before you sang the song?
I love Terry’s solos and duets because they reveal so much depth to a character that on the surface is a “bad guy.” It’s satisfying to hear an audience member say, “Ugh, I hate your character. But I also feel sorry for him…”
The design of the show helps tell the story. What impresses you most about the designers’ work and how does their work help to tell the story of your character? Give me an example or two.
I love the mast of the circus tent. Every time the tent comes down I get chills (even though I’m not one of the freaks). I also like how the same 6 panels are used to portray so many different locations and times.
And how would you describe Jocelyn Isaac’s choreography? What was the hardest song or scene’s choreography to learn, and why?
My character doesn’t really dance much, but I love watching the freak choreography! Jocelyn’s choreography really accentuates the music.
What has been the most fun working at Summer Dinner Theatre 2016 and how has it made you a better person, food server, and actor/singer? What memories will you take away from your experience?
I have learned so much from the directors and coordinators. It’s so amazing working with such talented professionals. The work experience is also great; it’s just something that is good to know in life. But most of all, I really love the people. I’ve gotten really close with the cast, almost like a little freak family.
What’s next for you on the stage?
Honestly, I might not be doing much more on the stage. I might try my hand at directing or writing.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in Side Show?
“It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
Side Show plays through July 2, 2o16 at Montgomery College – 51 Mannakee Street, in Rockville, MD. Performances are held at The Theatre Arts Building located at the center of the Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus.
Remaining Performances are:
-Thursday, June 30th: Show only. Doors Open at 6 p.m., Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here, or call (240) 567-5301.
– Friday, July 1st: Dinner and Show: Doors Open at 6 p.m., Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here, or call (240) 567-5301.
-Saturday July 2nd Matinee Lunch Buffet and Show: Doors open at 12:30 p.m., Curtain is 2 p.m. Purchase tickets here, or call (240) 567-5301.
‘Very Well-Connected’: Meet Cast Members of Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre’s ‘Side Show’: Part 1: Anna Phillips-Brown by Joel Markowitz.
‘Very Well-Connected’: Meet Cast Members of Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre’s ‘Side Show’: Part 2: Jehan Silva by Joel Markowitz.