Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Grif Sadow who is performing in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what he has to say about her experience thus far.
LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you?
GS: I saw a production of it many years ago and fell in love with the story and always wanted play the part of Mr. Slinger!
LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?
GS: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is about an free-spirited young mouse named Lilly and her adventurous life, both real and imaginary. To me it is a story about the value of friends and family and the importance of finding, nurturing, and celebrating your own unique and creative spirit.
LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?
GS: I play Mr. Slinger, Lily's teacher. He loves being a teacher and working with his class of rodents. He is definitely not a boring or old-fashioned type of teacher. He wears very artistic shirts, brings snacks, has developed a very special teaching tool called "The Light Bulb Lab", and I think would be your favorite teacher of all time! Mr. Slinger is important because he demonstrates the impact adults have on young people and how they can affect a young person's love of school, learning, and themselves.
LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?
GS: For me, this is a very fast moving production with a lot happening in it so my challenge is keeping focused and my energy up while making my character believable and interesting moving between Lilly's real and imaginary worlds.
LA: Tell us if you think it is important that adults and children are in shows together?
GS: I really believe it is one of the most important things in theatre. Working together connects adults and children deeper and creates understanding and learning of the similarities and differences of each group. In truth, we really aren't adults and children when we get to the theatre, we are actors and crew and everyone is looked at and treated the same. Most people would think that children learn more from adults but I find that I, an adult, learn a lot more from them, especially around creativity, enthusiasm, a beginner's lens, energy and endless possibility!
LA: What have you learned about being in a children focused production?
GS: How much I feel the permission to create and play. I am amazed at young people today and how much energy I get from working with them. Actually, there is no difference around the demands and professionalism required from any other type of production. I think there is an even greater attention to honesty because a children's audience knows when you're not committed and believable.
LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?
GS: Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim...I love fairytales and the way the traditional fairytales are woven together, I think because it is intergeneration like Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and there are a lot of issues and ideas to think about, identify with, and learn from. I love when fantasy connects with real life -like in our production.
LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?
GS: I really don't have one. I have many, some may happen, some not likely but any time I get the opportunity to act is really a dream for me. I know that sounds corny but it's the truth. I am really blessed I get to do this type of work and I try to make the most of every role I play.
LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?
GS: I played Kurt in The Sound of Music when I was 10. After the production we moved to another state and I was quoted as saying "But, what about my career?!"
LA: Tell us a little about yourself?
GS: I am a "Jack-of-all-trades" who moved up from Arizona over 20 years ago to work with CLIMB theatre using drama with special needs populations. Since that time I have performed, directed, designed and taught theatre arts for a variety of local theatres, schools, and organizations. Most recently, I was the Drama Director for Park Center Senior High and the Artistic Director for Ensemble Productions. After many years behind the scenes I am thrilled to be in my first production with Lyric Arts. I just finished playing Larry Oldman in A Hill of Magic Beans or Here's Looking at You Jack with Intergenerational Theatre Productions in Eagan. During the day I have my own personal and professional life coaching and consulting practice, Grow Into More. www.growintomore.com I live in Minneapolis with my wife Jenny and our dog Winston. I love to play in all the other art forms as well as theatre and have been painting a 3"x3" canvas every day since August 1, 2010 based on an emotion/feeling word I choose from a list of over 4,000. http://www.flickr.com/photos/52905797@N07/