Meet Alec Fisher from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Alec Fisher 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?

AF: Because I was familiar with the book and thought it would be fun to do on stage.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

AF: It’s based off of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Chester’s Way and Julius Baby of the World.  These are books all by Kevin Henkes about mice that act just like people.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

AF: I play Wilson and he loves to party.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

AF: Probably remembering my lines and blocking.

LA: What is something that you have learned about being in this production?

AF: Audiences love triangles.

LA: What is your favorite thing about being on stage?

AF: The thrill of being in front of people and cast parties.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

AF: A Christmas Story at the Children’s Theatre Company, because I got to be Randy Parker.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

AF: I already played it, Randy Parker.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

AF: IT was actually at Prairie Fire theatre, which is a camp where you rehearse for a week and then put on a show.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

AF: I am a theatre junkie. That started four years ago who enjoys playing soccer and playing  with friends

Meet Meghan Fisher from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Meghan Fisher who is performing  in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you?

MF: Because I love the books. And I thought it would be fun to play talking mice.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

MF: It’s about 3 mice, Chester and Wilson,who are best friends and Lilly , who just moved next door to Chester and Wilson. Lilly, Chester and Wilson all become best friends after Lilly saves Chester and Wilson from bullies. After that the show mainly focuses on Lilly and her troubles with having a new baby brother and of course her new purple plastic purse.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

MF: I play Carol,who is a bully and then turns into a student. I think some people will identify with being bullied.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

MF: I think the most challenging part for me is having to ride a scooter on stage with 3 other people on scooters and 2 on bikes riding around me.

LA: What is something that you have learned about being in production?

MF: In this, like in other plays I’ve been in, I’ve learned that it takes the combined efforts of not just the actors but also the director,the stage manager, the set builder,the costumer and everyone else to make a show happen and run smoothly.

LA: What is your favorite thing about being on stage?

MF: There’s so many things I like about being onstage: the costumes,the people you meet and the cast parties, but I think my favorite part is the thrill before you go on stage and while you’re on stage.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

MF: I don’t have a favorite play or musical. Though I do usually prefer musicals because I love to sing and dance.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

MF: There’s so many plays and musicals I’d like to be in but one of my dream roles is Princess Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

MF: I did some Prairie Fire camps, but I count The Perils of Priscilla as my first show.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

MF: My name is Meghan Fisher. I’ve been in 13 shows and I’m 13. I have 2 dogs and 2 brothers, one of which plays Wilson in the show. Besides doing plays, I like to read,draw,play piano and sing.

Meet Deborah Schee from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Deborah Schee who is performing  in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you?

DS: I love doing shows for kids!  They watch with wide eyed wonder and let themselves really “go there” to that magical place created on stage.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

DS: Based on the children’s book, Lilly, a white mouse, loves everything.  School, her friends, her mom and dad and her purple plastic purse that Grammy buys for her.  (She does not like her brother, at least at the beginning.)  She brings the purse to school, disrupts the class and learns a valuable lesson.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

DS: I play two very small roles and am thrilled to support a very talented cast of young people (they are the stars!).  I play Grammy and take Lilly shopping for the purple purse.  She and I have a very close relationship, audience members will definitely relate to Grammy if they are lucky enough to have a grandparent they are close with. I also play an FBI agent in one of Lilly’s “dream” sequences.  It’s very campy and silly and super fun to play.  We add a cartoon like quality to the show during Lilly’s very imaginative dream sequences!

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

DS: Honestly, with a great cast, director, stage manager, and production team, it is a breeze.  My young cast members, however, are being challenged with mucho lines, blocking, characterization and pacing.  They have so much to remember!  What a wonderful training ground for them.

LA: Tell us if you think it is important that adults and children are in shows together?

DS: Absolutely.  The kids get the benefit of our experience and have some folks around to provide structure and balance.  We benefit from the kids energy and excitement!  Things are always fun and new for kids in shows and that rubs off.

LA: What have you learned about being in a children focused production?

DS: This is my seventh Mainly for Kids production here at Lyric Arts and I’ve learned how amazing it is to bring theater to small children.  So many children don’t have the luxury of attending live theater, so when they can attend with their school on a field trip, I think that is amazing.  So many children come to our Mainly for Kids shows and tell us that this was their very first EVER live theater experience.  Wow, to be able to provide that to young people is so gratifying!

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

DS: I have so many favorites, but since I’m just finishing up Hallelujah Girls, I’ll say that is my current favorite.  There are few shows out there that feature “women of a certain age” and this one is SO well written.  I’m having a ball!

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

DS: I don’t really have one.  I take it as it comes and am always looking for strong women characters to play.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

DS: I did a musical in high school my junior year, Bye Bye Birdie.  I was shy (hard to believe now I know!) so played chorus and dance team.  That show was my “bit by the theater bug” show and I never stopped.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

DS: Mother of two handsome teenage boys.  Wife of 25 years to a wonderful hubby.  Lake dweller in Medicine Lake, MN (Plymouth) and freelancer in Training and Development and Theater Education.  Education Director here at Lyric Arts.

Meet Sarina Lindell from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Sarina Lindell who is playing Lilly in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

SL: It is about a very confident and humorous mouse that loves everything,  except her new baby brother.  She especially loves her new purple plastic purse – and is so excited about the purse that she ends up getting herself into trouble.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play.  How will audience members identify with this character?

SL: Lilly is very excited about life but has a hard time when her baby brother is born – and we all feel jealous sometimes.  The story tells about her learning to accept her brother and be ok even if she’s not the center of attention.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

SL: Memorizing all the lines and doing all the rehearsals while in school.

LA: What is something that you have learned about being in production?

SL: You can have fun even when you are working really, really hard.

LA: What is your favorite thing about being on stage?

SL: Well, my mom says I like drama and this is a good or “appropriate” place to get it all out!  I just think acting is really fun.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical?  Why?

SL: I really can’t answer that question because there are so many plays that are amazing.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

SL: That’s a hard question… but I really enjoy humorous plays most and would love to play any funny characters.

LA:What is the first production you were ever involved with?  What did you do in the production?

SL: This is it!!  And I am Lilly or should I say, “I ma ylliL!”  I did play Little Bo Peep in a 2nd grade play at my school called “Who Pushed Humpty”, but this is my first professional role.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself.

SL: I am in 5th grade at Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy for Math & Environmental Science (CBPA).   I love to act and play soccer.  I am the oldest of 3 girls and I want to be a day care provider when I grow up.

Meet Grif Sadow from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

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/

Meet Earl Milton from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Earl Milton 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?

EM: The school day matinee’s is what interested me about this show. As a kid I always looked forward to field trip day, it was the highlight of the week. It’s cool to be apart of what could be the highlight of a kid’s week.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

EM: This show follows the adventures of a spunky little mouse named Lilly. Lilly is an eccentric mouse that speaks a backwards language and wears crazy disguises. This is a fun, colorful, and wacky show that people will love.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

EM: I play the role of Father; he is a loving and supportive figure in Lilly’s life. I’m sure the audience can relate with Father on some level. The kid will relate with he warm caring nature. For the Adults, I’m sure they know a least one kid who walks around covered in band aids for the fun of it.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

EM: I have lot of one and two word lines, in a few scenes they are similar, so the order my lines was the biggest challenge for me.

LA:  Tell us if you think it is important that adults and children are in shows together?

EM: I think it’s extremely important, because we learn a lot from each other.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why

EM: Twelfth Night is one of my favorite plays; I love the character Sir Toby Belch.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

EM: I would love a role as the comedy relief in a show. It’s would be fun to just be over the top silly.  It would also be fun to play a villain.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

EM: Of Mice and Men was my first production, I was in 9th grade. I played the part of Crooks.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

EM: I love movies and live theater. I enjoy reading when I get a chance- a book, a play, pretty much any thing. I like exploring local museums; I could spend days at the Minneapolis Art Institute. I really enjoy photography. Those are a few of my favorite things.

Meet Kennedy Elsnes from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Kennedy Elsnes who is performing in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you

KE: Because of all the cool and wacky characters.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show.

KE: It’s about a girl named Lilly who gets this purple plastic purse and can’t wait to show all her friends which causes it to be taken away.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character.

KE: Garland is mean and brags sometimes. I think the audience will get a kick out of seeing how obnoxiously cute she is.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

KE: You have to act younger then what you seem to be and you really have to get into the character.

LA: What is something that you have learned about being in this production?

KE: Lots of cool and fun warm up games.

LA: What is your favorite thing about being on stage ?

KE: Having everybody’s complete attention on you.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

KE: Annie, because it teaches you a lesson about never giving up.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

KE:  Annie in Annie the musical or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

KE: I had the opportunity to play Pinocchio in the production of  Pinocchio, it was a fun role to play

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

KE: I love to read! I play soccer and volleyball and I am going to start tennis this summer!

Meet Peter Baldus who is in "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Peter Baldus, 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?

PB: I really wanted to be in a play that was mostly kids and for kids.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

PB: The show is about Lilly who brings her new plastic purse to school.  When she opens it up it makes music.  It’s also a story about friendship.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

PB:I play Chester who always wants to be with his best friend, Wilson.  He likes to ride bikes, play tennis and has a good imagination.  I think people like having a best friend and they will identify with Chester that way.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

PB: This is my first play and memorizing all of the lines and knowing when to talk can be hard.  It’s also hard wearing makeup.

LA: What is something that you have learned about being in production?

PB: I have learned that you always have to remember you are in front of an audience.  You can’t put your back to them and you have to keep your head up.

LA: What is your favorite thing about being on stage?

PB: I love the thought of people being in front of us during the performances. It’s very exciting to think about.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

PB: I have seen a lot of musicals that my cousins have been in.  My favorite so far is Beauty and the Beast. My cousin, Julia, played Ms. Pots.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

PB: The Cat in the Hat in Seussical.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

PB:  This is my very first production!

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

PB: I am 8 years old and I’m in second grade at Rum River Elementary.  I love to fish and I live on the Rum River.  I spend a lot of time playing in the woods, riding my bike and building forts.  I have two brothers, and a sister and we like to camp and take road trips with my mom and dad.

Meet Amy Luedtke from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Amy Luedtke, who is performing in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you?

AL: Lilly is based on wonderful books—I love hearing people’s excited reactions about Lilly, and this is my first opportunity to be in a production at Lyric.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse can you tell us about the show?

AL: Lilly is a spunky, imaginative girl dealing with the challenges of having a new baby brother and having new friends and a new teacher at school. Lilly is a diva who needs to learn to when it’s appropriate to have the spotlight. The show really captures the enthusiasm and humor of childhood without being condescending to young audiences.

LA: Tell us about the character that you play. How will audience members identify with this character?

AL: I play Lilly’s mother, who loves Lilly very much but is often a little harried and clueless and doesn’t quite know how to handle Lilly. Many of us have been lucky enough to have such well-meaning moms and/or are well-meaning parents and adults sometimes overwhelmed by the energetic children in our lives.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

AL: It’s a fast-paced show with several short scenes and quick, back and forth dialogue. You really have to be on your toes and pay attention to stay on track.

LA: Tell us if you think it is important that adults and children are in shows together?

AL: Yes, I’ve definitely been inspired by the energy, hard-work and creativity of my young castmates. They are uninhibited and fearless and I aspire to be more like them. Theater is also an amazing way to build community and anytime we can create intergenerational connections, it enriches children and adults.

LA: What have you learned about being in a children-focused production?

AL: Not to take anything for granted, to appreciate the basics (for example, if the audience can’t hear and understand the actors the show is in big trouble) to be flexible and willing to try anything.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why?

AL: It’s hard to pick but “Into the Woods” is one favorite. I love musicals and this one if funny, poignant and complex and explores life’s contradictions. By playing with familiar fairy tales it encourages us to rethink assumptions.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

AL: I don’t have a dream role, but as I’ve mostly done comedic character work, it would be exciting to tackle the challenge of bringing a more three-dimensional, realistic character to life. I would also love to be in a show with my husband that gave us the chance to act together.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

AL: I can’t remember exactly but one of the first was “Alice in Wonderland” the summer before I started 6th or 7th grade. I was the March Hare. I still remember those songs!

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

AL: Most of my time and energy goes into work and theater (either being in shows or seeing them), but my husband and I are also actively involved with our church. I like to run, attend folk and indie rock concerts, and go out to eat with friends (I love spicy vegetarian Thai and Indian food). We have two dogs (who probably think they need more attention) and two cats. I love to travel and am very excited about an upcoming Scotland vacation.

Meet Director, of "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse", Laura Bidgood

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Laura Bidgood, who is directing Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far! LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

LB: I am a huge fan of not only the book series by Kevin Henkes but also of Kevin Kling who adapted the book to the stage. With such a winning combination of awesomeness, I knew this would be a terrific play to direct.

LA:Tell us how this script reflects the book series of Lilly?

LB: The script, although titled Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse takes a number of the books from the series and condenses it into one full play packed with laughs, fun, and an all around good time. It’s everything you loved about the books and more, right in front of you, on stage.

LA: This is your fifth time directing with Lyric Arts, tell us about your experience directing at Lyric Arts?

LB: I love working at Lyric Arts! As the only full time, year round theatre in the north metro, they provide the community with such a diverse theatre experience. From shows for kids, like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse to  their upcoming summer prodocution of Footloose. They offer something for everyone and as a director, it’s been a priviledge to work with them on a wide variety of shows. I look forward and can’t for next season!

LA: Who should come and see Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

LB: It’s a perfect show for the family.  It’s definitely a kid’s show but adults will also be entertained by the quirky characters and quick paced, clever script.  This would be a fantastic family outing to introduce your children to theater!

LA: How will children be able to relate to Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.

LB: All the characters in the show, especially Lilly are very recognizable. Children will be able to relate to exactly how Lilly feels when her baby brother Julius is born, the admiration she feels for her teacher, how much she loves her Grammy and how important her friends are.   All of our actors are very genuine and their honest acting creates very real characters that audiences will connect with.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?

LB: Our wow elements including transforming a cast of humans into a cast of mice through costumes thanks to our talented costume designer, Lisa Conley.  The music for this show is a character itself, designed by Paige Hubble and really helps to set the scene and create a mood on stage. Also Matt Mcnabb our Lighting designer has done an incredible job with our lights in creating some special effects that I think you will really get a kick out of.  And last but certainly not least is the wow factor created by Patrick Vital-Schwartz in securing our props and designing our set!  The biggest wow factor though is the incredible talent and creativity that our cast has brought to the show.

LA: Comment on the talent level in the cast?

LB: This has been such an amazing cast to work with! With eight children, one teenanger and four adults, we’ve had an awesome time with rehearsals.  Our cast has a variety of theatre experience, some are brand new to the stage like, Sarina, who plays Lilly and others come with extensive theatre background like Lyric Arts Education Director Deborah Schee, who plays Grammy.   It’s been such an adventure working with such a diverse cast. The willingness to learn and grow with each other has made this cast a tight knit group and the ensemble aspect of the cast has created a bond between everyone especially with eight kids. This is only an hour show, but there is A LOT of fun, music, dancing, energy, and emotion packed into that hour and my actors have done a great job with putting it all out there on stage. I am so proud of them all!!

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

LB: I can’t wait to sit in the audience at our first show and see all of the amazing elements that we’ve put into this show come together! From the acting to the costumes, to the lights and the sound, to the set itself, I can’t wait until the lights come up and we start that show. I will be on the edge of my seat until that last round of applause at the end, because I can’t wait to see it all come together and we add that final piece…you in the audience!

LA: Anything else you’d like to touch on that wasn’t mentioned our asked.

LB: Come out and see the show and enjoy live theater