Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Nine

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Nine: It's a first ever for Lyric Arts - our very first custom neon sign! And you can see us all standing around admiring it.  Aaahh, the set is now complete, and just in time for tonight's dress rehearsal.  Once again, Patrick and his Tech Crew did a great job with this set!

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Eight

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Eight: It's all dressing from here folks.  Look closely and you'll see Patrick and Laura the set designer discussing where to hang the pictures.  Check out the side panels too.  The transformation from abandoned church to SPA-DEE-DAH will look fantastic!  Patrick, Laura, and the whole tech crew did an amazing job with this one.

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Seven

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Seven: Look closely, my friends, things are moving along, but we're getting to the finer details here.  Did you notice that Patrick moved the platform?  And the furniture is reaching it's final resting place.  Be sure to come back tomorrow - it's going to be the last day for Evolution of a Set.  You'll be amazed at all they accomplished!  And just in time for Tech Week, too.

Meet "Hallelujah Girl" Kristen Mathisen

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Kristen Mathisen, who is playing Bunny Sutherland, in the upcoming production of The Hallelujah Girls. 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?

KM:I had seen  Dixie Swim Club at Old Log last year.  It's written by the same people.  I also wanted to work with Mishia Edwards again.

LA:For those that are unfamiliar with The Hallelujah Girls can you tell us about the show?  

KM:Basically, the play is about the enduring value of friendship.  (But it's really about the fabulous Bunny Sutherland and her selfless commitment to philanthropy.)

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

KM: Bunny Sutherland is a character that we all went to high school with.  She is controlling and manipulative, placing her own agenda before that of anyone else, all the while characterizing herself as selfless and charitable. And she is probably a very snappy dresser.

LA: What is the most challenging part of being in a production like The Hallelujah Girls?

KM:Doing a show that takes place in a geographical area other than your own can be a challenge, especially if it requires a dialect.   It is important to not treat the characters like caricatures.

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

KM: It’s difficult to name one favorite play, but my favorite play that I have acted in is easily Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers because I adored playing the role of Bella.

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

KM: My dream role is one that allows me to play a range of emotions.  If I can play a crying part that also involves a lot of comedy, I am happy.  This was an advantage of  the role of Bella in  Lost in Yonkers.

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

KM: My introduction to theater was as the assistant director of a high school production of  The Chalk Garden. My big “break” was doing the sound effects during the performances.  But my first acting role was the heroine Nellie in an old fashioned melodrama called Only an Orphan Girl.

LA:Tell us a little about yourself?

KM: I grew up on Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin where I discovered theater at Northland College while I was a sophomore in high school.  After working on many shows there, I knew I’d found my life’s passion.  At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I took full advantage of the Acting Training Program, graduating with a degree in theater.  This led me to the Twin Cities where I have worked at many local theaters – community, professional and semi-professional -  over the years.

I am an actor, and count myself fortunate to live in the Twin Cities where there is so much opportunity.  Finding Lyric Arts was such a bonus.  It is so representative of the theatre organizations available in the Metro area.   I am also passionate about my family, photography and writing – in particular, taking photos of family and then writing about the pictures.

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Six

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Six: These guys were whirlwinds of activity yesterday!  The stained glass window looks amazing!  And off to the side there, you'll see a sneak peak of what all the hammering back stage meant.  Look a little closer, and you'll be amazed at all that group got done - see all the molding at the top of the wall and look at all the furniture that's been added, down to the books on the bookshelf!

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Five

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Five: Well folks, there's still a lot going on here behind the scenes.  Patrick got the doors hung, the tech crew got that second coat of paint finished, and the noise of power tools is reverberating from the scene shop.  What's he got brewing back there?  You'll have to stay tuned!

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Four

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Four: Here we are at day four already.  Another coat of paint for the walls.  And Patrick and the entire cast of The Hallelujah Girls were hard at work over the weekend on the set.  That's dedication!  Can you see the shadings of pink and peach on the platform there?  Don't think that's all they got to on Saturday.  There's a whole lot of work that went on behind the scenes that'll continue today.  Stay tuned for a big reveal tomorrow!

Meet "Hallelujah Guy" Joe Garrick

Lyric Arts had a chance to talk with Joe Garrick, who is playing Porter, in the upcoming production of The Hallelujah Girls. Read on to hear what he has to say about his experience thus far! LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular show interested you?

JG: I read some reviews of productions that had been done at other theaters and it sounded like it would be really funny. Also, the cast is mostly adult women. I know how many really great women there are that audition for shows here, so I knew there would be a great cast.

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

JG: Porter is an easy going, likable fellow, but he’s a mama’s boy and he’s a bit out of his element trying to stay on equal footing with such strong women. Carlene is his love interest. She’s buried three husbands who all died before their times, but Porter somehow finds the courage to stare death in the face and take a chance with the “Black Widow of Eden Falls.” The audience should enjoy watching Porter stumble his way through his first serious romance.

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

JG:I think my favorite musical is probably Joseph and the Amazing Technical Dreamcoat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, but I never get tired of the music and Lyric Arts’ production this year was excellent.

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

JG: That’s a tough question. I think if I had to pick just one, it would be Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind. He’s witty and heartwarming, but he’s also a formidable attorney and a passionate defender of his beliefs.

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

JG: I played Horace Roy in Ghostchasters at Lyric Arts. Horace was the rather eccentric psychiatrist in charge of an asylum where the patients have taken over. It was a hilarious comic farce and was the show that got me hooked on acting.

LA: Tell us a little about yourself?

JG: I’m married and have four sons, and work as a programmer and database administrator. Being part of an organization like Lyrics Arts is a great creative outlet in contrast with such a technical job. I’m also fortunate that my family has done so much to support my acting hobby.

Evolution of a Set: "The Hallelujah Girls": Day Two

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Two:

Evolution of a Set: The Hallelujah Girls: Day Two: Walls are going up already.  That Patrick and his Tech Crew are cruising!  Remember this set is going to be revealed bit by bit, so these walls won't need to move at all.  Don't forget you can keep checking our progress against Laura Lawson's designs.