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.