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.