Hello from Carbondale, IL! I am having a blast with the company and staff of McLeod Summer Playhouse.
Last week, we opened the Theatre for Young Audiences' production of Roald Dahl's JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH to an excited audience of bubbling children and their families. It's been a pleasure to perform in the intimate Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theatre, all while transforming from one character to the next. In the action-packed 50-minute adventure, I play Ladybug, one of James' large insect friends who help him along his journey. I've made her into a proper Southern gal who loves sweet tea and saying "bless his heart."
I also get to play a nasty and relentless Aunt Sponge who is "terrifically fat and tremendously flabby at that." She's a hoot! One of my favorite parts of the play is when the peach transforms from a small orange balloon on the barren tree to a magnificent peach that stands 10 feet tall right in front of the audience's eyes! The play was directed by Wes Drummond, resident artistic director, and I can't wait to get to work with him again in HAIRSPRAY later this summer.
JAMES plays select Wednesday and Saturday matinees throughout the summer in the Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theatre at Southern Illinois University.
We are also nearing the opening week of BIG RIVER, the first Mainstage production of MSP's 2015 Season, directed by Cody Walker. I play two small characters (Widow Douglas and Sally Phelps) in the story about Huck Finn and the runaway slave Jim, as they travel down the Mississippi River on a wild adventure. The cast is incredibly talented and the music will sweep you off your feet. Read more about our company and actors here. The production looks gorgeous in the McLeod Theater, a 488-seat house with a large proscenium stage. The play runs June 19-28.
Stay tuned for more updates as the summer unfolds!
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.