Inspecting Carol: “Like watching your family perform!”

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We have arrived! Little Lake Theatre Company will proudly present its final show of the 2015 Main Stage Season this Thursday, December 3, and it’s a hilariously chaotic Christmas tale that will send audiences into the holiday season with smiles on their faces. The play, Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan and The Seattle Repertory Theatre, is a satirical take on your typical Christmas show, featuring a struggling theatre company and its dire attempts to pull together a holiday show and keep its funding for future seasons!

Director Jena Oberg is confident that Little Lake patrons in particular – whose love of theatre runs deep – will especially enjoy this sidesplitting commentary on Christmastime at the theatre.

In the midst of preparing the large cast of Inspecting Carol for their upcoming opening weekend, Oberg shared her thoughts on directing a variety of genres over the course of a season, why this play is the perfect end to the year, and what her stellar cast brings to the stage this time around.

Q: You’ve directed two dramas and a romantic comedy this season, and now, you’ve got an upbeat, robust holiday comedy on your hands! Talk about how you approach various genres.

A: As a director, I love getting to work on a variety of genres. It stretches your skills and lets you tell many different stories. This script is hilarious and fast-paced, and directing a comedy like this one requires attention to the pace and flow of events. Every joke has a specific timing, and you need to find that in working on the show.

Q: What challenges were posed by this play in particular?

A: The biggest challenge in this play is that the second act is really dependent on a specific set and action happening around that set. We have been rehearsing in a room without that set, and so we’ve had to imagine it for the time being, which is a challenge. Getting on to the stage and finally figuring out where things would actually be was great!

Q: Why is Inspecting Carol going to be a great cap to the 2015 Main Stage Season?

A: This play is such a funny diversion to a busy holiday season. It will be two hours long just because of the pauses audiences will take to laugh. Anyone who has participated in theatre as a performer, director, designer, or audience member will appreciate the challenges the fictional theatre company in Inspecting Carol faces. Plus, this company has a really new twist on the classic A Christmas Carol, which is hilarious to anyone familiar with Dicken’s original. (There are also some really fun parallels with Sunny’s theatrical take on Our Town, which started the season!).

Q: Let’s talk cast and characters! Will audiences see any first-timers to the Little Lake stage?

There are a few first timers to the Lake in this show. Max Andrae, who plays child actor Luther (AKA Tiny Tim), has been in several Looking Glass Theatre children’s shows but never on the Main Stage. He is the son of actress Leah Hillgrove, who is a Little Lake regular and appeared this season in Letters to Sala. Since Max was about four years old, he would come to those rehearsals with his mom, so it is so much fun to now have him a part of the holiday show.

Actor Kevin Moore is also new to the Lake. He plays Walter, the newest actor in the fictional struggling theatre company, who is hired to play every single one of the ghosts in their version of A Christmas Carol. Kevin is hilarious and so creative, and I think audiences will love getting to know him.

We also have many regular favorites in the show: Art DeConciliis, Mary Meyer, Bill Bennett, Marianne Shaffer, Jenny Malarkey, Ross Kobelak, Eric Leslie, Rick Bryant, Julia Paul, and Jen Kopach. This cast works so seamlessly together and has me in hysterics every rehearsal. For loyal audience members, with so many favorites onstage, it will feel like watching your family perform!

Join Little Lake in celebrating the holidays and the end of another season by coming to see Inspecting Carol! The show runs December 3-5; 10-12; and 17-19. Tickets can be purchased online at www.littlelake.org/box-office or by contacting the Box Office at (724) 745-6300.

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