Guest blog by Caroline Quinn
I missed being in Town’s summer show with my theatre family this year – but I had an exciting summer adventure in Flat Rock, NC performing at Flat Rock Playhouse – the Theatre of North Carolina. Flat Rock is a really neat mountain town founded by people from Charleston looking for a place to cool off during the summer. Did I mention that it’s at least 10 degrees cooler there?
I first appeared at Town Theatre five years ago in Annie. Shannon, the director, cast me as the youngest orphan, Molly, and she didn’t even complain when I showed up for the first read through with a terrible lisp from losing six teeth AFTER she had cast the show. Since that show, I’ve considered Town Theatre to be my home, and I’ve been addicted to the stage.
At Flat Rock Playhouse this summer, I performed in Gypsy as Young Louise, the oldest daughter of the “stage mom” Rose Hovick. Young Louise only appears in the first act of the show before being replaced by an adult actress.
At the start of the show, Young Louise’s mother focuses all of her attention on turning her younger sister Baby June into a star, which makes Louise feel pushed aside by her mother. It was a very different role than anything I’ve ever played because I was supposed to be quiet and not very confident, and most of my past roles have been feisty characters. My family and friends thought that one of Mama Rose’s first lines where she had to yell at me, “Sing out Louise!” was very funny. Anyone who’s heard me belt will understand why that was so amusing to them. After June runs away to get married, Mama Rose wants to turn Louise into a star. Louise became known as Gypsy Lee Rose, a very famous burlesque star.
I hope to have a successful career in musical theatre, so this opportunity to perform with professional actors, directors and crew who are actively working in the industry was amazing! I made great friends and learned so much more than I thought possible. My favorite things about being at Flat Rock Playhouse were working with professional actors like Klea Blackhurst, making new friends, and watching as tour buses line up on “the Rock” to bring groups in from neighboring states to see our show. That would never get old! On my days off, my favorite things to do in Flat Rock were hiking to the water falls, swimming in the river, and spending time with my biggest fan, my brother Trace.
I completed 32nd performances, including 2 on my 12th birthday last week, and started back to school the next day! I was sad when the show closed, but will always remember this experience. I know I’ve made some great life-long friends, but I’m also happy to come back to my Town family.