Q: As a red head directing a show about someone with red hair, how does that feel? Can you relate to what Strawberry goes through?
A: It feels very familiar! For me, my hair was frequently pointed out on the playground. It’s very unique to have red or orange hair! There are studies that say that red and orange hair is getting even rarer, so in a way, I connect with her a lot. Something like your hair color, puts a spotlight on you that you don’t think about at first. You just think well oh that’s just a part of me I didn’t have control over, same thing with freckles.
The show follows Freckleface Strawberry, who realizes that her freckles put a new pressure on her, and she’s scared at how people see them and how people see her. Whether you have red hair and freckles or not, it’s something people relate to.
It’s a familiar story even if you’re not familiar with the book. It’s a journey we all have to go on with Strawberry to get to the realization that being different just makes you who you are.
The kids [in the cast] and I have been having a lot of great talks in rehearsals. This show has restored my faith in humanity.
Everyone has what we call “their own freckle.” Whatever their freckle is they learn to accept and love themselves by the end of the show.
Q: So, you think the kids have really been growing through this show?
A: Absolutely! It’s been a rewarding process, not only because we’ve seen their talent develop but we’ve seen people develop. We’ve seen kids who are in their first year of the program get together with kids who are now seniors in the program just to tell their story and share the message, and those are the moments that remind us what Summer Stage is about. It’s the ultimate ‘Fill the World with Love’ show!
Q: What would you tell someone who hasn’t seen the show?
A: It’s for kids, it’s for adults, it’s about seven-year-olds, but it’s also about us as people. The benefit of a new story is that you go on that roller coaster for the first time.
Q: What do you like about the music in this show?
A: The music is very theatrical, and very much plays with all different genres. It sounds like it’s coming from the imagination of a seven-year-old. It’s bouncing all over the place, it’s quick, it slows down, picks up again. That’s why the music is very true to the characters. It’s a real representation of them going through their day.
Q: Are you having fun with this show?
A: I’m having tons of fun with it. I actually saw the show before I was involved in Summer Stage, my little brother was in it. It was one of the first shows I saw at Summer Stage. It hit me the other day that in five years I went from not knowing much about Summer Stage and here I am directing this show!
Don’t miss Freckleface Strawberry at Upper Darby Summer Stage, July 25 – July 27! Learn more