Tri-State Theater

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Big Fish" Interview #2

   Here’s another interview with the cast of Big Fish, the musical based on the beloved movie.

   Today let’s hear from the amazingly talented Shayne Gue, who plays Will Bloom, a son who’s looking for answers. 

   This may be Shane’s last performance locally - he grew up on local stages, but he’s moving soon to start his new career as a Doctor, having just graduated from Med School!

   So let’s see why he wanted to tackle this show: 

Q: Tell us the story of Big Fish

Shayne: Big Fish is a musical based on the Daniel Wallace novel of the same name.  The story centers on the relationship between Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman from rural Alabama, and his adult son, Will, who seeks to learn more about the man behind the tall tales.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Shayne: I would describe Will as an uptight, no nonsense kinda guy, grounded in facts and reality - a stark contrast to his father, who lives in fantasy and shares his life and wisdom through tall tales and metaphors. During the show, Will faces many changes within his father and himself. As he faces these new obstacles, he copes by seeking to learn more about his father's life to better understand what has made him become the man he is today.

Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?

Shayne: When Danny Ray (the Director) asked me to take on the role of Will Bloom, he said "the character is a lot like the real you," - which is, at least, partially true (the uptight, no nonsense part). But I was more excited about the challenge of taking on the role of a character who experiences several life-altering obstacles and sees so much personal growth throughout the show. But more than the role itself, I was most excited about the opportunity to work with Southern Coalition for the ARTS for the first time. Rachel Noe-Maynard and Jamie Butcher Dempsey lead a top-notch organization, that is not only the best community theatre organization in the Logan area, but among the best in the entire state. I have been fortunate to be a small part of what I believe will become one of the premier theatre company's in West Virginia.

Q: What's your background in theatre? 

Shayne: I took part in my first musical in 1999, and since have served as either an actor, singer/dancer, stage manager, director, assistant director, producer, or choreographer for over 60 different productions within the region. After completing my undergraduate degree and before beginning medical school, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to perform professionally as an entertainer for the Mayan Adventure in Salt Lake City. Upon returning to Huntington, I served as a founding member and President of the Board of Directors for Huntington's newest theatre and arts education organization, Curtains Up Players.

Q: What's your favorite song in the show?

Shayne: My favorite song in the entire show is "The Witch" towards the beginning of the show - it's a fun song that lays the groundwork for the story ahead. And as an added bonus, Holly Maynard (the Witch) completely kills it. My favorite song for my character would be "What's Next," which occurs at the end of the show. It's a major turning point for Will - but I can't give away anything more than that without giving away the ending!! Come see for yourself  :)

Q: Tell us about the cast - there's a lot of talent on display there.

Shayne: In all honesty, I was completely blown away by the level of talent in this production. I expected it to be a good show simply because Danny Ray was serving as the director and Rachel Noe-Maynard, Holly Maynard, and Michael Gore were playing key roles. What I didn't expect was the level of raw talent of everyone else in the ensemble and those playing other minor roles. Most of these kids are still in high school, but are mature beyond their years. Kennedy Miller plays a loving and inquisitive Josephine. Adam Terry is flawless as Karl, the Giant. Bob Fields is perfect as Don Price (and a huge help behind the scenes, as well). I was also thrilled to meet and work with Josh Butcher, playing the role of Amos Calloway, who showed up to the first rehearsal performance-ready. Not only do they behave professionally in rehearsals, but they are professionals on stage as well, committed to their roles in telling this story and working hard to give the audience an experience they will not soon forget.

Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?

Shayne: This show has something for everyone. It's a beautiful story that we can all relate to on some level - there are challenges, disagreements, anger, love, sadness, happiness, birth, marriage, death, and relationships of all types. It has big production numbers. It has power ballads. It has amazing sets and costumes. It has some of the best acting I've ever seen in my entire life - Rachel Noe-Maynard (as Sandra) is good enough to be on Broadway. Further, by coming to see the show -- not only will you personally benefit from the experience with your friends and loved ones -- but you will further the mission of Southern Coalition for the ARTS to produce professional quality theatre and to serve as a community workshop to create jobs and promote physical and mental health through artistic exposure and creative expression. The Logan area is very fortunate to have this gem of an organization, and I would highly recommend getting involved and supporting them in any way you can.

   Thanks, Shayne!

  Big Fish: The Musical will be presented by the Southern Coalition for the Arts on Fri. and Sat., May 29, 30 and June 5 and 6 at 7 p.m., and on Sun., June 7 at 2 p.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theatre at 308 Main Street in Logan, W.Va.  Tickets are $12. For more information, call 304-785-0547.

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