(by Sonny Kong, Charleston Stage Resident Actor) In the “world of theatre”, so to speak, it is common to double cast– use one person to fill various roles. This is a common occurrence on every stage from Broadway to regional theatres all around the nation, and is done mainly to make certain scenes seem very large. This is especially true in any scene with a major dance number. The more people who can do a complicated tap routine on stage at once, the better! As Carmen Ghia, I have many scenes in which I flit and float around the stage. However, Carmen is not in any major dance numbers. In order to showcase my dance training and to fill the stage more in major ensemble numbers, choreographers Michael Lasris and Sarah Claire Smith decided to add me in. At first, we toyed around with the idea of having me still portray Carmen in “Springtime for Hitler” but ultimately decided to make my dance cameo an entirely different character. This gave me the exciting challenge of developing two separate characters throughout the rehearsal process. As far as onstage challenges, it requires two super-speedy quick changes backstage with the help of a fellow cast member. While it may be difficult, I thoroughly enjoy being a double… I get to have split personalities on stage while getting to tap. That certainly sounds like a good time to me!
(Center: Charleston Stage Resident Actor Sonny Kong as Carmen Ghia)