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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

March 27, 2008

An Interview with Frog and Toad

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 7:11 pm

Charleston Stage Resident Professional actors Patrick Tierney (Frog) and Charlie Retzlaff (Toad) play the leads in Charleston Stage’s upcoming Broadway Musical for kids, A Year with Frog and Toad.  They hopped in recently for an interview.


Q:  So, you’re starting your final show, are you excited that it’s Frog and Toad?

  Patrick: Oh man! Of course.  I have been waiting for this zany show all season.

Q: What’s the difference between a frog and a toad? 

Charlie:  I had a chance to actually look this up before we began the show and it turns out that a toad is, in fact, a frog!  The difference between the two types of frog are that the toad tends to live in dry environments and sometimes walks on it’s hind legs, whereas the frog lives in wet environments and hops instead of walks.

Q:  How did you physicalize your character.  Did you do any character research to fully realize you’re character? 

Patrick: The stage version of Frog and Toad focuses more on the importance of friendship.  It less about becoming fully realized frogs and toads.  We have a few select movements to help get the idea across, but the story itself is far more important.

Q:  What do have in common with your character? 

Charlie:  Well, I guess I would consider myself quite like Toad sometimes. I do look at the glass as half empty sometimes and I do get frustrated in some circumstances, but I have had many friends like Frog that help me along the way and make my fears go away.

Patrick: Like Frog, I try to stay as positive as possible in all situations.  I also get great joy from helping my friends out whenever I can.  I especially relate to the song “Alone” that Frog sings in the first half of the show.  I won’t give away the message of the song right now…so come see the show!

Q:  When did you first hear of this show

Patrick: I first heard the show when I was a sophomore in college.  A friend of mine lent me the CD and after a 1st listen, I immediately thought how I would love to play Frog someday…seriously.

Charlie:  I first fell in love with CD too. The music is just great and I was pleasantly surprised at how funny the script is, it really has stuff for adults as well as kids

Q:  Did you ever read these stories when you were a child?

Charlie:  My mom says she read them to me.

Patrick: I had never even heard of the children’s stories until hearing about the Broadway musical.

Q:  If you had to sum up your character in one word, what would you use?

Patrick: Frog is positive

Charlie:  Toad is gloomy

Q:  How does this production differ from the ones you’ve already been in?

Patrick: The musical score of Frog and Toad is surprisingly the most challenging we’ve dealt with.

Charlie:  Much of the getting to know how to work with other actors is a lot easier in this production.  I feel like we have such a great sense of ensemble, mostly because we have worked together for 9 months now.  We have really jelled as a group!

A Year With Frog and Toad Plays April 11 and 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM at the College of Charleston  Sottile Theatre.


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