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

December 9, 2010

Playing Multiple Characters by Resident Actor Ira Lindberg Harris

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 11:21 am

Playing the Undertaker, a chimney sweep, the Gentleman Visitor, a homeless man, a ghoul, Zebediah, a toymaker, Topper, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, was very stressful in the beginning. It feels like a piece of cake now playing all nine characters. It’s interesting everytime I enter the stage I am playing another character from a young teenage boy named Zebediah to playing an elderly toymaker.

The struggle for me was the costume changes from nine different characters and some repeating characters. Special thanks to Barbara Young, the company’s Costumer in Residence, who told me to underdress almost all of my costumes, which saves time and the unnecessary stress. I must say I am very thankful for our dialects coach, Amanda Wansa who took me under her wing and coached me until each dialect was perfect.

My favorite parts to play would be the Gentleman Visitor and Topper. I’m not sure if I would have had as much fun with the Gentleman Visitor if it wasn’t for my counter-part, the Lady Visitor played by Beth Curley who also played the same role in the 2009 Charleston Stage production of  A Christmas Carol. She is such a phenomenal actress who inspires me every night to be the best actor/Gentleman Visitor I can be. I have the most fun with Topper, the over-the-top friend of Fred and Caroline. Everytime Act Two approaches I’m dying to play Topper in the “Yes and No” scene. It’s just one more time for me to go on stage and have fun. I always finish that scene thinking- “This is why I do what I do”.

From left to right: Beth Curley as Lady Visitor, Resident Actor Ira Lindberg Harris as Gentleman Visitor and Brian J. Porter as Ebenezer Scrooge.

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