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

January 12, 2009

Playing the Role of Charlotte by Resident Actor Viveka Chandrasekaran

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 3:08 pm

When I first found out that I was going to play Charlotte, I was pretty excited. I have learned a lot from working on this show. Creating a character fit for children’s theatre is very different from playing Maria in West Side Story, and this process has brought its challenges. Believe it or not, the first read through made me a little nervous. I kept wondering, “How do I make a spider real?” It wasn’t my fellow colleagues that made me nervous, it was the children. What I realize from working alongside the children is that they are fearless! They’re not afraid to walk around like geese or sheep and make funny noises. They simply get up and try anything until they finally find the character. I learn from them. Everyday I’m able to step out of my shell as I try to bring something new and real to Charlotte. I love learning from children, not to mention playing opposite a great friend, Sonny Kong (Wilbur). I find myself looking directly into Sonny’s eyes and speaking truthfully not as a spider to a pig, but as a friend to a friend, whom I truly care about.

Aside from working toward opening night, we also had an opportunity to read an excerpt of Charlotte’s Web for children at the Mount Pleasant Library. This experience was a blast! Not only did I read a chapter of the book, but we played a few theatre games with the children and parents, and also presented a few scenes from the play. Not only did Sonny and I perform, but the rest of the Resident Actors performed scenes as well! Marybeth always says that if we had fun, the children surely had fun! It was a great pleasure to spend Saturday afternoon at the library and I hope Charleston Stage has future opportunities to do it again! 


(Resident Actors Viveka Chandrasekaran as Charlotte and Sonny Kong as Wilbur) 

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