Colleen Baum & Jeanette Puhich on rehearsing CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS

Colleen Baum has previously appeared in Plan-B’s THE LARAMIE PROJECT, WAR OF THE WORLDS, ANIMAL FARM, TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER, SLAM, AND THE BANNED PLAYED ON and RADIO HOUR EPISODE 9: GRIMM. Jeanette Puhich has previously appeared in the very first SLAM and the first two productions of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH for Plan-B.

Colleen Baum: Our first week of rehearsal has been an absolute joy and a hoot! I’m starting to talk like my seven-year-old character in my every day life and am realizing how fun it is to play a child. Wish I could do that more often. I’ve also been impressed with my wonderful, fellow actors – Jeanette Puhich and Kirt Bateman. I haven’t worked with either one of them in years and it’s great to know that we’re all still completely crazy. Our stage manager, Jennifer Freed, keeps our tummies filled with yummies (see, there’s the 7 year old) and our director, Cheryl Cluff, makes us all feel comfortable with her dry, sarcastic wit and her constant need to move the stage furniture 4 inches to the left.

The playwright, Julie Jensen, has been to visit a couple of times and she is always so professional and encouraging. If I were the playwright coming to watch a rehearsal, I would always be thinking, “what the hell are these people doing to my script?” But she continues to be kind and always smiling.

Thank you to Plan-B Theatre Company for this chance to walk your boards again, this is so rewarding and I can’t wait to do it again!

Jeanette Puhich: So the Misfits got together this past week to  start rehearsal!  I’ve been in heaven in the room with Jen, Cheryl, Jerry, Colleen, Kirt and even Oscar! We’ve read scenes and blocked scenes. We’ve laughed so much while simultaneously trying to work.

I closed a show the day before rehearsal started and it’s always so unsettling, but I got to walk into the Rose Wagner the very next day and meet up with not only the welcoming arms of Plan-B, but some dear old friends that I haven’t had the chance to work with in years. The best part? We didn’t skip a beat. We get each other. We know how to work together. We are in sync. We’re peanut butter and jelly. We’re a bit Abbot and Costello too 🙂

Even though I’ve had many chances to work on Julie Jensen’s pieces, it’s always a bit daunting to me. I always feel a bit of pressure. I only feel this pressure because I so want to honor her words, her stories. Kirt Bateman and I had a breakthrough Friday night on one of the pieces in the play. We were both struggling, and then, as we continued to work last night, a lightbulb lit, a door opened, we both felt an “aha!” . . . we discovered something. And this couldn’t have happened while just reading this piece. It happened because we were running the scene, actively seeking, making choices, being open. We figured something out. Okay, so yeah, WE figured something out, and I hope that our actor selves can translate that to the stage, we’ll see!

So thing is, we actor people run around in circles and pull our hair out and question and dig and wonder and question again and that’s the part that the audience never sees. So we hope that all of that will eventually lead to a great performance, or even more appropriately, a great telling of the story.

All in all. I am grateful that I get to go on this exploration. I’m the luckiest Misfit 🙂

Julie Jensen’s CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS receives its world premiere as part of Plan-B’s 2014/15 season December 11-21, 2014. Featuring Kirt Bateman, Colleen Baum, Jeanette Puhich. Directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff. Click here for more information and tickets.

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