ITP: Hi Harper! Welcome to IntimateTheatreProductions.com’s cast interview! First Question: What is your first Musical Theatre experience?
HS: Like the first musical I’ve ever been in?
ITP: Your first Musical Theatre *experience*. You can interpret that any way you wish!
HS: I went to a camp on Gabriola Island, and I was in OKLAHOMA. It was horrible, it was absolutely terrible. And that would probably be my first experience. And then from there I wanted to do it when I was younger. Funny, right?
HS: Omigawd. Dream role? I have to think about that. Probably something in LES MISÉRABLES, cause that was my favourite show when I was little. Anything. Just to be *anyone* in LES MISÉRABLES.
ITP: Anyone? So it doesn’t matter if it’s Cosette or Eponine…
HS: Actually, Eponine!
ITP: …or Chorus Woman #2?
HS: Cosette! Cosette, yeah that’s it.
ITP: Haha. What do you think in your mind is the most exciting about the ITP production of I LOVE YOU BECAUSE?
HS: Being part of it is great, but when it’s finally done; seeing it all together, I think it’s going to be fantastic.
ITP: You play Diana Bingley, a by-the-books, actuary woman who’s full of numbers and equations and whatnot. Do you find any similarities between you and Diana?
HS: Hm…I would say I’m a little bit OCD like Diana. I like things to be perfect, in a certain way and organized.
ITP: What would you say then are the major differences?
HS: I think I’m a little crazier than Diana. I’m a little bit of a nut job. And I don’t think that she is. *smirk*
HS: Since I was about 7, I joined a school called the Jennings Institute which gave me training in everything: voice, piano, acting, theory etc…
ITP: How intensive is it training with Marnie Jennings?
HS: It was more intense than school. It was like a school outside of school, with classes everyday. Monday thru Thursday and then all day Saturday.
ITP: So it has a full program?
HS: It was actually a certified college for many years. Now there are only a few people left, and she only trains people who really *want* to be performers, as she is getting a little older.
ITP: Are there any Jennings Institute grads that the Vancouver Musical Theatre scene would know? Maybe anyone that the world might know?
HS: In Vancouver, there’s Matt Palmer, Todd Talbot and Barb Tomasic. And worldwide…I *think* the world might know Michael Bublé.
(In the background, Sayer Roberts begins to play Michael Bublé on the rehearsal piano)
ITP: It was discovered long ago with the help of Kevin Bacon, that everybody in the world is connected by six degrees or less. We have discovered that you actually share a first degree connection with someone in the cast. Why don’t you tell us a little about that?
HS: Oh! Sayer! Sayer and I actually grew up on the same street!
ITP: Not just the same neighbourhood, but the same street?
HS: And the funny thing is that we didn’t really know that each other performed until auditions for Royal City Musical Theatre‘s WILL ROGERS FOLLIES about almost two years ago.
ITP: Did you know of his family and their connection to the theatre?
HS: I knew that. I knew his dad, but I think it wasn’t until Sayer graduated from high school that we knew he was actually getting into the business. From there it was like “that’s pretty cool!” And then we discovered that we were going to do a show together and here we are!
ITP: Have you two been able to rekindle old friendships through this show?
HS: For the most part, we didn’t hang out in high school.
ITP: Would it be safe to say then that you’re getting to know each other better through this process?
HS: I think we’re finding out a lot more than we did.
HS: That’s exactly what it is. hahaha.
ITP: You get to do a little bit of “risqée” theatre in this show. Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about your experiences about what you have to do in the show? Some of your thoughts and process through rehearsing those scenes?
HS: The first time it was awkward. Very awkward. Not awkward anymore. I think blocking it is the hardest part. Once you know it it’s fine, but when you have the director saying “And you are now putting your hand on her breast. And you are now going down on him”, it gets really awkward. But once you have it blocked, it’s fine! *guffaw*
ITP: I’m guessing you’re getting to know Victor *very* well.
HS: Yes! We know each other very well now! hahaha.
ITP: To date, what is your best or most memorable experience in the theatre world?
HS: In the theatre world? Probably going to Washington D.C. and singing in front of 40,000 when I was nine. It was a symposium for hunger with John Jacobson. The “double dream hands” man. He’s actually a wonderful man. He’s crazy, but awesome. That would be my best moment I would say.
HS: In the Musical Theatre world I’d have to say Kristin Chenoweth. I think everyone says that. But she can sing anything. She’s amazing and classically trained. Matt Palmer too – He’s a wonderful person and an amazing performer.
ITP: If you could so back in time to do any Broadway musical, what show would you do?
HS: ANY show?
ITP: If you could join any opening cast, ANY show.
HS: This is so hard!!! Um…probably INTO THE WOODS.
HS: The Baker’s Wife, if I was old enough to be the Baker’s Wife.
ITP: If you could have four Musical Theatre people (writers/performers/composers/choreographers etc…), and they can gather around a coffee table in your living room, who would you have?
HS: In the world?
ITP: In the world.
HS: Bernadette Peters, put her there. Stephen Sondheim, put him there. You can see I like INTO THE WOODS. Kristin Chenoweth, put her there. And Cleo Lane.
HS: Those are definitely them. Love them.
ITP: What do you think you would be doing if you couldn’t perform in the theatre?
HS: Probably something with kids. I teach ballet now, but something more with kids. Anything with kids.
ITP: In your opinion, what do you think is missing from Vancouver’s Musical Theatre scene?
HS: We just need a hundred times more theatre. We need more companies like ITP to come along. People need to go see more shows. They don’t see as much theatre as they should. So in short, people need to go see more, and we need more of it! *snap*
ITP: Any final words for our readers to encourage them to come see the show?
HS: Come out and support Intimate Theatre Productions because the show is so romantic and it’s going to be awesome! We need to keep it going so we can have more shows!
ITP: Thanks again Harper for giving us your time!
HS: Cool! It was fun!
So to make sure you get to see this young newcomer to the Vancouver Musical Theatre scene, get your tickets now and catch Intimate Theatre Productions’ inaugural performance of I LOVE YOU BECAUSE and you can say “I saw her in her first lead role in Vancouver”!!!