Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In the Wings: The Velveteen Rabbit. Meet Rachel Schumm.

Rachel Schumm plays Mom in The Velveteen Rabbit, the fourth and final production of the 2010-2011 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by local playwright Laurie Russell, based on Margery Williams' book.

Q: How would you describe Mom? What does she do in the play?
Rachel Schumm: She narrates the story, reading the story of The Velveteen Rabbit to her daughter. There are scenes between me and my daughter – a modern era family. She's telling the audience what is happening in each scene.

Q: Is this role different from other roles you played?
R.S.: Yes. I've done a lot of plays before, but I've always had something physical to do. This time I've had to use only my voice to communicate all the emotions. It's been challenging but it's also a good exercise.

Q: How have rehearsals gone?
R.S.: They have really been fun. I've never worked with little kids before – it's always been adults or teenagers. Normally we would run start to finish many different times, but with younger kids we've broken down the scenes. The youngest actor is six and I'm the oldest at seventeen.

Q: What do you think the audience will most enjoy in this show?
R.S.: The story. It's a really cute story because kids today don't play with stuffed animals and have a love of their stuffed animals. Stuffed animals were my life when I was younger. It's refreshing that this kid is playing pretend with his bunny and the bunny means so much to him that it's real. It's a great story of a little kid using his imagination. It's a sweet story.

Q: Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up?
R.S.: My favorite stuffed animal is a little bunny I've had since I was born. His name is B Bunny because on the front of his outfit was stitched "Baby's First Bunny."

The Velveteen Rabbit opens Friday, April 22 and run through Sunday, April 24 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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