is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Caitlyn Waltermire Talks About Fahrenheit 451 at Balagula

I call Caitlyn Waltermire my perpendicular daughter from a parallel universe. I like to refer to her as such (and her sisters Courtney and Kelsey as well) because if I had a daughter, Caitlyn is exactly the sort of child I would be proud to call my own. She’s kind, talented, smart and beautiful, but she doesn’t behave as if she knows how lovely she is.  She sings like a soulful angel, and is an actor, too, yet doesn’t carry with her the air of superiority that oftentimes causes me to not want to meet any more actors. All this, and she’s only a teenager! So I was thrilled to learn that she’d auditioned for and was to be a part of Balagula’s Fahrenheit 451, which begins its second run this Sunday.

Ever since I saw her perform in AGL’s TOMMY: THE CONCERT a few years ago, Caitlyn has continued to dazzle and shine in the spotlight. She’s musical, plays guitar, writes songs, sings gorgeously, and her heart is as lovely as her voice. So let’s find out what up with this lil buttercup...

Caitlyn tells me she started acting at two or three years old “when I told my parents it was my sister who colored the walls with crayons. Then I took a break until my junior year in high school, with Woodford Theatre in Once Upon A Mattress. I fell in love with Carol Burnett and theatre people.

“In Fahrenheit 451, I play Clarisse, a girl who sort of cracks Montag's world open. She reads, she inquires, she looks at things, she does everything wrong and it affects him. She's a challenge, because she's very young and very old at the same time. And to play someone who is wiser than Tom Phillips' character? That's icing.”

The role came to her organically, as the character settled into her being when she first experienced the work.  "I read Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in middle school along with everyone else and Clarisse was who I would be if I was brave enough. So last summer, I auditioned and just loved the monologue. It felt like I'd remembered."

Since Director Ryan Case is such a sweet potato, I yam always inclined to ask folks how much they love working with him.  Fierce and fearless Caitlyn, however, is ready to deliver a dainty delicate dose of reality.  "Do not let Ryan's general sweetness fool you. When the director hat is on, he sees every glance and every intention, and if he isn't tickled to death, you will work the scene until you've tickled him to death. Personally, I came to the first rehearsal with a definite mold for Clarisse prepared. He listened politely then turned it all on its head. He only expects the hardest work you can give, and actors to bring something fresh and bright and new every night. He pushes, yes, but when he loves a choice, he lets you know just as loudly. I've learned more than I ever thought I would from him."

"Natasha is wonderful. I haven't had much of a chance to have a conversation with her, but we had a great exchange at the costume parade for FH 451. They put me in a long jumper and she wanted to see it shorter. So she came onstage with me and said, 'Pull it up.' I tugged a little. 'Pull it up.'  I tugged a little more. 'No!' she said. 'Pull it up... COURAGEOUSLY.' The skirt flew up to my thighs which was more than she wanted, but I couldn't help it. She inspired me."
Caitlyn and Courtney - I love this pic :)  Watch for
Courtney to also be a smashing bombshell...she's
well on her way! 

Apart from dazzling all sorts of audiences from WoodSongs partners to the crowd at Buster's, Caitlyn has stayed busy, and is sure to be in big demand down the theatrical road.  "Since 2010, I've worked with Woodford Theatre, Georgetown Community Theatre, Actors Guild of Lexington, Fantastical Theatricals, BCTC, Bluegrass Murder Mystery Theatre, and now Balagula. I also write songs and odd little horror stories," she adds.

Kelsey Waltermire is also
a rising star, along with her
sisters Caitlyn and Courtney!
When I hear that any Waltermire is in a production, it's definitely on my list of to-see shows.  Caitlyn's sister, Courtney is also in Fahrenheit 451; and their younger sister is also a great talent (I first saw Kelsey in Studio Players' Wait Until Dark).  Their father, Greg, can also be seen on local stages for Fantastical Theatricals, Actors Guild, and other smart theatre companies.

So watch out, here comes a family of drama dynamos!  Kinda like the Waltons, on stage...singing...with a little attitude that isn't sour, it's real and genuine.  I hope you have a chance to see Caitlyn at Balagula this weekend, and if you don't, keep your artistic ear to the ground, because she'll be back on stage soon, I'm sure.


Fahrenheit 451
 by Ray Bradbury, a stage adaptation of his 1953 novel, touches on the themes of human alienation in the world dominated by electronic media; dangers of state censorship; and the effect of passive consumption on human intellect. 
Fahrenheit 451, an ode to literature and a manifesto of several generations of American intellectuals, is a complex dramatic piece open to wide directorial interpretation. It is full of socially relevant and theatrically inspiring challenges, that Balagula's artistic team is known to tackle.
January 29 at 8:00pm until February 8 at 8:00pm

Play Synopsis: The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a "fireman" (which, in this future, means "bookburner"). He lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. People in this society, including Montag's wife, get their information from wall-size television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government's motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured.

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?"
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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