Interview by Gracie Vanover
Theatre director Robbie Steiner started recording himself singing one song a day during quarantine. However, he never expected it to hit local news outlets like the News and Tribune. After reading these articles I wanted to hear from Steiner what started his idea for these videos. Steiner uploads a new song every day so be sure to check them out. To find his YouTube channel and videos just type “Robbie Steiner” in the search bar.
Bagpiper: “What inspired you to start COVID Carols?”
Robbie Steiner: “As I began adjusting to life in quarantine, I thought it would be a good time to add some things into my daily routine that I enjoy but usually don’t have time to do. I love singing and have been wanting to have a more consistent routine to exercise and develop my voice, so I decided to record a song every day until I no longer have to social distance. I came up with the hashtag #covidcarols and started posting them because I thought it would be a nice way to share some joy during this difficult time.”
BP: “How have you used this as a coping mechanism?”
RB: “Singing releases endorphins, just like exercise, so I’ve always found that it helps me relieve stress. Plus, it is helpful to get out of my own head and see the world through someone else’s eyes for a few minutes. I found when the Coronavirus started impacting our area that I was listening to the news constantly and not sleeping well. Singing has helped me channel my emotions into a character, which allows me to process my anxiety.”
BP: “What is your overall goal when making one of these videos?’
RB: “On a personal level, I approach each song with the goal to perform it to the best of my ability. I’m about to take a leave of absence from my job at FC next year so that I can focus on developing myself as a performer, so I’m trying to use this as a training ground for myself. I try to look at each song both through a vocal and an acting lens so that it gives me the chance to practice both as a vocalist and as an actor. On an external level, I hope that the pieces provide others with a combination of an escape and a chance to process what’s going on at this time.”
BP: “Did you expect these videos to become a local hit?”
RB: “I never imagined these videos to take off like they have. I’ve been blown away by how many people have made them part of their daily routine. It has been very moving for me; I am very humbled by the support and I’m also thrilled that the art I’m creating means something to others and is helping to bring comfort and routine during this crazy time.”
BP: “What is something you want all the people watching your videos to know [whether it be about you or what is happening in the world]?”
RB: “Dark as this time is, there is a beautiful silver lining in that we have a new opportunity to be creative in ways that we have never been before as a species. I encourage everyone to find inventive ways to express themselves and to bring the arts into their quarantine. I love seeing the many ways people are using performance art to cope and how so many artists and arts organizations are being so generous by sharing their work while people are social distancing. While we have to make and consume art in new ways in order to keep ourselves safe at this time, there’s no doubt that art is necessary for humans to survive and thrive.”
Steiner’s latest upload:
Art by Scarlett Hatton
Photos by Gavin Corley
Story by Gracie Vanover
As the iron gates swing open, tons of Addams ancestors flood out. Gomez Addams [New Albany junior Troy Jones] waves them in and a fun dance sequence begins. Whether alive, dead, or undecided, Addams of all ages join in on the festivities.
“The Addams Family” closed this past weekend after its short run at our neighboring high school. The show ran from Feb. 28 to March 8 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in New Albany’s theatre. This show has a storyline for all ages and is a spooky take on comedy.
Our story begins with our ever so famous Addams family doing what they do best: being hauntingly charismatic. After Wednesday [New Albany senior Mallory Baumann] falls in love with the new boy from Ohio, Lucas [New Albany senior Carter Nevil]. After Gomez promises to keep the engagement of the two under wraps from Morticia [doubled-casted between New Albany junior Maddie Fisher and sophomore Piper Prince] all hell breaks loose.
For starters, this production had a breathtaking set. Sets constructed by New Albany’s [NA] “Dad’s With Tools” and designed by NA theatre director Amy Miller and Patrick Jump were stellar and gave me spooky chills. The home of the Addams is filled with pull away wall pieces to reveal thinks like torture chambers, which are also well designed although they are smaller sets.
The set that was my favorite was definitely outside the Addams’ household from the opening number. The backdrop was gloomily decorated in headstones and dark clouds. With the big iron gates in the corner and front of the stage and the headstones of deceased family members, the set was hauntingly immaculate.
The cast for this production was also astounding. Disclaimer, however, I only saw Prince as Morticia, so I can not speak on behalf of Fisher’s performances. Almost every intermediate family member had something that struck me.
Jones made me laugh and sympathize with Gomez throughout the whole show. Two of my favorite songs he performed during the show “Trapped” and “Happy/Sad.” During the song “Trapped” he sings about how he feels strapped between keeping Wednesday’s secret and lying to his wife which she hates the most. His worried expression and crunched up figure emphasized his stress and fear and made the performance funny along with the hilarious lyrics. As for “Happy/Sad” during the song he tells Wednesday how he is happy but also sad about her growing up. The emotion and onstage chemistry in this song is so raw and beautiful and definitely was a favorite moment of mine.
An audience favorite in this show for sure was Fester [New Albany senior Matt Landon]. With his little fourth wall breaks during random parts of the show, he captured Fester’s strangeness and always got at least one laugh. Another smaller role that was a great laugh was the grandmother [New Albany junior Brayden Marcum]. During the song “Full Disclosure” Marcum pulled his ginormous skirt up to reveal a garter and proceeded to call himself a “cougar.” When I say the audience was crying laughing, I mean it.
Baumann was a perfect pick for the role of Wednesday. Her voice fit the role amazingly and she gave off the right amount of sarcasm. As I was leaving at the end I heard so many people around me comment on her talent and portrayal of Wednesday. So if so many people are in the same boat then Miller made the right casting decision.
One final character I want to mention is, of course, Morticia, the dark queen herself. At the start, I was not sure about Prince’s portrayal of Morticia as I felt she was too sarcastic. Over the course of the show, however, she and her style grew on me. In the end, I loved how Prince played Morticia and am satisfied with her performance.
Another strong area in this show was choreography which was led by Miller. Two dance routines that struck me the most was the dance during “Secrets” and “Tango De Amor.” During “Secrets” the ancestors and Morticia do a dance break that is sublime. The in-sync moves between everyone on stage are satisfying to the eye. In “Tango De Amor” Gomez and Morticia do tiny skits, for example, a matador and bull, between tangoing and it just added to the dance and relationship development in this show.
Overall this show was a huge A+ in my book. The only thing I found wrong with this show was audio errors. At times it was hard to hear the main singer over ensemble members/other family members or the pit playing. Of course, that could be a tech issue or an actor not singing loud enough, but I am not 100 percent sure. But that only happened a handful of times so it was not enough to ruin the show for me.
If you ever have a chance to see any production of “The Addams Family” do not hesitate even a second to buy tickets.
Audio – B
Choreography – A
Scenery – A+
Overall – A
Runtime: 2 hours 45 minutes with a 20-minute intermission
For more of Gavin Corley’s photos go to https://nahsblotter.com/17254/photos/the-addams-family/
Story by Claire Furmall
“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” This quote from the prominent TV show The Office was said by Michael Scott.
Recently, I got the honor of attending The Office Parody at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Let me just say: It was amazing! I felt that the characters very much resembled the characters in the show. In addition, the director picked many diverse, famous scenes so that it would seem as though it were really coming to life.
Coincidentally, after speaking with some of The Office fans that attended, they felt the same as I did.
One audience member said, “I feel like, given that it’s supposed to be a parody, they pulled a lot of the favorite lines and scenes.”
Another said that if it was rated from a 1-10, she would give it an 8.
On the other hand, there were some negative aspects of the parody. For one, the Michael Scott character was played by a woman.
Before I first arrived at the play, I had already grown suspicious if Michael would be as funny in the play as the TV show because his role was being filled by a woman. Not to my surprise, Michael Scott was not as funny as the television show.
In the play, Michael was very overly dramatic and he did not seem as “clueless” as the Michael on the show (played by actor Steve Carrell). If Michael had been a man I feel that he could have portrayed the character as if he were in the show.
The Office Parody was about 2 hours and 15 minutes. There was approximately a 10-minute intermission and during that time they played different varieties of music. The ticket cost for a regular “in the audience” seat was $30.
I highly recommend attending this play. There were many comical scenes, the characters related very well to the show, and they included many of the famous scenes to appear like it was the real thing.
After all, as Michael Scott says, “It takes an advanced sense of humor. I don’t expect everybody to understand.”
|The Office Parody: