Adventurous “Pinocchio” Takes the Stage

November 2, 2017
PYT Spotlight is offering teens opportunities to blog. Here’s one from Braden Koch who is the Stage Manager for this production.

Being a classic tale that was popularized by Disney, Pinocchio’s story is known and loved by many families. However, PYT’s Stories on Stage adaption of the 1883 novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, brings twists and increased drama to the storyline.

The Adventures of Pinocchio is directed by Bill Olson and been adapted for the stage by Will Huddleston who directed Officer Buckle and Gloria last SOS season.  



The cast of Pinocchio includes a total of 14 actors who work together to create a show that includes almost 30 roles. PYT Spotlight interviewed a newcomer to Stories on Stage, Ryan McCauley (age 15), and a returning member, Ella Brutman (age 13), to discuss their experiences acting in The Adventures of Pinocchio and performing on SecondStage.

What is your role in The Adventures of Pinocchio and what did you do to develop your character?

Ryan: My character’s name is “Mangiafuoco” (the Stromboli equivalent for this production). I made him to be a mix of being ratty, and snaky as well being creepy and manipulative through specific body language choices.

Ryan McCauley plays “Mangiafuoco” and Kerawin Heaney plays “Pinocchio #2″

Ella: I am playing “Pinocchio #3”! (The role of “Pinocchio” is split between two other actors: Hunter McDivitt and Kerawin Heaney.) To get into my role, I look at my brothers and think about their situations. I also watch my amazing castmates and get inspired by them. In addition I look online for movies or TV shows that I view and get inspired from characters there as well. 

Derron Mendel plays “Gepetto” and Ella Brutman plays “Pinocchio #3″

How is Stories on Stage different from PYT’s MainStage musical productions?

Ryan: It’s certainly been quite an adventure with only eight rehearsals. It’s fun though! Even though I feel like I’m riding a missile, I’m having a good time and I like how I’m at rehearsals longer because that’s more time in my happy place! I know everyone in the cast, that’s really great. I like getting to see what everyone does with their character over time. I’ve learned more on how to build something collaboratively with an entire cast.

Ella: SOS is a much smaller cast, so you can become very close with your cast! Also, it’s a shorter time and a shorter show. However, Pinocchio has been different than my last SOS show, Officer Buckle and Gloria. In Officer Buckle and Gloria, the show was more of a kid’s show. Pinocchio fits for all ages. I love both shows and I want to thank everyone who helped with both shows.

How do you view the differences between the MainStage and SecondStage performance spaces?

Ryan: I really like SecondStage because I feel like I’m sort of in a snowglobe that the audience is holding rather than a far away sort of situation where the audience must respectfully sit still and watch silently.
Ella: The SecondStage is way smaller and also has three sides of audience. I think SecondStage brings the audience more of the show because it has the three sides and the audience is closer to the performers!

What was the biggest challenge for you in this production?

Ryan: This was the first show where I had go home and learn my lines instead of just picking them up at rehearsals.

Ella: The biggest challenge for me was making donkey noises!

This production has a chorus-type ensemble. What do you think of the presence of a chorus?
Ryan: I worry that the audience won’t be able to understand us, but I think it’s fun! A chorus is something that can be done very well or can also just as easily be botched. 
Ella: The chorus is onstage a lot, but I think that the chorus adds so much more depth to show.
(Note: As Stage Manager, I saw the run-through on Wednesday and the chorus sounded great. The cast really has to work together – it’s a lot harder than you think to speak in total unison!)
Why do you think audiences should come see The Adventures of Pinocchio?
Ryan: The show is awesome! The cast has had lots of fun and has worked very hard.
Ella: People should see The Adventures of Pinocchio, because it’s such as funny and energetic show! Pinocchio includes jokes, songs, and a Dogfish!

The cast of “The Adventures of Pinocchio” during rehearsal

Don’t miss PYT’s debut of The Adventures of Pinocchio with performances on SecondStage Friday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 4th at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10.00. Showtimes are Friday at 9:30 am, 11:00 am and 12:30 pm. Saturday performances are at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.

Blog and Photos by Braden Koch

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