Rowan Kelley & Asher Fisher
Interview by Anne Andersen, Merc Board Member
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in one of the Merc’s amazing children’s theater productions? We thought we would find out by talking to Rowan Kelley and Asher Fisher, two cast members of “Beauty and the Beast,” currently in rehearsal at the Merc.
First of all, I asked the two of them about their past experience in theater. Rowan, a sixth grader at Liberty Bell High School remembered that the first thing she did at the Merc was a summer theater camp. She loved that and went on to audition for a part in “The Fantastic Mister Fox.” She was cast in the role of Ms. Fox. She then played the part of one of the Candy Cane Guards in the holiday production of “The Nutcracker.” She realizes that when she lived in Seattle, she would never have had these wonderful opportunities, so she loves being involved in a small community theater like the Merc.
Asher, a seventh grader at Liberty Bell High School, shared that he has really not done anything before “Beauty and the Beast,” except some fun plays with friends and a role in the Missoula Children’s Theater earlier this school year.
Since they are playing the important parts of “Beauty” (Rowan) and “Beast” (Asher), I wanted to know what it is like for them to be in this particular play. Rowan explained that this might be her favorite role at the Merc because the rest of the actors in this play are so good and so well cast, and it’s really easy to work with them. She really likes the positive message of the play and the great characters in the story.
Asher shared that for him, the play is quite fun, although he does have a lot of lines to learn and not enough time to memorize them! He thinks that it is easier to learn his lines while moving his body around on stage.
I asked them both what they say to other kids who might be thinking about auditioning for a Merc play but are wondering if they could do it. They both said that, “the directors here, like Ms. Orme, are really great and do not judge you at all. They’re not harsh and they take you as you are … work with what you’ve got.” Their advice was, “don’t be scared to put yourself out there.” They both agreed that they have learned a lot about theater in all of the productions they’ve been in, and that starting with a small role and working your way up to a major role is a good way to build your confidence.
When I asked if there was anything else they wanted to add, both Rowan and Asher agreed that theater is, “a really fun thing to do and it’s a great way to express your emotions, express yourself, and work with a character that you like. It is not too hard, so you should put yourself out there and give it a try!” They wished that there was more theater at school but that overall, the Methow Valley provides lots of great opportunities. Asher said that he thought the world should be “covered” with acting because it helps you in a lot of ways that don’t have anything to do with theater, like building confidence, using your voice, and just being generally better.
I honestly don’t think any of us at the Merc could have expressed the importance of theater any better than these two! Be sure to come and see Rowan and Asher, and all of the amazing cast of “Beauty and the Beast,” in March!
The Merc Playhouse