Meet Carol Merlini, the new assistant director of Community Circle Players (CCP). Besides her involvement with CCP, she’s active in golf and the SB Off Road Bunch, volunteers at PACC, sings with Sonoran Singers and plays Canasta, Mah Jongg and Marble Chase.
Andrea: Carol, I’ve had the privilege to see and work with you on stage. Please tell me more about you!
Carol: Born and raised in Auburn, California, my husband and I bought our SB home in 2004 and became full-time residents just this June. I’ve been involved in local theater since 2007 and was in the PrimeTime Players productions, The Case of the Steele Deal and Calendar Girls, plus a variety show. It was a midlife crisis thing I suppose – something I had always wanted to do. I decided I would audition just for the fun of it to see what happens, and I got a part.
Andrea: Is theater in SaddleBrooke well supported?
Carol: Yes. The public, while loving professional productions, appreciate volunteer performers and their courage to get up on stage in front of strangers. They find them just as entertaining. Many residents know the performers on stage and have great fun supporting them.
Andrea: CCP is planning another murder mystery dinner theater production. What’s alluring about that type of performance?
Carol: It is more intimate, in your face and involves some audience participation. There are always those in the audience who think to themselves, “I could do that,” so murder mystery dinner shows afford opportunity to these people to show their talent while entertaining their friends and family.
Andrea: Is the time commitment hard to balance?
Carol: Juggling other commitments depends on the production. Musical theater is the hardest, because not only are you learning lines and blocking (where to go on the stage and when), but there is music to learn and perhaps dance steps too. For dinner theater shows, the “blocking” can be a challenge.
Andrea: What makes CCP a draw for you and others who want to perform?
Carol: We are all neighbors and have a sense of community and comradery. Also, the producer and director, Shawne Cryderman and Susan Sterling, are very professional and fun to work with.
Andrea: I hear you have been offered the assistant director position.
Carol: I have, and I am thrilled. I have always wanted to understand the inner workings of putting on a production and have felt I could have some ideas to offer. Now I have that chance to see how it all comes together. I am anxious to get the script nailed down so we can get busy with auditions and all the preparations.
Andrea: When are the auditions and performances?
Carol: Auditions are in November and performances in April. The tentative rehearsal schedule will be revised and refined when the script is finalized.
Andrea: I’ll bet you are hoping former cast members and new ones will participate.