Who are you? What year are you? What are your interests?
Hey beautiful people! My name is Hannah Kendzor; I’m a sophomore. I love theatre, naps, Netflix, food, and did I mention theatre?
I’m so glad you decided to tell people about yourself and the current Homestead fall play. What exactly do you do for James and the Giant Peach?
So I am a little all over the place in this show. I’m part of the ensemble so I switched rolls constantly. I go from shark, to seagull, to New Yorker, go a Hollywood agent, to a cloud person to probably other things that I’m forgetting. Gotta love quick changes!!!
What brought you to join the cast, crew for James and the Giant Peach?
So last year I joined theatre to do The Little Mermaid. I wanted to get involved in something and I remember my mom nudging me to do the Little Mermaid and saying “if you don’t like it you don’t ever have to do it again”. And then I loved it… I found my home in theatre and I just love being a part of it all… from the bonding, you do with everyone, to the long rehearsals of tech week, to the wonder and excitement of opening night and everything in between. I just love coming together with all of my wonderful people in the cast and crew and making something so beautiful and wonderful.
Do you have any stories from rehearsals, practices or crew sessions?
Many. So many stories. Most of them I can’t share. Others, people would get mad at me for sharing. But one of my favorites was when the ensemble was trying to come up with our white and grey outfits. I was going through everything in the costume room and Talia and I decided to both put on corsets and a skirt. We walked down the stairs holding hands, looking like the two creepy twins from The Shining. Our Supreme Leader Figg said we looked too similar… so I put on a different corset. After about ten times of Figg telling us that corsets do not fit the show… we finally put on something else… my choice was a blouse and a corset type belt. Figg approved!!! I think if you asked all the theatre kids, “if you have one wish, what would it be?” Their answer would probably be, “to have the ability to read Figg’s mind!”
All art comments on something or aligns itself with current issues. How does James and the Giant Peach comment on current social or political issues and has it influenced you this fall?
I feel like James and the Giant Peach deals with a lot of issues in a more child-friendly way. I mean the show deals with death, abuse, and a lot of anxiety. But it really enforces the fact that no matter what you go through, you are loved, you are not alone and you have a family out there… but sometimes you have to go find them. Family isn’t just the people you share blood with, it’s the people that are there for you when you have no one, the ones who take care of you when you are down, the ones who love you when you feel unloveable. This show really enforces that throughout as James needs a family, and so do the insects. So they come together and make their own family. Which also reflects the theatre family as well. We are all weird, have felt like outcasts or loners. But in the theatre space, we know that we are loved and that we have a safe place to go and be with wonderful and amazing people. The cast of James and the Giant Peach, on and off stage, really just puts out a positive message to just love everyone. Give people hugs. Tell them they are beautiful and amazing, Because everyone needs love.
What do you hope the audience will be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
I really hope that they will just be marveling at how amazing some of our routines were. From the silks, to the dances and everything in between, I really hope that our audiences with just see how much work and effort we have put into this. I also hope that they will see how much we love being there; how much we want to be there. I hope they will know that the stage is our home.
What’s one thing that is different in the rehearsal process for this production than anything we’ve done before in the Homestead Theatre Department?
There was a lot of creative freedom for the ensemble. Many of the movement and dance sequences we choreographed ourselves in the Blackbox. We were free to express and tell a story through our movements, without words. We do that in many shows, but we were given a lot of freedom in expression and movement for this show. And I think it turned out amazing.
James and the Giant Peach is a story of imagination and childhood perspective. Does being in this show bring back any nostalgia or childhood memories for you?
There is some nostalgia I think in every show. For example, I am wearing a shirt that Bella Gabor wore in Macbeth last year. Wearing that outfit brings back memories of her and the other seniors that graduated last year as well as past shows. As for the story of James and the Giant Peach, I had an obsession with the animated version of the movie when I was in Second Grade. I remember watching it on the plane ride to California with my dad. Little did I know, I would get to put the movie onto the stage eight years later! There’s a certain innocence to the story of James when you are little. As you grow older, you realize the depth of the story and the underlying messages you didn’t understand as a child. There is something in this show for everyone. It’s sure to be entertainment for all!!!
Anything else you want to talk about?
Can I just give a shoutout to crew real quick??? They need some more recognition. They put in so much work and effort. Guys, they built that set from scratch!!! There are crew members giving up their lunches to work on the set for us! They are so hardworking and so dedicated. We would NEVER be able to put the show together without crew. And costumes! They work so hard, sewing things for us, finding costumes, helping us fit all of our characters and assisting with quick changes! They are really a godsend! So when the actors on stage make our motions for our amazing people in the light and sound booth as well as for the crew in the wings, please give them an extra-large round of applause, because they deserve it and so much more!!!