Spotlight on Robbie SnowBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 31st, 2009 • Category: Interviews
James Lee Community Center, Falls Church, VA
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Playing through April 4th
Listen to the interview with Robbie Snow. [MP3 8:10 7.5MB]
Mike: This is Mike Clark with ShowBiz Radio and I am backstage before a performance of Rehearsal for Murder with the Providence Players in Falls Church. Right now I am talking to Robbie Snow, who is the costumer and she also plays Ernestine in the show. Thank you for talking with me, Robbie.
Robbie: Good to be here.
Mike: So, first off let’s talk about Ernestine. Who is Ernestine?
Robbie: Ernestine is actually the theater manager for the theater that Alex Dennison has rented. I came up with a back story for her. Sh had come to New York as a young actress. She wanted to make it big on Broadway. That did not happen, but she discovered her true talent for behind the scenes. She had been the premier stage manager for many years and then with life an everything because she was a member of the union they had to give her something so they gave her the theater. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Mike: Was it fun working on Ernestine?
Mike: Is she like you?
Robbie: In many ways she is. She cares about the theater and she cares about the people in it. I do too. I really like working with the Providence Players and at James Lee. I figured that I see it as my theater sort of like Ernestine does.
Mike: How long have you been involve with Providence?
Robbie: This is the end of my fourth or fifth season. I started with Heaven Can Wait and have been involve with every show since then.
Mike: On stage or backstage?
Robbie: Yes. I think this is the fourth time I’ve been onstage. Heaven Can Wait was the first time I was on stage. I did not have any lines. I was one of the passengers waiting to go to heaven. Then I was in The Women. I played Sadie the women’s lounge attendant. I was the foreman for Witness For the Prosecution. I was Lorene Smith in The Time of Your Life. And then this one which I guess this was the fifth one. This was one where I have had more lines than I have ever had before. It has been a challenge. Luckily I have a break between all these scenes so I can go over them.
Mike: Do you like being on stage or do you like being backstage? If you have a preference.
Robbie: I like being on stage for the little parts because I really like the backstage stuff. I love getting people ready. I love doing Leta’s hair. I like seeing the whole thing coming together from beginning to end. And when you are on stage you are focusing on your part and the other actresses instead of the whole process. Every once in a while i like to get on stage just so I can have a better idea of what goes into it.
Mike: You are also the show’s costumer for Rehearsal For Murder.
Robbie: Yes I am.
Mike: And they look great. When I first heard the concept of black and white I did not quite think that would work, but it does totally.
Robbie: Well when I first saw that we were doing a mystery and I found out that it was going to be on a bare stage that there was not going to be on of our fantastic sets involved, I immediately though black and white. It’s a mystery. There is a good guy and and a bad guy. I had talked to Ingrid David who was doing the set dressing at the annual meeting and I said that I had this idea and she got really involved in it. She thought it would be super and we can do this and this and this.
And so at the annual meeting I went over to Chip and it had been announced at the annual meeting that he would be directing it. And I told Chip that I will be doing costumes for Rehearsal For Murder. They are going to be in black and white. Ingrid’s doing the set dressing. She agrees with me. And he said that we will talk and I said, “No Chip, this is the way it is.” Everybody kept coming to me and saying, “Well shouldn’t so ‘n so be in color? Shouldn’t we pop color?”
And then as I was watching the rehearsals, and people would just wear black and white from the office or something. It really popped against the black curtain. And I would go, “No we really do not need any color for this show.” And people would say things, so it has been interesting seeing how it really came together. This is the first time I’ve really had a true concept. I’ve usually let the set and the characters kind of say what’s going to happen with it. but this one, this one worked all together.
Mike: Was it hard finding the actual costume pieces once you decided on that them of black and white?
Robbie: Not really because then that is all you are really looking for. You are not distracted by the royal blues or the hot pinks or whatever. You are just focusing on it and a lot of people have that in their closets. They do not realize how much black and white they really have. In the beginning of the play the men come to the party in tuxedos because it is after an opening night on Broadway. So that is black and white. So it really was not difficult. Everybody had at least a black jacket or a grey jacket. I had seen pieces at Master’s Costumes where I worked and it just came together. It was meant to be.
Mike: What is your next show? Do you have anything planned after this one?
Robbie: Beth Whitehead, who is directing All My Sons, has asked me to work on hair design for that since it is set in the late 40’s early 50’s. I like playing with hair. For Rehearsal for Murder, since there is no period that we had to put into it, it was…
Mike: Pretty straightforward.
Robbie: Yes, you did not have to make sure everyone looked like 1950’s or everybody looked like 1980’s or something. It did not have that perfect time period which made it easier. I mean there is one character who looks like she came straight from the Lucy show of the 1950’s and there is one who looks like he just got off his motorcycle. It kind of just all went together. People got behind it once people got the idea.
One of the best things about working with Providence Players is working with Beth Harrison. She and I have done costumes since she and I did Company together. She is really good to bounce ideas off. We make a really great team down in what we call the hole. She does make-up and I do hair. She is like a new best friend.
Mike: Ok, well thank you very much for talking with me. I do appreciate it.
Robbie: Ok. Thank you.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/3673.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.