Backstage Pass: Video interview with The Poet's Shadow cast members


Backstage Pass is a series of blog posts spotlighting PHAME’s production of The Poet’s Shadow, on stage at the Hampton Opera Center this August. Follow us backstage to hear the stories behind the opera, interviews with the cast and crew, and more!

This post is a video interview created by Julia Logue, our summer intern. Julia asked performers what excited or surprised them about the show and why they thought people should see it. Spoiler alert: performers call the show “beautiful,” “amazing,” and “extraordinary,” and you should definitely see it.


Anne-Marie: Hi I’m Anne-Marie Plass and in this production I play the rose. It’s all student made, all student oriented, a lot of the script is written by the students and even the settings and everything are done by the students. So it’s very collaborative in terms of students and everything. And we’re also working with a major major Portland area organization, the Portland Opera, which is amazing.

Aaron Hobson: Hi my name is Aaron Hobson, I’m playing the character Beautiful Love. Well, I’m going to wow the audience. I’m going to make them stand up and I’m going to get a standing ovation and I think I’m going to do a good job.

Megan Bartlett: My name is Megan and I’m one of the dancers in the movement ensemble…because it’s going to be fun and that way people know we exist. How supportive the people are, especially Bruce and Matthew, they put this together for us, and I just want to thank them.

Katie Dunn: My name is Katie Dunn and I’ve been at PHAME since ’95. It’s going to be my twenty-fourth year this fall. I’m in the movement/ dancing movement. It was something I’d never expect, something that will be amazing as well as extraordinary.

Maxwell Rochette: Hi I’m Maxwell Rochette and I’m playing the Fairy Guide in the play The Poet’s Shadow. It’s full of wonder and magic in the style of… with fairies and the monster who comes to life from a girl’s dark depression and talent, feeding into the garden by accident. What has surprised me is the fact that I got to be a fairy guide who comically breaks the fourth wall.

Cassidy Hosse-McKenna: I’m Cassidy and my part is the monster and the gate. Well it’s just really great dance moves, which I love. It’s really exciting and really great and I’ve never been in this amazing play before.

Lea Mulligan: Hi my name is Lea Mulligan and I am playing Mrs. Peacock. I decided to audition because I really wanted to find out what would happen if I auditioned: would I make it, would I not make it? And I heard there was a character called Mrs. Peacock and I was interested in being it. The reason that I think it’s important for people to see the show is to see how well that we are on stage and how everybody gets along, and we can really make some magic happen.

Jeremiah Schumacher: Ok I’m Jeremiah Schumacher and I’m one of the members of the choir group for the rock opera The Poet’s Shadow. Well I’ve been with PHAME and I happened to stumble upon the rock opera when I was doing classes and I just wanted to do it because I thought it was pretty fun. Well it’s a good way to show off that people that have a disability, doesn’t mean that they can’t do things that other people could be real great as.

Elena Wilkins: Hi I’m Elena Wilkins and I’m the monster voice for rock opera. Yes I am. I’m in the choir. Because its funny, well kind of serious actually because it’s a story of a girl going through a depression and because we all go through depression one time or another in our life, and it’s good if we can find out what to do with that depression or what we’re going to do about it.

Tess Raunig: Hi my name is Tess Raunig and I play Elizabeth the poet. People should come to this show because of the story—it was all written by PHAME students and its just a wonderful story about feelings and going through a really dark period in your life and finding the tools to get through that dark period. But yeah it’s a very deep story and I think audiences are really going to love it. I am most looking forward to just performing with all these wonderful and talented people and also getting to share this work that PHAME’s students wrote—it’s just a really beautiful story.

Cassidy Hosse-McKenna: Have fun and hope you love this play!

Anya Roberts