It’s just a few short weeks until Beijing Playhouse’s production of Christmas musical comedy Robin Hood hits the stage. We speak to first time cast member Ray Robles about his experience working on the play.
How did you get involved with The Beijing Playhouse and the production of Robin Hood?
During my first year in Beijing, my girlfriend and I came across Beijing Playhouse’s Theatre workshops on the Beijinger. I decided to go to a workshop and instantly knew I wanted to come back. I wasn’t able to audition for a show that first year, something always came up or I wasn’t in town for an audition. I returned to the states and eventually realized how much I missed Beijing and was contemplating my return. I received an email about auditions for Robin Hood and took it as a sure sign to come back to Beijing, so I set the date to come back and my mind on auditioning, and here I am today as a proud cast member!
Had you ever done theater before?
Yes, I was a musical theatre major in college. I have now been doing theater or some type of performing arts for ten years and I’ve absolutely loved and appreciated all my experiences from the cruel and arrogant directors to the constructive and nurturing kind. I’ve participated in all kinds of theater starting in high school (where I was the epitome of over acting) to my first paid gig where I earned US 70 a week to build sets for 12 hours, yet had only two lines on stage, to eventually performing professionally. I’ve been blessed to say I’ve performed on stage for major companies like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Carnival Cruise lines. I also managed to book some TV gigs.
What has your experience been like working on the play?
Absolutely delightful! It just feels great to be back to doing something I am truly passionate about. I am currently teaching at a kindergarten and while I love teaching, my school, and especially my kids, entertaining is something that just feels natural ‑ it’s food for the soul. Our director (Chris Verill), our musical director Tebow, our dance instructors Annie and Dana, our props and costume designers, and our stage manager Van are wonderful people to work with. That being said about everyone involved in production, the cast feels like a second family and I’ve met some really amazing performers. I’m so grateful for the experience.
What can families expect?
Loads of laughs. Sometimes in rehearsals, you just can’t help but crack up. This is the perfect show for kids and adults alike. There is enough action happening that will keep the kids entertained throughout the show as well as a few jokes that only mom and dad will enjoy. All the songs we will perform are popular renditions so I’m sure audience members will be glad to hear some of their favorite songs with a little twist. The audience will truly enjoy and laugh out loud with what they are going to see in this show.
Anything to add?
Just a big thank you to the cast and Beijing Playhouse team for all the great laughs, the chance to grow as a performer, and just for letting me be a part of such an amazing and fun opportunity.
Performances will be in English with Chinese subtitles and will be held weekdayevenings at 7.30pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm between December 5 and December 21 at the National Olympic Center Theatre.
Contact: For ticket reservations, email Beijing Playhouse’s box office at email@example.com.
To find out how to get involved with Beijing Playhouse, email Stage Manager April Wang firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Courtesy of Beijing Playhouse