We asked Maddie Smith, who plays the role of James Trotter in James and the Giant Peach, a few questions as she prepares to open this magical show.
Q. What other shows have you appeared in at Omaha Community Playhouse?
A. I've been in A Christmas Carol for the past three years (2015: Girl with Sled) (2016 and 2017: Belinda Cratchit) and I was one of two actors to play Chip in Beauty and the Beast.
Q. This is your first lead role - how different has that been for you?
A. It's been a lot of fun - a really great experience. It's a lot of work being there at every rehearsal, but I love being at the Playhouse, so getting to be there every night is great. It is very different from other roles I've played because I am in a lot more scenes. I also know that I have been given a big opportunity and there is quite a bit of responsibility being the lead. I really want to play James as best I can. I love the character - he is afraid and lonely, but very brave at the same time. He takes chances and believes that things should be better than they are for him. It's just such a wonderful story and I am lucky to work with the most amazing people.
Q. What is your favorite part of James and the Giant Peach?
A. That's a hard question! I would say the song "Middle of the Moment" because this is when James comes out of his shell and he realizes he has the power to control his own life and the ability to take care of himself. Even though that is scary and hard and he can't predict what will happen, he can do anything and his life will be better than it is with his aunts.
Q. What is your favorite play or musical?
A. That is the hardest question to answer. My favorite radio channel to listen to in the car is the Broadway channel. I love musical theatre. I've been so lucky to have seen quite a few Broadway shows such as Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Waitress, Into the Woods and Dear Evan Hansen. I love Hamilton (which I got to see in Chicago) and Dear Evan Hansen most of all... and of course, James and the Giant Peach!
Don't miss Maddie and the rest of the cast in James and the Giant Peach running March 2 - 25, 2018 in OCP's Hawks Mainstage Theatre. Ticket information here.