Preview: Holly Theatre’s Hunchback of Notre Dames

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The cast of Holly Theatre’s Hunchback of Notre Dame warms up for their first “stumble through” of Act One.

The Historic Holly Theatre is ringing the bells and getting ready for the Feast of Fools for their production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Based on the novel by Victo Hugo and a spinoff of the Disney Film, this production has been staged in the North Georgia area a few times in the past year, but what sets this production apart is the innovative staging and direction from director Jamie Fambrough. Jamie along with stage manager Sean Newman took their inspiration and concept from Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

The set has platforms that extend from the stage to the balcony, enveloping the audience in the production The idea is that instead of breaking the 4th wall (that invisible shield between the actors and the audience), the 4th wall is shattered so that it doesn’t exist, and instead of passive observers, the audience feels a viable part of the production.

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The “Hunchback” set construction is underway and is a work in progress. 

Sean was gracious enough to invite Speakeysie to a rehearsal where we previewed a “stumble through” of act one. A stumble through is a first time running an act on stage, where the stage manager and director work with the cast to help them navigate each number’s blocking (where the actors stand and move on stage). The vocals under the direction of Leanne Kinney are strong and tight, the choreography by Laurin Dunleavy is entertaining and works well with the story.

The Holly has assembled a talented cast and crew, including students and alumni from the nationally recognized Gainesville Theatre Alliance, professionals in the industry in the Northeast Georgia area, and high school thespians. Ryan Krygier (GTA alum)  as Quasimodo delivers a performance with beautiful vocals as does Corey Speakman (Middle School choral director and church choir director) as Claude Frollo. All the other cast members are equally as talented, and really seem to enjoy each other a much as they enjoy performing.

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Quasimodo (Ryan Krygier) is given instruction from Claude Frollo (Corey Speakmen) as the Gargoyles look on.

Even if you’ve seen Hunchback in the past year, you won’t want to miss the original and creative aspects this production has to offer. Hunchback runs every weekend in August, with productions on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. You can purchase tickets online in advance at http://www.hollytheater.com/.

–Jody Key – Managing Editor

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