BWW Interviews: A Chat with the Texas Premiere Cast of BONNIE AND CLYDE
The Texas premiere of Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie and Clyde opens tonight at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin.
When Bonnie and Clyde meet, their mutual cravings for excitement and fame immediately set them on a mission to chase their dreams. Their bold and reckless behavior turns the young lovers' thrilling adventure into a downward spiral, putting themselves and their loved ones in trouble with the law. Forced to stay on the run from every southern state's police force, the lovers resort to robbery and murder to survive. As the infamous duo's fame grows bigger, their inevitable end draws nearer.
BroadwayWorld recently visited a rehearsal of Bonnie and Clyde and had a chance to interview the production's director, Joshua Denning, plus several members of the cast, including Hanna McEvilly (Bonnie Parker), Jacob Roberts-Miller (Clyde Barrow), Sage Stoakley (Blanche Barrow), Connor Barr (Buck Barrow), Kendrick Knight (Ted Hinton), and Loretta Adams (Emma Parker).
BWW: Thank you all so much for doing this interview with BroadwayWorld. It's so cool to have all of you together. I've never had an opportunity to interview all of the lead and supporting players of a show before, so this is sort of unprecedented. Were any of you familiar with the show before you started rehearsals?
LORETTA ADAMS (Emma Parker): None of us.
HANNAH MCEVILLY (Bonnie Parker): I was really suspicious of what our show was going to be before it was announced. I knew it was going to be a Frank Wildhorn show, so I listened to his popular shows but as soon as I found out it was Bonnie and Clyde, I listened to the album on repeat.
BWW: I'm sure some or all of you have heard of the actually Bonnie and Clyde or have seen the film from the 1970s. Has your opinion of them changed since you started working on the show?
JACOB ROBERTS-MILLER (Clyde Barrow): I never really knew enough about Bonnie and Clyde in the first place to have much of an opinion about them. I knew they were notorious bank robbers during the Great Depression. I hadn't seen the movie, so after starting to work on the show and researching both the Great Depression and Bonnie and Clyde, I found out they're really interesting. Their story and the way it gets told in television and the news and history is fascinating. I think this show takes some artistic license, but it does a fairly good job at depicting them and the situation that drove them to their actions.
HANNAH MCEVILLY (Bonnie Parker): I think it definitely shines a new light on them as people. You look at them and you hear their stories and they're usually depicted as "Bonnie and Clyde, those ruthless bank robbers and murderers," but this show really lets people see inside of their lives. For example, Bonnie Parker wrote a lot of poems, a few of which are featured in the show. She talks about how they're not so ruthless and how they have feelings and are so in love. As long as they have each other by their sides, that's what keeps them going.
SAGE STOAKLEY (Blanche Barrow): I think before this show, I didn't know a lot about Bonnie and Clyde, and when I got my role, I made a point to do a lot of research because it's a real story. It's not a made up thing. It's a real thing that happened. So I learned a lot, especially from reading Blanche's memoir. By reading the published accounts of the people who went through this situation, you learn a lot about the kind of people that Bonnie and Clyde were. They were really young and they didn't know a lot about what they were doing. And they had this huge stardom and this huge desire to become famous. It got to the point where they didn't care what they did anymore. They just wanted to be seen, and I think this show captures that a lot.
BWW: You mentioned you did a lot of research. I'm assuming you all did. What did you look at or pull from to determine how you were going to play these characters?