HELLO CHRISTINE VIVIERS, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! HOW DID THE PRODUCTION OF “NEWSIES JR THE DISNEY MUSICAL” COME TO LIFE?
Disney’s Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical, based on the 1992 film. Inspired by the rousing true story of newsboys in turn-of-the-century New York City, Newsies JR. features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. When powerful newspaper publishers raise prices at the newsboys’ expense, the charismatic Race helps rally newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. Together, the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what’s right. We rehearsed for 2 months everyday to give the best performance at The Skirball Cultural Center.
HOW DID YOU MEET THE OTHER ACTORS IN THE PLAY AND THE DIRECTOR?
I auditioned through Actors Access and immediately got the role of Race. That’s when I met the Director Marcus Flye, Choreographer Udee McGeoy and Musical Director Pooh Mayo. It started out with me and a few other actors, Carly Rosenthan, Miranda Grace and Christian Monroe – Haynes and then the rest were cast. I knew Christian before the show because he graduated with me from AMDA but the rest were strangers who I now consider family.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH AS AN ACTOR?
My greatest strength as an actor is my ability to connect with others on stage or in front of the camera. I am able to make those around me feel comfortable and confident while performing, which allows us to create more realistic performances. In my last production, I was able to bring out the best in everyone on stage by making them feel valued and appreciated.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU DONE MUSICAL THEATER AND DO YOU DO MOSTLY MUSICAL THEATER?
I started out in theater in South Africa when I was 6 years old, but my entry point was dancing focusing on Modern and Hip Hop dance and later transitioned into acting and singing. This was my first Musical after graduating and I’m so happy I was part of this production. It has been my passion to sing, dance and act on stage since I was a little girl and I know it shines through me when I’m performing. I graduated with my BFA in Acting and since being in the US I’ve been focussing more on my screen-acting career, and that’s what I’m doing and succeeding in! However, theater will forever hold a special place in my heart and it’s always fun to go back to it.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CATCH YOU AND SEE YOU PERFORM SOMETIMES OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA? WHAT ABOUT SOME FESTIVALS?
Yes, absolutely. I’m now based in Los Angeles, so the main productions I work on are here. I’ve done a lot of short films, that’s making its way to worldwide film festivals and already achieving recognition. South Africa will always be my home, and when I’m home I work there as well. I finished shooting an amazing piece called “Ma” with the amazing writer/director Kanya Viljoen but for now I want to continue my career here in the US since it’s been going pretty well.
HOW MANY PLAYS OR SHORTS HAVE YOU DONE?
I put on more than 20 plays in South Africa, in just 9 years, that means 2\3 a year. I dedicated my life basically only to that (and school of course) since it takes 2 months to prepare a show and then you have a month of running. I’ve also done some short films in South Africa, however the main camera work I’ve done in my life is here in the US. I probably worked on more than 50 shorts films, gigs and music videos.
ONE LAST QUESTION – COULD YOU PICK ONE TV SERIES OR FILM THAT CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE INDUSTRY?
There’s so many but the one that stands out is Game of Thrones written by George RR Martin. I loved the acting, writing, directing and the way it was edited. It is honestly a masterpiece in every aspect, you can see the outstanding creativity from the beginning to end. I aspire to be in the prequel “House of the Dragon”, mark my words you’ll see me there before it ends.
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